What is it?
The Citroen DS was an executive car produced by the French company between 1955 and 1975. It had a classic front-engine, front-wheel-drive layout and was offered in sedan, wagon/estate, and convertible body styles.
When and where was it made?
The DS was revealed for the first time on October 5, 1955, at the Paris Motor Show. It remained in production for two decades with more than 1.45 million examples sold worldwide.
Why is it awesome?
Because it was, and still is, virtually one of the most important cars in the history of the automotive industry. To give you a basic idea of what were the reactions of the world when it debuted, we’ll just say that in the first 15 minutes of the Paris show in 1955, 743 orders were taken, growing to incredible 80,000 deposits during the 10 days of the event.
Technologically, the DS was ahead of its time. Nearly every single component of its construction was innovative. Take for instance the famous self-levelling suspension – at a time when only a few passenger cars had independent suspension, the DS featured a sophisticated hydraulic system that provided sharp handling combined with very high ride quality.
Another revolutionary feature was the directional headlights. Something we are told is innovative even today in many ads, the system used two sections of lights under a glass cover with the inboard high-beam headlamp swiveling by up to 80 degrees as the driver steers. As demonstrated in the attached above video commercial from 1968, the system provided precise illumination in corners at high and low speeds, and even in static position.
What’s so special about this ad?
It was as avant-garde as the DS itself was. In this 56-second video you won’t hear someone explaining why the corner-following headlights are cool, but at the end you’ll definitely be captivated by the DS and its impressive directional lights. And that’s all thanks to neat camera work and hip jazz.