1960s / 1970s / Citroen / French / Rust in peace

Rust in peace: Citroën DSpecial

citroen-d-speciale-3The Citroën DS’ basic shape changed very little during its 20-year long production run but the French automaker made constant mechanical updates to the car. Although it looked nearly identical to a DS21 to an untrained eye, the DSpecial joined the DSuper in 1968 in a two-pronged approach to replace the entry-level ID.

Like its predecessor, the DSpecial was powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that sent 91 horsepower and 106 lb-ft. of torque to the front wheels via a four-speed manual transmission that featured a cable-actuated clutch. Vinyl upholstery and roll up windows came standard while a nine-way adjustable driver’s seat, Leather-Tex upholstery and tinted windows were available as options.

A DSpecial retailed for $3,375 in 1970, the first year it was offered in the United States. That same year, a range-topping DS21 Pallas with a 116-horsepower 2.1-liter four-cylinder cost $4,329 and the Volkswagen Beetle started at $1,839.

It’s been a rough decade for the example pictured below: It was purchased in the early 2000s as a running and driving project car by a member of a local car club who stored it on city property. He got side-tracked and gradually turned the DSpecial into a parts car, a decision that was taken because ID, DSpecial and DSuper models were tough to sell and worth very little up until a couple of years ago.

The DSpecial is parked next to the city maintenance’s garbage bins and its front end has inevitably gotten smashed over the past couple of years by trucks and debris. Today, it is a rough, unsalvageable parts car at best and it is difficult to tow out because a concrete ramp was recently built a yard or two in front of the car.

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2 thoughts on “Rust in peace: Citroën DSpecial

  1. Damnit, that hurts to see. The car is at least a ’72- the flip-up door handles and the “safety” steering wheel give it away. I also noticed the extra Citroenness in your pics: the axles propped at the rear are A Series, and there is a loose wheel next to the car in one pic from a late GS or GSA.

    The car isn’t totally useless. I saw parts we would kill to have here.

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