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Discussion in 'Cars and Transportation' started by WarpedOne, Jun 7, 2007.
Hey, that's http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citro%C3%ABn_DS!
Re: White Roof?
Yes, this is what has always made me feel uneasy with the EV1. I appreciate that the covered rear wheels help reduce the drag coefficient to one of the lowest ever, but it just screams Citroen to me.
Re: White Roof?
When I was a kid, my dad drove a Citroen SM.
It was fairly "high tech" for an early 70s car... Fuel injection. Variable power assist steering. Hydraulic suspension.
As you got up to highway speeds the car would "squat" lower to the road for better handling and aerodynamics.
If you had a flat tire you just flipped a lever and the car raised itself on the 3 good tires, leaving the flat in the air to be changed without needing a jack.
The braking system was a bit extreme. It had a button rather than a pedal. It was almost an "all or nothing" affair.
Citroen has been a very creative car company, but I think their reliability has been fairly poor over the years.
(Perhaps too much complexity and experimentation going on there).
This is a '67 to '71 Citroën D series. The roof is fiberglass. The headliner is glued directly to the underside of the roof (ceiling), improving headroom over a suspended cloth headliner. White does improve heat reflection.Few Ds had A/C. And, rolling the windows down doesn't bring much air into the cabin unless you are in a crosswind.
The gap between the rear edge of the roof and the rear window has a purpose: to cause a definite "breakaway" line for the airflow, reducing drag. The sharply dropping-off rear prevents the turbulence generated by the breaking-away of the airflow (which will take place on any car that does not have a long airplane-like tapered tail) from impinging on the glass and trunk (boot for you Brits) lid.
The "rocket nozzles" are the turn signals, placed high where they are readily visible to both automobilists and to truck and bus drivers.
The deluxe models of later years had rear heaters connected by long hoses to the front heating plumbing. The heated air blew on the floor at the corners and on the center of the rear window. Many cars had the electric rear window heater that practically all cars have now.
As to the rest of the body being painted white for coolness, who cares about the engine compartment, trunk and the insides of the doors and fenders? I do recall an all-white DS parked at a hotel in Palm Beach in 1977.
Note the single-spoke steering wheel. It has two purposes: 1) for minimum interference with the hands when turning and 2) to bend in a collision rather than skewering the driver. The spoke was "parked" at an angle that allowed the left hand to meet the spoke when the left arm was rested on the door armrest.
The gas tank is fully enclosed in a steel box that serves as the rear seat shelf. A rear-end collision would have to be very severe to damage the tank. The enclosure is sealed from the interior by a gasketed steel top panel bolted in place.
The car chassis is designed to crush progressively ahead of the front wheels and behind the rear "axle." The main perimeter frame of the cabin is heavily reinforced. A true "safety" car far ahead of the early 1950s when its basic design was finalized for production.
In recent years it has been learned that such an extreme aerodynamic shape is unnecessary for equivalent aerodynamic efficiency. Yet the rounded, corner-less front is great for turning clearance in parking. It is a little hard to tell exactly where the front end and the rear corners are as they are not visible from the driver's seat even with one's head up against the ceiling.
Despite the insults leveled at the four-cylinder inline engine as "tractor-like" and "industrial," it is a high-speed (6,000 rpm redline) 5 main bearing hemi-head engine with aluminum head and thinwall cast iron block and wet cylinders.
This car was the greatest leap forward in automobiles in the last century.
NOT a fuel injected engine. No injection electronique cars wereofficially imported to the USA by Citroën. This engine has three 42 DCNF (doppio corpo = double body (throat) + N (dunno) + F = Ferrari; the series was originally designed for Ferrari models) carburetors. One throat is piped to each cylinder with no interconnection manifold (other than tiny tubes for the emission control system) between the pipes.
The original air filter housing has been replaced with an aftermarket model. The original filter was an oil-wetted type, great for airflow but not so good for keeping dirt out of the engine. I had a custom paper filter element made for one of my SMs. I would move it to whichever one I was going to be driving.
