Ads on Test - Citroën DS Pallas
This fuel-injected 2.3-litre range-topper has desirable optional extras including factory air conditioning, explains Mike Renaut
Shiny dark blue paint suits this 1973 DS Injection Electronique and covers straight, corrosion-free panels with generally excellent gaps. All the Pallas trim is in place and appears in nice condition despite some surface tarnish, especially on the rear window surrounds.
All glass including the headlamp covers is free from damage, the inner set of lights turning with the steering. Originally sold in Prato, Italy, the left-hand drive DS came to the UK in 2014 and the headlights still appear to be set up for driving on the right. Bumpers are equally blemish-free, as are the Pallas wheelcovers. If we had to nit-pick, there is slight surface rust on the wiper arms and the lower door trims are not affixed perfectly straight, but otherwise this car is hard to fault.
The factory-fitted – and operational – air conditioning is an unusual option. The blue and white cloth and leathercloth interior is in especially nice condition with no obvious damage and the big seats with headrests prove both comfortable and supportive. The dashboard is free of cracks, but there are a few small areas of scuffed paint and the surround for one set of pushbuttons needs securing in place. A rear window blind is included and the light grey fabric headlining is droop-free and in perfect condition. Door cards appear unmarked, as does the dark blue carpet.
Turn the ignition key and the engine fires up immediately, soon settling to a smooth idle at an indicated 1200rpm. It quickly warms up and nothing on the numerous warning gauges offers cause for concern. The suspension operates just as it should, with the car soon finding its natural ride height. Again, no leaks or untoward noises were spotted during our inspection.
On the road the Citroën is quiet and well-mannered with very light steering that still feels precise. Finding your way through the five-speed gearbox using the column-mounted gearlever soon becomes second nature, with each gear dropping into place positively. Stopping power is impressive, the sharp brake pedal virtually halting the car dead in its own length at low speeds.
Winter and summer tyres are supplied with the DS, the set fitted during our test being Petlas with excellent tread. The jack and an unused ‘multiseason’ spare tyre are present under the bonnet. A generally tidy engine bay has a little worn and scuffed paint on some components, but no obvious leaks or areas of concern were noted. Recent MoT certificates mention a weep from a power steering hose joint, but our inspection failed to detect it.
The odometer reads just over 98,400km (60,000 miles). The previous owner added a new swivelling centre headlight assembly, alternator, high-pressure pump and fuel pump. New injectors and fuel pipes were fitted, and the fuel tank cleaned and lined in 2014. The air conditioning system was repaired and re-gassed in 2015.
This very attractive example of a Pallas has an excellent specification. The car drives beautifully and a little tidying under the bonnet would finish it nicely. This is one of four cars for sale tested in the latest issue, part of 23 pages of buying tips and advice, including Quentin Willson’s Smart Buys, Ads on Test, Buying Guide and Price Guide Quarterly in the June issue of Classic Cars.
Engine 2347cc 4-cyl OHV Power 141bhp @ 5500rpm Torque 135lb ft @ 3500rpm 0-60mph 11.7sec Top Speed 116mph Fuel Consumption 29mpg Length 4874mm Width 1803mm