My DS will be painted Rouge Massena

I have landed on a colour.   My DS will be Rouge Massena.   I prefer this colour to the Rouge Carmin for such a big car.   It is less ‘pink’ in the sun and the darker red will look rather classy.   Generally I prefer to keep cars original, but in this case it wasn’t really a good option.    My DS was originally white and I don’t like white cars.   The car has been red nearly all its life.   It was already red when purchased by a previous owner in the mid 80’s.   This car had far more history as a red car than it ever did a white one.   Secondly, Citroen never offered a red colour in 1970.   The closest is Bordeaux which is a red/brown colour.

I wanted to stay with a proper DS colour, but I had already ruled out the original colour and I wanted to keep the car red, which ruled out a year correct colour.    The car had been painted Rouge De Rio, a 1971 colour.   I found it too orange.   Rouge Massena is a 1972-1973 colour.    I have also decided to paint the roof Rouge Massena too.   Generally late D’s (in the 70s) had the same colour roof as the body, with the D Special sporting a white roof. Earlier cars generally had a different colour roof to the body.  My car being a 1970 model was on the cusp of these changes, so I could have gone either way.   I think a black roof would have looked great, but is impractical in the Australian sun.   The other option would have been metallic silver, but I am not sold on that option.   The car will therefore be Rouge Massena all over.

Painting will start soon.   The doors are almost ready for paint as are the rear wings.   It is just the front wings that need preparation and the process can start.





Citroen DS crash repair, pt 5

The DS is now repaired and is in the process of preparation for paint.   Not only did work need to be done to fix the damage from the crash, but previous repairs had to be put right too.    The paint that was previously on the car was not well prepared.   The car was not rusty, but there was minor surface rust under the paint that was preventing it from looking that good.  There was also previous accident damage, as can be seen on the front wing.

Previous accident damageI found a photo of the car with this damage when I purchased it funnily enough.   It was in the back of the glove box.   I had assumed they must have replaced that front wing but it looks like it was repaired.   The car has much better panel fit in that picture than when I purchased it.   This will be rectified during the repair.

you can also see the valance looks like it had been repaired previously regardless of the crash.


The openings shown are for the air intake for the radiator and also for the inboard front brakes.    For this repair, I sourced most of the parts from Citroen Andre in Europe and the bonnet I found locally from Continental Cars, the Citroen dealership.   It was the last one, held by the owner for own personal car.    Both vendors went above and beyond to help me: Continental cars loaned me a van to transport the bonnet and Citroen Andre sourced all the parts new and used and packed them extremely well.   You can tell they are vendor of Citroen parts as they used Posidriv screws in the packing!

Citroen Andre

Citroen DS crash repair, pt 4

The DS is almost ready for paint.   Most of the work has been on the doors and rear wings.    Both rear wings are pretty much ready and the doors are not far behind.

Citroen DS

Citroen DS Doors

There are a few areas of the car that are still having minor repairs done, such as this corner of the roof.


Of the red colours available for the DS, the two we can find on the computer are 411 Rouge Carmin and 423 Rouge Massena.   I need to make a final decision and I am leaning towards Massena (left).   Carmin is more striking, but a bit pink in the sun.    Carmin was normally sold with a different colour roof, but Massena was normally single colour.

Rouge Massena and Rouge Carmin

Citroen DS crash repair, pt 3

The doors have now been removed from the DS to prepare them for paint.  The DS makes this easier than most other cars as the panels are all unstressed and fairly easy to remove.   It also makes a colour change easier as the underlying chassis is black and its only the removable panels that have colour.


The doors were in pretty good shape.   They had much better paint than the wings and the boot/bonnet.   There were a few older dents and so on and a bit of filler, but no real damage.  At some point in its life, the car had some rust removed from the bottom of the doors.    This repair is noticeable but not as obvious as others.


As well as the previous rust repair, I know the car has previous collision damage on the front right.   This can be seen with the front wing now it has been rubbed down.



