After four years of fun with my red and white Dolly 2CV, I finally succumbed this year to the siren call of the Déesse.
I looked around a bit on the Internet, then Bob McLeod directed my attention to an item for sale on our own club site, a black DS-21 driven for many years by M. Jean-Pierre Dubois. The price seemed reasonable, reports on the mechanical condition were favourable, plus it was local — so I jumped in!
When the car arrived at my place, it looked pretty good — black, shiny, a mostly original interior with recovered seats in good condition, and running well — it passed the safety with no repairs required.
I knew, however, that there were rust problems on all four doors and fenders, as well as the trunk.
After briefly considering the possibility of repairing these problems myself, I decided that I would rather have the work done professionally. Furthermore the paint, though decent from a distance, really needed a complete refresh. So I went looking for someone to restore my car. This was more difficult than I had anticipated; most body shops today specialize in collision repair, which means replacing damaged parts with new ones, and paint. The skills required for rust repair are in short supply.
After a few dead ends, I decided to entrust the body restoration and painting to a nearby shop called Five Star Industrial Painting and Auto Body — on the recommendation of one of the collision repair shops, who said that this was where they sent cars that needed
restoration work. Five Star is run by Mike Bathurst, who proudly showed me numerous pictures of jobs he has done over the years, as well as his own Opel Kadette which was parked out front, and a very pretty black Jaguar that was getting finishing touches in the shop. He was quite interested in the opportunity to work on a Citroen, as there are not that many around.
Mike took a number of pictures of the Citroen project in progress.The door bottoms were mostly filler, which was falling out, and they were replaced with metal, refinished and painted.
So here is the finished product! I chose to retain the black, which I think is a beautiful and classic for the DS — “présidentiel” as Christian says, and the only colour used by Citroen throughout the production run of the car — instead of returning to the original Beige Albatross.
The observant Citroenist will notice one detail that I need to get corrected, but overall I am very happy with the result!