Last post on May 06, 2002 at 6:44 PM
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Coupe, Convertible, Sedan
#38 of 47 Citromatic? A time bomb!
May 03, 2002 (6:51 am)
Several centuries ago I had a DS-19 with Citromatic. Very interesting to drive a clutchless manual transmission, but it had a built-in time bomb. The four forward gears' shift forks were moved by opposing hydraulic cylinders. Move the shift lever from, say, 1 to 2, and the '1' cylinder would lose pressure, the 2 cylinder would gain pressure and push the fork from 1 to 2.
But, the shift forks were moved to the neutral position by springs that butted on tabs that extended from the gearbox casing. Shift from 2 to 3 and a spring would move the 1-2 fork to neutral while a hydraulic cylinder moved the 3-4 fork to 3. Similarly, on a shift from reverse to a forward gear, a spring pushed the reverse fork to its neutral position.
How did I learn this? The tab on which the 'out of reverse' spring butted broke off, leaving the car permanently (until the gearbox casing was replaced) in reverse. Not recommended.
May 03, 2002 (8:39 am)
Oh, this all sounds so very French. They come up with the strangest bits of engineering. Fascinating solutions to problems, but one has to wonder.
May 03, 2002 (2:25 pm)
Sounds like the automotive equivalent of the Maginot Line.
May 04, 2002 (5:51 am)
Yes, it is sort of like that. The Maginot line was a technical wonder, and worked very well within a narrow range. American troops used to take target practice on the fortifications in 1944-45 and found them to be incredibly resistance to artillery. Not, however, to parachutes and flanking.
The French are very clever but they do go their own way, that's for sure.
May 05, 2002 (10:04 pm)
I bet Rube Goldberg was French in reality...
May 06, 2002 (5:35 am)
If you compare the original DS to modern cars, you'll find any number of similarities, such as the active suspension and the attempt at "real" aerodynamics. The '55 Citroen was incredibly advanced for its time, about 75 light years ahead of a '55 Chevy.
And worth about 75 times less today---LOL!
Sometimes it is NOT good to be TOO FAR ahead of one's time. Just a little is best I think, whether it be in design, politics or art.
#44 of 47 Mr. Shiftright:
May 06, 2002 (3:09 pm)
If the Citroen ID and DS cars cost more than the average Chevys when new, why are they not worth much money these days?
May 06, 2002 (4:06 pm)
If you took a poll of 100 U.S. residents, which car do you think 100 of them would prefer to own?
May 06, 2002 (5:04 pm)
Obviously the Chevrolet. I have been in one old Citroen before (when I was in France), and dude, I was not at all impressed by it. Too funky.
May 06, 2002 (6:44 pm)
I've never driven a DS-21 but I have driven the Citroen SM, a very impressive car for the time (early '80s when one fell into my hands briefly). Not that I'd want to own one. My neighbor has an SM and it's hers forever as far as I'm concerned.