The main consideration is to choose the final colour.   The car is currently painted AC424 Rio Red.   I find this colour too orange for the DS.   It was only offered in 1971 and more popular on the GS.

The other colours under consideration are:

So far we have tested AC411 Rouge Carmin and it looks nicer than AC424 Rio Red, but perhaps is a bit pink in the sunlight.   We couldn’t find the formula for 419, and the other one I will probably test is AC423 Rouge Massena.   I think 421 Bordeaux is too brown and AC403 Corsaire is too bright.


The early 3rd nose models had a unique cross member that was changed for 1971 and on.  Luckily I was able to find a good used unit.   As can be seen, mine did not fare well in the crash.

cross member


Citroen DS crash repair, pt 2

The repairs to the DS continue to progress well.   The crash damage is now repaired and the new parts I was able to get for the car have all been fitted and seem to fit well.   They will now be removed for painting.

NOS Bonnet

The restored bumpers and NOS bonnet look great!  It looks like a car again.   The reproduction undertray and number plate panel also fit well and will look great once painted.


The old bumpers now lie twisted on the ground next to the car, having taken the brunt of the impact.


The car seems to have sprung some kind of oil leak during the collision that will need to be rectified some time in the future.   As well as fixing the crash damage on the front of the car, work has commenced on preparing the rear for painting.   While the car is basically rust free (surprising for an old DS), the paint job was poor and there was minor surface rust underneath the paint.   This needs to be removed properly before the car will look nice.   There are areas all over the car, but the rear wings were probably the worst and will have to go back to metal.

Rear wings

This car continues to offer up surprises.   The poor paint job was nothing new, but I discovered on disassembly that the car has an aluminium boot lid.   These were only fitted to DS19’s until May 1957 to my knowledge.   The later boot lids were steel, much heavier and rusted.   I would imagine the boot lid was replaced at some point with a used unit.

On most DS, the roof is made from fiberglass.  However, my car has an aluminium roof.  These were normally fitted either to cars with black roofs, or cars made in countries like Australia from CKD kits.   The exception being South Africa, which used fiberglass roofs, and in any case never built anyD S21’s.   My car was not built in Australia as local production had finished some years earlier and was contained to the ID19 model.   My car was painted white when new (probably with a Gris Nacre roof). This means it should have been fitted with a fiberglass roof from the factory.   My assumption was that the roof was replaced at some point with a used unit from a Australian built ID19.


The final step will be to settle on the colour.   The colour I originally had in mind was AC419 Rouge Cornaline.   However, that was not in the computer and the similar AC411 Rouge Carmin was.   I will check out a sample of Rouge Carmin on Saturday to see what I think of it.     Both are original DS colours, with 419 offered in 1966, 1967 and 1969 and 411 offered 1963-1965.    The wheels are currently painted body colour which is incorrect.   They should be AC140 Gris (Grey).   They will be painted the correct colour.

Citroen DS crash repair, pt 1

Back in September last year, I unfortunately crashed my DS.   Since then, I was able to track down a NOS bonnet, some good used bumpers and other parts and strip the rear of the car.   The cars paint was faded so instead of having the repairers match faded paint, I will pay extra to repaint the whole car.  My current plan is to change the colour of the car from Rouge De Rio (Rio Red), a 1971 colour to Rouge Cornaline, which was offered in 1969 and other years.   The Rio red is almost and orangey red and I prefer something with a bit more depth.   A red option was not offered in 1970 except for Bordeaux which is a deep brown/red.

Last week the repair process began and they have already made good progress.    On disassembly there was some damage to the chassis, and you could see where a previous repair had been done.  (I had a photo of the car with damage to that side of the car from some years ago).   This is now being repaired properly and then the new parts I found will be put on the car.

Chassis Damage

Front view

In addition, the door handles have been removed to start preparing the rest of the car for paint.

Rest of car

Next update the car will probably be ready for paint.  I’ll probably be able to look at a sample in the new colour and see how it looks.

