My Car Quest

September 30, 2023

My Car Adventure – The Citroen DS 21 And The Hood

by Bob Wachtel –

Many years ago, between my first and current marriage, I was living the bachelor life in a bungalow in the Seagate section of Coney Island in Brooklyn, N.Y. At that time I owned a wonderful white Citroen DS 21.

Citroen DS 21

I loved this car for several reasons. It rode like a cloud, you could raise or lower it from inside. This came in handy when you had to drive over a flooded area on the highway. You could take off the rear fender in case of a flat tire by just removing a bolt in the rear. You didn’t need a hydraulic jack to lift the car up to change a flat. It was a miser with gas consumption. It was super comfortable. One of the best features of all was that the velour front bench seat would go all the way down. This came in handy at times.

One morning as I had just gotten started driving the Citroen to work on a beautiful day I turned on the radio to some nice music to thoroughly enjoy the half hour ride to work. Before I got on the highway as I was approaching a huge intersection I spotted something nice on the left that was walking across the intersection.

It was a very attractive Latino lady that one couldn’t avoid looking at. Her look and her strut just oozed sex appeal and she had a body that backed it up. I was so mesmerized by her that I wasn’t paying attention to the road as I was slowing down to the intersection.

All of a sudden, “boom”. I looked straight ahead only to see all white blocking my view from the windshield. I then muttered to myself, “oh s__t, I must have slammed into a city sanitation truck. I wasn’t hurt, just shaken up by the surprise. I decided to get out of the car and apologize to the sanitation truck driver for my negligence and to see what damage I caused to the Citroen.

But what do I find? My hood latch had suddenly popped and my white hood had flipped back and went against the windshield. What an embarrassment. I immediately pulled the hood down even though it was damaged and then drove the car to the side of the road. I secured the hood to the grill with some electrical wire I had in the trunk and proceeded to continue to drive to work.

During my lunch hour I drove my truck to the local auto junk yard and was able to locate another hood in white for my car for $50. Try doing that today. I was very lucky.

After work, I swapped hoods and my Citroen was as nice as before. I certainly learned from that experience to focus my attention solely on what’s in front of me when I’m driving.

Let us know what you think in the Comments.



Citroen DS 21

My Car Adventure - The Citroen DS 21 And The Hood
Article Name
My Car Adventure - The Citroen DS 21 And The Hood
All of a sudden, “boom”. I looked straight ahead only to see all white blocking my view from the windshield.


  1. pimm fox says

    Where is DS21 now?


      • Bob Wachtel says

        You meant the Deux Chevaux which is for the two chevrons on its’ badge. Two chevrons are like a corporal’s stripes. As far as the highway speed on the Citroen DS21 goes, it certainly wasn’t fast. However when I owned it the speed limit on the highway near me was 50 mph. Let’s face it, This was strictly a very hip-looking “make out” vehicle Skip.I didn’t buy it for speed.

        • Wayne Watkins says

          You are incorrect Bob as deux chevaux translated means two horses and that particular model was called the 2CV . With its tiny air cooled motor designed for farmers to replace their two horse drawn vehicles over rough terrain . From memory the originals were made of corrugated steel for strength and only had one headlight .

  2. Bob Wachtel says

    I haven’t the vaguest idea where it is now. We’re talking about 45 years ago. However, every time I see a vintage Citroen in a foreign movie it brings a smile to my face. This car still turns heads. It was way ahead of its’ time.

  3. Glenn Krasner says

    Although this turned out not to be the case, attractive Latina ladies walking in Brooklyn have been known to cause many car accidents in that locale!!!!!

  4. Raymond Zinn says

    “certainly learned from that experience to focus my attention solely on what’s in front of me when I’m driving.”
    What, wait; just how does your obviously inattentive driving relate to the hood coming unlatched?

    Also, why was the brake pedal a button? Was there something special about the way it worked?
    And while I’m at it, just how stable was the single spoke steering wheel?
    And another aside, to this day one of my favorite cars was the SM.

    • Bob Wachtel says

      The single spoke steering wheel was quite stable and I never had a busted tail light lens from another car tapping into the Citroen’s rear due to the roof-mounted tail lights. As far as the round brake pedal/ button, I can’t remember much about it. As far as the SM goes, I used to stop by an automobile showroom just to gaze at the awesome white SM on display. Unfortunately, new Citroen’s are no longer sold in the U.S. thru dealerships.

  5. Raymond Zinn says

    Oh, by the way, are you sure the car didn’t sense your interest?

  6. Wayne Watkins says

    American advertising for the DS in the 50’s said ” It takes a special person to drive a special car ” .At its launch in October 1955 after the Paris Motor show 80,000 deposits were taken for new DS21’s , a record that stood for over 60 years until the launch of the Tesla model 3 in 2016 where 180,000 orders were taken in the first day . Quite a car with its only minor defect being such a small 4 cylinder engine due to the French governments tax laws on engine size .

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