CITROEN DS 19 Usine Cabriolet 1961






scale 1:18

Model number: 181598


Review of the model:

It is sometime easy to forget how a car can be giant leap for mankind in our days. But once a while, they do pup up. In 1955 in France, when the new Citron DS 19 had its show off on Paris Motor Show. All other cars just became outdated over night. If we combine the Italian bodywork of Bertone and the French Chapron, mixed with an equal amount of aircraft technology and style, we have the ingredients of a timeless car icon of all time. And after some years of special manufactured convertibles, Citroen decided to make their own Usine Décapotable (cabriolet) right from the factory in 1961.

Now Norev the rather famous (in Europe) model carmaker from France had made a replica of this beautiful classic car in scale 1:18. The model comes with both the closed soft top and the open configuration. The real Citroen have a nice feature of variable height of the body from the frame and wheels. Great salutes to Norev for incorporate a mechanism, where you can chose the car stand whatever the environment you encounter. Norev have a great variety of European classics cars and yet only small amount of US carmakers. For whom not familiar with this brand, will be amazed over the detail richness and realism the models have and their price range is from mid-low to mid (70 -100 Euros) as Mercedes Benz are a bit higher due to license matters.

If we go back to the review and take a look at the car in profile the models paintwork is very good and the small sparks is well scaled in the silver metallic paint. The wheels are nice with realistic white-wall tires and hub caps/bezels of shiny chrome is spot on. The lower part of the body is detached with a wide chrome trim between the wheels and above a pair of parallel chrome trims. The latter is only painted in silver – a bit shame.

However; all other chrome parts are well made and very realistic looking all over the model,  that’s including the bezels around the lights. And speaking of the lamps and lights;  the lenses are all made of real plastic that give the model an exclusive feeling. Compared to US cars this European land yacht is sparse on chrome trim and only a rear mirror behind the windscreen is present. A fine photo-etched metal emblem is on the deck lid nicely embedded in the varnish, so no need to worry when the cleaner comes. The deck lid itself opens to reveal a small trunk that only engulfs a pair of suitcases. On the other hand the hood up front is huge, it cover the entire engine compartment and radiator and spare tire/wheel. Inside here the richness in details is good with the strait 4-cyl 1900 ccm Citroen Motor, hoses, jack and clamps etc. All carefully made in scale.

The gem of this model car is the interior although the carpet is missing (as on some of Norev models) but fortunately well hidden in the dark color. The real car has great comfort leather seats in a color matching dark red. The 1:18 Citroen from Norev have made them to perfection.

In the late fifties and early sixties Citroen dashboards and instrument panels were in a world of its own in style an innovation. The model is no exception but a small gap right down in the middle in the casting ruin the full pleasure! -Until one discover the real car have it too! Norev do it right. The one-spoke steering wheel and instrument gauge is good. If a sudden shower comes you have the choice to “close” the soft top due to the extra plastic part with in the package, also here all things fits well and the rear window glazing is in good quality.

Often when I review a model. I often held it up on how much has to be done to make the model more realistic. In this case some could make a carpet for the model but I choose to let it go. Norev are very good models and only some can have issues like bad quality control from China were they are produced. I my case here, a headlight was lose in the box as well as the windscreen. Maybe only I was unlucky, but it’s a problem on many makers out there and can be a pain in the … If you choose to order a model to a no modeler as a gift.

Norev model cars is well made in die-cast metal but feels lighter in weight than others, but all casting is crisp and realistic in scale with on big gaps around opening doors and lids. This model of the Citroen DS 19 Cabriolet is very well made and looks stunning anywhere you choose to display it. The model can not score all six stars – but nearly!

I will give this model 5 out of 6 stars  ******

Below here are pictures of the model, historical description, old brochures, technical data and some movie clips for the real car. So please enjoy!




  Hoax brochure front page  
  High stand with the soft top up  
  Very clear rear window glazing  
Riding on air cushions
A true low rider
An European land yacht
Look at those rear lights!
Ready for a ride
Style Icon
Note the spare tire is in the front among the motor
With the top down the flowing lines is highlighted
Aerodynamic shape all over
A friendly face
Wide track on the front axel
One of the most sought after models of Citroen DS 19
looong wheel base
Sparse trim panels on Citroen
Beautiful interior with red leather seats
Note the small circular break pedal - a feature that was hard to handle for the new Citroen DS 19 buyers
Seats as the sofas at home
Easy to fetch the spare wheel in the front
A well detailed engine compartment
The silver metallic paint is flawless
What a cool car
A rather small trunk
Every spot on this car is newly designed and looks like they come from a futuristic airliner
A very long rear fender
A right car to explore the rural France
A true goddess
Only 1,300 produced as Cabriolet
Note the complex shape of the door
Today this car is very expensive
Are you ready to purchase a scale model?
A small flaw in the dashboard - no it's also on the real car!
Norev had made a fine model of this 1961 Citroen DS 19 Usine Décapotable
  Out in the open  




