Now and again a number of ideas seem great when they are idly mentioned. Where a couple of beers are involved the ideas seemed to be freer flowing amongst friends. It was of little surprise in that case that the idea of touring a wine region of France seemed like a great idea. This would not be achieved by simply flying over either or driving whatever car for the trip. Oh no. A special trip would demand a special car. In this case it would be a friend’s recently acquired Citroen DS21 Pallas.
Yup, a friend of mine a few years ago decided to buy a rather lovely yet iconic Citroen. Initially you wonder what the fuss is about. This would all change after a ride in the car, where the serene ride quality won us over by the spades. Speed bump up ahead? Not a problem. Even the engine which has a reputation for being legarghic seemed acceptable. That was thanks to this being a rare ‘Injectione Electronique’ model with Bosch D-Jetronic injection.
That said all of us were aware of the car’s issues. It had a couple of leaks from the suspension system, and like any old car it was temperamental. This would prove to be the case as the owner tackled many parts of it with some bits baffling him as well as a classic car repairers. The steering rack for example was not like a normal item when it came to replacing it! It seemed to be buried deep within the car with its share of fixtures shearing and so on!
As we found out they seem to work best on the correct Michelin tyres ; this was shod on very old Vredesteins.
As time went on by the regions for visiting were also discussed. Burgundy seemed to fit the bill very nicely, with the reservations being put in place.
Towards 2016 things seemed to look up but the scale of what my friend was up against did start to dawn on us!
Even I ended up helping out. That was me pretending to be a drunk French mechanic on the job. As like anything French from that era everything was a little different. Most drums I have seen only require adjustment from one place. In the case of a DS that is 4 places per drum!
Fast forward to 2017 and the car was still not quite ready! The injection system was playing up as was the charging system. If that was not enough there was Chromework of the car with specialists awaiting refurbishment. All of a sudden the scale of what lay ahead seemed to dawn on us! With the wings still being in primer a month before we were due to leave it hardly filled us with confidence!
We even wondered if our backup car would be a Ropey DS that we spotted in Amsterdam! At least that was a runner!
Little did we know my friend’s DS would end up getting the wings fitted after being repaired in addition to even getting an MOT. Surely with a first time pass days before the trip all would be well?