Monday, 4 January 2016

Citroen DS19: from M to Magic Roundabout

Apart from one being a sort of mustard colour and the other yellow, these two Citroen DS19s look pretty much the same. Until you look at the base, that is.

One has a bulge similar to (but not the same as) the cover that might be necessary for an M type friction motor. When this model first appeared it shared catalogue space with several others which did have M variants, like the Studebaker 211M, Thunderbird 214M and even the little Austin A40 had a 216M model. 

It was not to be, though, for the Citroen. Some say that there wasn't room in the uniquely narrowing shape of the dynamic body style. It may alternatively have been associated with the fact that the Citroen was front wheel drive so a sort of differential unit located on the rear axle would be wrong anyway. Or, I wonder, had management noted the poor sales of their M model range and decided not to bother but still had a few base plates lying around that got fitted anyway.

Whatever the case, these bases with a bulge are scarce but often sellers do not realise that their car is different so prices can be very reasonable if you are lucky. This casting had a long (and strange later) life as you'll see from the photos that follow. 

After the metallic green and black version suspension and an interior were added to make 210S. Only available in red.

A very nice and quite sought after Monte Carlo rally edition 323 came along in 1965 with an aerial and four jewelled fog lamps.

This model has the honour of being part of one of the scarcest Gift Sets. Gift Set 38 contained a 321 Mini Cooper, 322 Rover 2000 and this 323 Citroen DS19. Good sets sell for £2000 or more. The Citroen alone can fetch over £300 in an original box.

Not long after comes a CoupĂ© in a rare blue and white or more common and quite gorgeous metallic maroon. Well, the maroon would be good if the paint actually stayed on the body. The addition of nice wire wheels looked great. 

Then, sadly, things began to go more than just a little wrong with the Whizzwheels, a further slicing of the CoupĂ© with some ghastly rail affair added. Plastic headlamp covers would have been much cheaper than the jewels of before (and the fog lamps which tended to break off) but they were, at least, rather more current. This edition was all about cycling. Someone on the Corgi board must have had a think about bikes as he also did weird bike stuff with the Renault 16.

As if that wasn't enough, Corgi finally put the nail in their own coffin with a ridiculous yellow version with flowers and red plastic wheels and characters from The Magic Roundabout TV series replacing the bike man and spare wheels.

I do have much fondness for the TV series but these have not been models I have wanted to collect. I may have to get one of these just to complete the 'Citroen' collection though. Hopefully I can get one for a very small price as I don't think I could bear to pay much more than a pound or two for this!

Before you start writing to remind me, I know that there were also a whole run of estate models - you can read all about those in an earlier post.

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