The Mentalist has become one of my favorite pastimes on television. It is another crime solving show, but has a unique feature that a mentalist aids the police in solving the crimes. I have found it to be entertaining and lite hearted.

In last night’s show it brought another of my old favorites to the show, the Citroën DS. If you aren’t familiar with the Citroën DS, it is a French car that is thought of by some to be the most beautiful car that was ever built and by others to be one of the ugliest.

In the early seventies, I came close to buying one several times. I went to the dealer so often, he was calling me by my first name.

The DS had an unusual hydraulic suspension system that gave it a ride like no other car I have ever driven. As I remember, it didn’t have a jack. If you had a flat, you just flipped a lever and the appropriate wheel would retract to a level that it could be changed.

If the spare happened to be flat, the car could be driven on three wheels. I have owned a lot of cars and the one car that I regret not buying was this car.

Last nights show of the Mentalist, reawakened my old love affair. While I didn’t buy the Citroën, I retained an admiration for the French design and bought a Peugeot in the 80’s. The Peugeot 505SD turned out to be another car that I enjoyed having and it gave me good service for many years.

It is amazing how last night’s show brought back so many memories. I bet that many people watched the show and had never seen a Citroën before. I would still like to have one of those cars.

22 thoughts on “Favorites

  1. Don,
    The french peugeot is a car that seems to have dominated Argentina as primary taxi model. They must be very durable as well as dependable

  2. Ray: My first tour in Panama 72-75 17 yrs old I purchased an old Citroen “French Cadillac” I had a blast with it and drove it to all the beaches Rio Mar, Coronado and Playa Venado with my Army Buds. Ahh! those were the days!

  3. Dear Don,
    My wife and I saw the Citroen DS, as well, in last night’s episode, and it brought each of us to a nostalgic moment, long before we met and married, we had each seen one in Wiesbaden, Germany, in the early 60’s. It is without a doubt, the most comfortable riding and best cruising car, in the world. Seems like that car was admired by quite a few. Have a good evening.

    Take care,

  4. Don Ray:
    Citroen, Peugeot and Opel were sold in Panama when I was a kid living there and even the OPEL had a delear in Bethania in the early 80’s. I believe Peugeot is still sold in Panma. My dad owned a Opel station wagon in the 60’s that took us to Panama from David many, many times. In the early 60’s there was no “Puente de las Americas” and to go accross the canal you have to do it in a ferry. You can still see the remains of the docks if you look north and down when crossing the bridge.

  5. Hi Don,
    I too lusted after a DS many moons ago. While I thought it was so ugly it was “Avante Garde”, driving one was pure pleasure. As I recall the last couple of years they even offered a parallel parking option where the same jacks that raised the wheel areas for changing a tire had wheels that would allow the driver to “push” the car sideways into the parking spot. Anyone who has ever tried to park in Paris would absolutely love the idea. I haven’t seen one on any of the antique car auctions but will check and see how much they are worth today. You and I will probably kick ourselves for not buying/holding. We could probably fund a pretty nice retirement on the profit.

  6. Chuck:
    Is this what you are talking about? (cut and paste this link to the video)
    I believe the car in the car in the video is a Renault (France), that along with the Fiat (Italian) were also sold in Panama. Heck, even the piece of junk russian LADA’s were also sold in the 80’s along with the Yugos.

  7. Hi Don Pierre,

    Sorry to pee on your parade.. but it is, in fact, one of the ugliest cars ever built. Oh so French. All it needed was a giant beret on top. Cousin of the Renault, indeed. What’s next, the Fiat Fan Club meeting??

  8. I have to agree with Don about driving to appreciate. Even though the car was not one of the finest hours for French design, the exhaust smelled like garlic and brie…:)

    Thanks for the video link Jaime. The Citroen actually moved straight in, but I like the idea behind the one in the video.

    They sold Yugo’s in the states for about 15 minutes. I had a friend who was unfortunate enough (I am being kind) to buy one. The rear axle actually fell off going down the 405 freeway in So. California and the car had a whole 4500 miles on it.

  9. In 1977, I bought a brand-new leftover 1976 Citroen GS X-2, which was a more modern, better looking, and smaller version of the DS-19. http://members.tripod.com/~mattysk/types/gsxx2x3.htm

    It had the hydraulic suspension system, and absolutely the nicest ride of any small car I’ve ever driven. It was a marvelous piece of engineering, but unfortunately, I had to retire it with only 36,000 miles because of a hole in the exhaust manifold and a suspension system that no longer worked. I learned later that the suspension needed to be recharged with nitrogen gas every so often, and Romero had not bothered to buy the equipment to do so, nor did they stock charged reservoirs. They also apparently didn’t know how to weld up small holes.

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