Non-Radio – the Big Citroen DSuper5 (DS21)

Another ongoing car project – a 1973/74 Citroen DSuper5 (registration paperwork shows 1973 but serial numbers indicate 1974) sedan that I bought in late 2017 from Canada.

The car was mechanically up to stuff having been doted over by one of Quebec’s best Citroen mechanics, but the interior was getting tired as was the paintwork.

Here is the car in pre-shipment photographs:

European Glassed-In Turning Headlights

Exterior at the start of the project


At the start of the project


At the start of the project – interior

The import process and the research was difficult.

The import process has gotten a lot more involved since the last time I imported a Canadian registered car, and I would recommend a broker to navigate through the process.  There are also some newer Federal forms, fees and taxes to get through.  Issues on my end made using a transport company a necessity, as my original plan was to fly out, have new tires fitted, and drive it home.

I am the fifth owner, but third driver.  The paperwork indicates the car was sold to a municipality in the Bouches-du-Rhone department in the south of France and at the original sale it was painted “government” black.  The paperwork indicates it was delivered with the leather interior and other upgrades, including a relatively uncommon additional temperature gauge option.

The small town mayor was the driver, and at some point he personally acquired the car from the local government.  So owner #1 and #2 has the same driver – let’s call him Driver-A.

The next owner was his cousin, who was a Doctor based in Quebec, who dove the car until age & health put him in a home. He is owner #3 and Driver-B.

The fourth owner was paperwork only, as the doctor had an adult guardian by this point who moved assets to be disposed of, like this Citroen DSuper5, into the correct ownership format to be sold onward.  So the guardian’s trust became owner #4 but there was no driver.

I purchased the car from the guardian, as the doctor was unable to communicate or participate in the sale, and hence became owner #5 and Driver-C.

The car had a continuous Canadian registration, with all inspections.  Mechanically it seems in fine shape, and the bodywork is solid but shows its age.  The leather interior was a bit too far gone to be worth restoring, as the special foam inserts were failing and the leather would need a lot of repairs.

So I spent 18 months sourcing all the parts to bring this car up to standards.  Paul at Citroen Classics USA – was instrumental in sourcing the greater portion of the parts, as one of the larger European suppliers won’t sell into the USA as they haven’t bound the recommended insurance to sell parts in the states.

Other parts I could order from France, the UK and other USA based suppliers.

A partial list:

  • New leather interior, original pattern and color.  Includes door panels and trim.
  • New set of seat foam inserts
  • New steering wheel
  • New exterior mirrors
  • European 1-2-3 Electronic Ignition and harness
  • Oil Filter upgrade kit
  • New hoses
  • New roof aerial
  • Correct Key Blanks
  • New lockset for doors/trunk
  • Replica tool set
  • Manuals
  • Rear window “Venetian blind” shade
  • New column switch gear and shift boot
  • Parts to renew the instrument cluster and to replace most bulbs with LEDs.
  • New hydraulic spheres
  • Replacement rear bumper rubber overriders (as the pair on the car were not a perfect match and one was blemished)
  • Full set of new tires and tubes (modern production of the original Michelin 180HR15 XAS tires done by Coker Tire)
  • and lots of small parts.

I’ve actually a large spreadsheet of what was needed and where I found it.

After much effort I determined the original paint was not going to respond to amateur efforts and the car is presently in the body shop where they are evaluating if it needs a whole repaint or if it can be touched up in way that would be presentable.  This shop is also installing the interior.

I bought my first Citroen DS-21, a AeroSuper model with the semi-automatic four speed transmission while in High School.  A friend bought it from me and unfortunately ran it into the ground.  I had one more DS, this time a DS-23ie, while in High School, then I didn’t own another DS until two cars that came & went in the 1990’s and 2000’s.  Those cars were trading stock, as I had other interest cars at the time.

Once I had all the parts the 2019 season came & went, and the virus interruption pushed out the professional shop work for several months longer than hoped.

At some point I’ll post the “after” pictures when the car is done.



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