DS 19 Pallas: Design and luxury in its purest form

The desire to always be at the forefront and to reinvent itself led to the birth of this version of the DS 19 and subsequent models.

When the DS19 It was presented to the public in October 1955, impressed by its extremely elegant simplicity: the goddess (her name in French is pronounced DéeSse, which means goddess in that same language) was a smooth, aerodynamic car, without tinsel and useless chrome.

In his line, the designer Flaminio Bertoni had brought out, very clearly, some details such as the elegant hands, the bumpers, which looked like two sculptures, or the hinges of the boot lid, concealed in the finish of the sides that also incorporated some metallic ornaments in arrow-shaped, but the curved lines described by the sheet metal surfaces were clean, interrupted only by a few wisely distributed rubber profiles that protected the car and enhanced the perfect distribution of the body elements. A design masterpiece, in short.

DS 19 PallasIn 1962, a slight redesign of the front end improved aerodynamic performance DS without adding heaviness to the line; Small rubber protection elements were incorporated into the front and rear bumpers, but their presence was almost unnoticed, inserted between the license plate and the bumpers, separating the two elements and giving the DS19 an added touch of elegance.

With the DS Prestige, launched in 1959, the demands of those customers who, by protocol or custom, used a driver for their trips were met: the DS Prestige, defined as a "luxury travel model" was the first car in the world to have a serial phone and it was delivered with a protective screen and separation between the driving position and the rear seats, with a sliding glass that guaranteed the privacy of the passengers.

But the world was changing rapidly and customers such as young executives, company managers, famous journalists and all those who expected to enjoy the pleasure of driving a luxury car every day wanted models with more modern lines and thought for those customers who drove their cars. own cars.

DS 19 PallasThe DS19 enjoyed, for years, a great sales success with this type of clientele: all those who appreciated art and design could not remain insensitive to the fascination that the goddess of automobiles aroused and in 1964, the French brand expanded the range with a new finish for the DS designed for this type of clientele who, attracted by the pure design of the “great Citroën”, did not want to give up a certain luxury and an exclusive finish like the one that had made the models of English brands.

The new finish of the DS received a name that would become very popular: Pallas. With a clear reference to the queen of goddesses: Pallas Athena, goddess of wisdom and balance. It is precisely these attributes that led the manufacturer to incorporate discreet chrome threads into the DS19 Pallas, rubber moldings inserted in stainless steel profiles (splendidly integrated with the rear reflectors), satin steel details on the side panels and, above all, interiors where the Natural leather (or fabric) coverings did not leave an inch of the body's steel visible, enveloping the occupants in a soft embrace.

DS 19 PallasSeats with higher backrests, a wide armrest integrated into the rear seat (and another between the two front seats), high-quality wool carpets, stainless steel finishes and two large roof lights that flooded the interior of the DS with light . All this completed the feeling of luxury that the Pallas offered and that made it the perfect instrument to underline one's status without exhibitionism, to the point that, in France, the expression “c'est plus Pallas”, which could be translated as "It's really luxurious," became a phrase used in youth slang to indicate that something was better than the rest of its kind.

The DS Pallas presentation took place at the 1964 Paris Motor Show and production continued until April 1975, to the point where the last DS to roll off the Quai de Javel factory assembly lines was a unit of the DS 23 Pallas version. The finish was optionally extended to the DS Prestige which became the Prestige Pallas and to all Cabriolets made from 1965 to the end of their production.

DS 19 PallasThe ID Pallas model never existed, with the sole exception of a Break produced for the Belgian royal house and called “Break de chasse”, but it was a “Special Order”, and therefore a custom-made DS for a personality, just as many others were made for heads of state or famous actors.

The Pallas finish, in 1964, also involved some technical modifications, since these versions were equipped with two long-range headlights (called “Boule” because of their spherical shape), produced by Cibié y Marchal for Citroën, which were progressively and optionally extended to the rest of the versions until 1967, when the new front with the faired headlights (the latest work by Flaminio Bertoni) integrated this innovation with the curved lighting system connected to the steering wheel movement.

The DS Pallas, since its launch, became the most popular version of the DS to the point that, in some export markets, such as Italy, "Pallas" was synonymous with DS since, since 1970, the DS20 (the best-seller in that country) was marketed only in the Pallas finish with hydraulic control gearbox: comfort raised to the nth power.



Automundo is the blog about news from the automotive industry, motorsport and the culture of the region. Director: Diego Durruty.

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