She may be 64 years old, but the Goddess looks as good today as she did when she stole the show at the 1955 Paris Motor Show. So, by way of a tribute to one of the greatest cars of the 20th century, we felt compelled to celebrate the life and times of a French masterpiece. The Citroen DS: this is your life.

Launched at the Grand Palais des Expositions, Paris
The Citroen DS stopped people in their tracks when the covers were pulled off at the Grand Palais des Expositions in Paris. Quite simply, it was a revelation.

Causing a stir. The Citroen DS was unveiled to a packed Paris Motor Show at 9am on Thursday 5 October 1955. At the same time, a number of DSs were being driven through the crowded streets of Paris. They caused quite a stir. Within minutes of its unveiling, Citroen had received over 700 orders for the DS. By the end of the day, that number had increased to 12,000. The Citroen DS had arrived. By the time the Paris Motor Show was over, Citroen had received 79,000 orders for the DS. - to my knowledge not surpassed ever.

These figures are even more impressive considering the company was selling the DS for the lofty price of 940,000 francs and asking all buyers to leave an 80,000-franc deposit. Furthermore, customers were told they’d have to wait about a year and a half for their brand new DS to arrive. Everyone wanted to be associated with the Goddess and its film star looks. But this beauty was more than just skin deep. .

Replaced the Citroen Traction Avant
It replaced the hugely successful but ageing Citroen Traction Avant. Like the DS, the Traction Avant – which is French for ‘front-wheel-drive’ – was a landmark car. But unsurprisingly, some 20 years on from its launch, it was in need of replacement.

DS is French for Goddess. Step forward the Citroen DS, which stands for ‘Déese’, which in turn is French for ‘Goddess’. It’s pronounced “day ess”, which could be an important thing to remember if you’re at a dinner party discussing the most important cars of the past 100 years.

One of the greatest cars of the 20th century? It can lay claim to being one of the most significant and perhaps greatest cars of the 20th century. In most polls, the Citroen DS is placed in the top 10, more often than not in the top five.

Third in the Car of the Century awards Indeed, the Citroen DS came third in the Car of the Century awards, beaten only by the Ford Model T and the Mini. It was also named the most beautiful car of all time by Classic & Sports Car magazine.

The DS was a true show-stopper. But just what makes the Citroen DS so special? Let’s remember that the DS arrived in 1955, a time when Europe was still recovering from the effects of World War II. Here was a car quite unlike anything that had gone before – this was a true show-stopper.

Work had begun on the Citroen DS soon after the launch of the Traction Avant in 1934. It was codenamed VGD, which stood for ‘Voiture á Grand Diffusion’, or ‘mass-produced car’. Developed alongside it was the Toute Petite Voiture (TPV), or very small car. It was World War II that saw the VGD project being mothballed in favour of the TPV, a project that would culminate in the arrival of the Citroen 2CV in 1948. Two cars of equal significance but hugely different purposes.

Transforming the hippopotamus
By the early 1950s, work had restarted on project VGD. Flaminio Bertoni, Citroen’s chief stylist, was responsible for transforming early prototypes that had earned an unfortunate hippopotamus nickname into something worthy of the Goddess name tag.

Tested on the roads of southern France. The development of the Citroen DS was a closely guarded secret and Citroen’s bosses went to great lengths to keep things under wraps. Early prototypes were spotted on the roads of southern France, much to the annoyance of Pierre Bercot, Citroen’s managing director.

No teaser campaigns for the Citroen DS. Angered by the test cars being spotted in the wild, Bercot heightened security and ensured no further leaks would occur. Unlike today, there would be no teaser campaigns and no pre-show images. The world would have to wait until the 1955 Paris Motor Show.

Citroen had planned to utilise an entirely new flat-six engine for the Citroen DS, something that would have undoubtedly matched its forward-thinking design and engineering. It wasn’t to be, as the development work would have proved too costly.
Instead the Citroen DS had to ‘make do’ with the 1911cc, four-cylinder engine of the Traction Avant. It would be years before the DS received the engine it deserved, although the public seemed unconcerned.