The power assist is NOT "variable". The steering is full power with no mechanical connection between the steering shaft and the steering rack (except for emergency if the hydraulic pressure fails). It is the centering force on the steering shaft/wheel that varies with the speed of the pinion (secondary or lower) shaft in the transaxle. As the car goes faster, the centering force increases, making it harder to turn the wheel away from center. Full system hydraulic pressure is applied to the rod side of the steering rack piston at all times. The pressure to the piston head is regulated to move rack back and forth according to steering position.
While we call it "hydraulic," literally meaning having to do with water, the fluid is actually a specialized light oil called "LHM" (Liquide Hydraulique Minerale).
The car does not "squat" as the height of the front and rear of the body is stabilized by the height controls, one for each end of the car. The normal position is the normal riding height/road clearance. There is a higher position for driving on rough roads and semi-roads and a low position used in wheel changing (and in amusing oneself, and amazing onlookers). There is a high position, also part of the wheel-changing procedure, and for negotiating the car over abrupt humps in driveways, etc. to prevent scraping the underbody and damaging the exhaust system. The car can be moved in low and high positions but only at low speeds as there is no suspension travel, only tire deflection and suspension arm flexing. Yes, you can "limp" on three wheels in high position with one rear wheel removed. It is all too easy to strike the rear brake shield on the road when doing this, so it can be advised only if you have suffered two flat tires.
The system will NOT lift one wheel off the road. It will lift both wheels on one side if the wheel changing stand is supporting the frame by the peg on the middle of the sideframe. The car cannot be moved even if the engine is running and put in gear, as the front wheel that is off the road will just spin. (Dangerous - the spinning wheel turns at twice the speedometer reading: 40 mph on the meter is 80 mph on the wheel. It would positively kill anyone who got into it.)
Once accustomed to the chiefly pressure-sensitive and very short travel pedal (mostly "squash" of the rubber pedal cover), the brake action is marvelous! The brake pedal is lower than the accelerator pedal when the throttle is closed. As you do not have to lift your foot above the pedal, you can get your foot off the accelerator pedal and onto the brake "mushroom" very quickly. Unfortunately, if you drive both a Citroën D or SM and conventional cars, this can be quite disconcerting.
Mostly due to poor maintenance and repairs outside of western continental Europe. Few technicians in North America were familiar with the car. Citroën techs were faced with the unfamiliar Maserati engine. Maserati techs for the most part did not want to work on the Mas engine in a Citroën, especially the way it was set so far back in the engine compartment. They also did not like the Citroën equipment on Citroën-era Maserati Meraks and Boras, but they sorta had to put up with that. When a doctor or lawyer bought a Citroën SM from their local Oldsmobile dealer, he was soon ready to get rid of it. The local Citroën SM dealer in Nashville, Tenn. was a Mercedes-Benz dealer who had never sold or serviced any other Citroën models, not even the DS, which had the same basic chassis and machinery outside the engine. He sold 7 of them and kept one. He relied on one Benz tech who showed a fair amount of interest in the car. All parts had to be ordered from the Citroën parts depot in New Jersey as none were kept in stock.
Owners, especially original, soon tired of the difficulties of maintenance when no really dedicated Citroën-Maserati tech was near. Many, after the novelty wore off, also became disappointed in the lack of tire-burning power of the "tiny" 170/181 cubic inch (2.7/3 litre) engine, due to the combination of the engine's power and that 2/3 of the car's 3,200# weight was on the front/drive wheels. They also expected more speed in a car that cost twice as much as a Cadillac Eldorado.
(Perhaps too much complexity and experimentation going on there). ppppp
Of course. Was. All cars of the '50s, '60s and '70s (covers all official Citroën imports) are "were" and "was." All Citroëns officially imported to north America by the Citroën company are antiques. The last Ds were brought in in 1972 and the last SMs in 1973. Whatzyerpoint?
The SM had reliability issues because of the Maserati engine. It was a race engine designed to be rebuilt after every race. The timing chain had no adjustment at all.
The ID/DS were highly reliable.
On the DS you manually adjusted the height of the car. There were three normal positions, a high position and a low position (the high and low were for jacking the car, but it was possible to use the high position carefully for going places no car should go).
I will guess that VFX's tersely made point is that the Model S inherits that breakthrough crown now, for this century... :wink:
+1. A lot like the Model S in that the engineers were told to make the best car.