The new Mercedes-Benz Museum, 2008

The Mercedes-Benz museum is the best of the manufacturer museums I have been to.   I was able to visit the new museum in 2008, which was a couple of years after it opened, replacing the old museum.   I was already very impressed with the old museum and this new one was a big leap ahead.   Of course the rich heritage Mercedes-Benz has helps as many cars that would get prime position in pretty much any other manufacturers museum struggle to find space here.

The museum has various rooms based on themes and so some of the cars that you get to see are not necessarily the most famous.  I like this as you get to see models that you have not seen before.   Of course you can’t see a Mercedes-Benz museum without the old favorites like the Gullwing and 500k, and the museum does not disappoint in that regard.

What is all the more impressive is that this museum is just the tip of the iceberg.  There are various warehouses around Stuttgart that house the extended collection.   This are not open to the public unfortunately.

The public collection is highly impressive and well worth the trip while in southern Germany.

These photographs are from 2008, so the collection has likely changed somewhat as I hear they rotate it.

The old Mercedes-Benz Museum, 2003

The current Mercedes-Benz museum in Stuttgart opened in 2006, but it wasn’t new.   There was a previous Museum that was replaced.  The previous Museum was smaller, but it was still an excellent museum.  It featured the most famous cars like the 30s F1 cars, the 500K, Gullwing etc.    I was able to visit the old Mercedes-Benz Museum back in 2003 and recently uploaded the photos.   Of course, this was almost 15 years ago, and digital cameras were still in their infancy.    The quality of the photos is therefore fairly poor, but the cars speak for themselves.    Visiting this museum was the primary reason I went to Stuttgart and it did not disappoint.

Compared to the new museum, it looks a bit poky, but at the time I was blown away but it and thoroughly enjoyed my visit.   So much so that I assumed the nearby Porsche museum would be equally good.     While I hear the Porsche museum is now quite good, at that time, it was basically a gift shop with a couple of old Porsches parked in there.

Then, as now, Mercedes maintain a number of warehouses with cars that are not on display which are not open to the general public.   I have not seen these, and would love to have the opportunity to someday.

The Gilmore Museum, 2010

The Gilmore museum is one of the worlds best car museums.   I was able to visit back in 2010 when I lived in Michigan and it was a highlight.   A friend of mine and I took a trip there in my E-Type, a nice 2 hour drive from Detroit.   The museum is located in Western Michigan, about half way between Detroit and Chicago.   It has a varied collection, but is especially known for its collection of Pierce-Arrows.   Pierce-Arrow were a leading supplier of luxury automobiles alongside the likes of Packard, Duesenberg, Peerless and others.   Like many of these makes, they never really got over the great depression and the company folded in the late 30s.   The theme is probably American luxury as there are also Duesenberg, V16 Cadillacs, Packards and others.

I would rank this museum up in the top car museums I have visited around the world, along with the Louwman and Peterson museums.   If you are ever in Michigan or Chicago, the Gilmore Museum is well worth a trip.

This website did not exist when I visited the museum.   Since it was now seven years ago, the collection may have changed somewhat, but I am sure it is still very impressive.

2010 Concours d’Elegance of America at Meadow Brook

In 2010 I attended the Concours d’Elegance of America, at Meadow Brook hall.   This is still the best concours event I have ever attended.   I was living in Detroit, Michigan at the time and the event was held in the Detroit suburbs.    The Detroit location also meant that there were various concept cars and other rarities that may not be at other shows.   The event is no longer held at Meadow Brook hall, but is still in the Detroit suburbs.

Some of the highlights for me included:

  • The matching pair of Bugatti Type 57S Atalante and other French luxury cars such as the Voisin.
  • A striking Rolls Royce Phantom III.
  • A number of Duesenbergs.
  • The Tucker.
  • Various American luxury cars including Packards, Pierce Arrrows etc.
  • Mercedes 500K special roadster.

I would return in a heartbeat.    These are cars that are rarely seen at shows in America, let alone in Australia.     It was one of those shows where four hours was gone at the blink of an eyelid and there was still more to see.