Aerodynamic styling of the future
The Citroen DS was a big car, stretching 189 inches from bumper to bumper. Its aerodynamic styling was like something from the future and motorists weren’t accustomed to seeing cars with frameless doors and without radiator grilles.

Hydropneumatic suspension The Citroen DS’s chief party trick was its hydropneumatic, self-levelling suspension. The ride height could be controlled from inside the car and it meant the DS would give its occupants the feeling they were riding on a cushion of air. But that wasn’t all. The Citroen DS – known officially as the DS19 – featured powered brakes, power steering and a powered gear selection system. They worked by using high-pressure hydraulic circuits typically found on an aircraft.

Nobody had a clue how these things worked. Perhaps unsurprisingly, such complex mechanicals brought with them one or two issues. Aside from the development team, nobody had any idea how these things worked. Security had been so tight, Citroen hadn’t thought to brief the Citroen workshops.

Workshop manuals were required
Many owners found themselves with no steering, brakes, gearbox or suspension, and would have been stood scratching their heads wondering what on earth to do to fix the problem. Under the warranty agreements Citroen had to repair them, so workshop manuals and diagrams were quickly drawn up.

Some cars were built in Slough, UK. This caused particular problems in Slough, where Citroen produced a number of UK-built DSs. Citroen wasn’t keen on releasing details of the complex suspension system, not even to the factory in Slough. This didn’t make things easy for Citroen’s UK arm or indeed its customers. The UK-built Citroen DS cars were subtly different to those built in France, most notably the number plate holder and Lucas light lenses at the back of the car. Small changes were also evident on the inside.

Revolutionary interior
Flaminio Bertoni’s interior design for the Citroen DS was nothing short of brilliant. The signature piece was the single-spoke steering wheel, which sat in front of a revolutionary thermoplastic dashboard. In the UK this was created by a vacuum forming process, as opposed to the injection moulding method used in France.

Waiting lists of 18 months
The Citroen DS19 had hit the ground running. Notwithstanding the rather lacklustre engine and the initial problems surrounding the hydraulics, the DS had generated a tremendous amount of goodwill. Waiting lists extended to 18 months, with motorists desperate to spend quality time with the Goddess. But there was a problem. A Citroen DS19 cost £1,726 including purchase tax, making it more costly than a Mk11 Jaguar (£1,711) and a Rover 105 (£1,696). Such a revolutionary design costs money. But what of those who didn’t have the means to afford such a car?

The Citroen ID19 was born
Step forward the Citroen ID19, a cheaper alternative to the DS19. It retained the engine of the DS19, albeit with reduced horsepower, but it lacked the revolutionary dashboard and the hydraulic brakes, gears and steering. That said, it did offer the hydropneumatic suspension. In keeping with the approach to naming adopted for the DS, the ID was short for ‘Idée’, or ‘Idea’ in French. Naturally, the DS19 was still the one to have, but hats off to Citroen for making the basic design accessible to more people.

The Citroen DS Break
The ID had arrived in 1956, but the range grew further in 1958 to include the DS Break, otherwise known as an estate or station wagon. These cars were aimed at commercial buyers as well as growing families. Familiale or Commerciale
The Familiale versions offered three rows of seats, either in 7-seater or 8-seater guise, while the Commerciale was aimed more at businesses and artisans. Their practicality was enhanced by a roof rack and a two-piece tailgate.

Citroen DS Decapotable
But the DS didn’t stop there, because in 1958 Citroen bowed to public pressure by building a Decapotable or cabriolet version. Coachbuilders had already been making their own versions of a topless DS, so it was inevitable that Citroen would do the same.

A very expensive version The DS Decapotable looked stunning, almost as though it was destined to be a drop-top from the start. But it didn’t come cheap and a price tag more than double that of a standard car meant that few were produced. A total of 1,365, in fact.

Amazingly, the Citroen ID19 also enjoyed success in motorsport circles, including a win in the 1959 Monte Carlo Rally and again in 1966 when the disqualification of four Mini Coopers resulted in the fourth place Citroen being propelled to the overall winner.

Citroen DS Pallas
The DS/ID would continue to evolve throughout the 1960s and Citroen added a range-topping Pallas model. The Pallas featured a host of external trim upgrades, including full wheel covers, chrome and brushed aluminium trim and two extra driving lights.

Citroen DS Pallas interior upgrades
The Citroen DS Pallas also featured better noise insulation, luxury velour upholstery and – if required – optional leather.

A car fit for royalty. Unsurprisingly, the great and the good of France were keen to be associated with the Citroen DS. The Citroen DS is also credited with saving the life of President Charles De Gaulle in 1962. A group called the OAS opened fire on the car with a hail of 140 bullets. The windows were shattered and all four tyres were punctured, but, thanks to the suspension system, the DS was able to be driven away from the scene.

Engine developments
Further engine options arrived in the 1960s, all based on the existing four-cylinder engine. These included the DS20 and the DS21, with the latter featuring a 2.1-litre engine capable of a top speed of 108mph.

A facelift for the Citroen DS
The most significant development of the late 1960s was the facelift of 1967. Citroen called in the help of Robert Opron, who also worked on the Citroen SM, GS and CX. He didn’t have to work too hard on what was already a stunning piece of design

The key development was the arrival of new headlights, with four lights mounted behind transparent covers. The outer pair were linked to the suspension to maintain a level beam regardless of the car’s movement. The inner lamps swivelled with the steering, something that’s only just becoming commonplace on cars today. Swivelling lights were not permitted on cars in the United States, so US-registered DSs featured a set of four exposed lights that didn’t swivel. In truth, the DS was never a big seller in the US.

The millionth car
In 1968, Citroen produced the one-millionth DS, a car that was displayed at the flagship store on the Champs-Élysées in Paris. Later it would be given away as a raffle prize to a lucky 22-year-old student.

Sales in excess of 100,000 units a year
By the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Citroen DS/ID remained incredibly popular, with sales figures breaking the 100,000 mark in 1967 and 1970. But there could be no doubt the Goddess was on borrowed time.

The final Citroen DS rolled off the production line on the 24th April 1975. A 20-year lifespan, during which time its popularity never waned and few cars could match its blend of supreme comfort and technical innovation.

Nearly 1.5 million cars built
In total, 1,455,746 DSs and IDs were sold, including cabriolets, commercial vehicles, rally cars, ambulances and family transport. Of these, 1,330,755 were built in Paris. An icon of the 20th century? Absolutely.

It is said that the Citroen DS was built 20 years ahead of its time and, given it remained a technical masterpiece in 1975, this much is certainly true. Its legacy lived on in the SM, CX, BX, XM and even the Xantia.

A global icon
The Citroen DS is one of a select number of cars that is recognisable across the world. Certainly, the fact it was built in France, UK, Belgium, South Africa, Yugoslavia and Australia may have helped this, but few cars have enjoyed such universal appeal.

A bonafide classic car
Today, the Citroen DS is a highly sought-after classic car, with values on the up. The complexity of the hydraulics means that specialist assistance is often required when keeping them alive, but the rewards are plain to see.

The automotive hall of fame
Where does the Citroen DS sit in the automotive hall of fame? Up there with the likes of the Mini, the Beetle, the Jaguar E-Type, the Ford Model T and the Land Rover. Revolutionary cars that shook the world.

A technical masterpiece
In the UK, the Citroen DS is viewed as a technical masterpiece and a stunning piece of design. But in its native France, things were different. To the French, it was simply a form of transport. Bargains can be sourced if you’re prepared to look for them. The DS was simply a working machine
Let’s not remember, the Citroen DS didn’t showcase options and accessories for the sake of it. The DS featured useable technology that served a real purpose. For all its majesty and grace, the DS was simply a working machine.

Technical specification:

LENGTH: 189.4 in OR 4811 mm

WIDTH: 70.5 in OR 1791 mm

HEIGHT: 57.9 in OR 1471 mm

FRONT/REAR TRACK: 59/51.2 in OR 1,499/1,300 mm

WHEELBASE: 123 in OR 3124 mm

GROUND CLEARANCE: 6.3 in OR 160 mm



POWER: 53 KW @ 4500 RPM
71 HP @ 4500 RPM
71 BHP @ 4500 RPM

TOP SPEED: 87 mph OR 140 km/h


Front Wheel Drive GEARBOX Sequential, 4 Speed
FRONT Discs REAR Drums
TIRE SIZE 165 X 400


Old brochures of the car























  Screen shot of the movie "By the sea" 2015  




  Making of "By the sea" 2015  



Video of the real car from YouTube

  Citroen DS19 Cabriolet Usine classic review (Dutch but remember to use subtitles)  
  Brad Pitt et Angelina Jolie dans la Citroën DS Cabriolet Chapron (Movie picture: By the sea 2015)  
  Auto-Ikonen: Citroen DS, die schwebende Göttin (German)  
  Citroën 60 years DS - Commercial (French but remember to use subtitles)  


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Dealers are welcome to get their models reviewed too.






Aeronautic Sep. 2019


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