This Citroën DS19 arrived a week or two back. It didn't cost very much and I was interested as it was all green.
I could understand that something like this could occur, simply a batch missing out on the final black spray during production.
There was something about it, though, which troubled me. The roof was noticeably more shiny than the rest of the car. I could also detect very fine lines in the paintwork but there really was no black anywhere. What you might think you can observe in this photo is merely shadow or just tricks of the light. Believe me, there is no black.
My artist wife is remarkably good at identifying paint and colours and she was convinced that not only had the top been painted but she reckoned the whole car had been too. I really hadn't thought the main body had been painted and even if the top had been painted, it had been a pretty good job not to have made even the slightest error and missed a bit or touched the windows somewhere. The base had not been touched.
We agreed to differ as I really could not imagine that someone could possibly have painted the whole car so well. and if they'd merely done the roof, they had been very lucky to find the exact match of colour which, for a metallic shade in particular, as it was genuinely identical, apart from the lacquer.
There was nothing for it. I had to buy another one and that might help me decide what might have happened. Luckily there were a couple for sale or auction and I obtained them at very reasonable prices. One was the same vintage - with the 'differential' bulge - the other has yet to arrive but was also all green.
Now, of course, it is quite clear! My wife was right. The whole car had been painted. The shade is, indeed, consistent from body to roof but it is not the same as the colour of the one that I am sure is a genuine 210.
I do still find it remarkable that someone has made such a good job of the painting, although looking at the pictures now I do see more faults but nothing was particularly perfect in the 1950s either. People repainting invariably get the silver parts wrong, with too much more often than not, and they are so tempted to add something while they have a brush in their hand. I had noticed some red tail lights on this which I had thought might be incorrect but I see that the genuine one has them too so that was OK after all.
The difference between the two greens is quite clear when they're side by side but not at all when observing a single model.
I am now waiting to finish this article with the arrival of the second one that I won at an auction and which appears pleasantly all green in the photos. One colleague spotted some black on the roof but the marks were very similar to the 'black' on mine so I await the real thing before commenting any more. I do feel that there ought to be a few all green Citroëns out there, and all yellow ones too for that matter. I just haven't, after all, found any yet.
And now I can continue as the third green 210 has arrived, the other 'all green' one.
Well, if I hadn't seen the others my first thoughts would be that this looks pretty damn genuine, not something anyone has tampered with and still wearing its stick-on wheel trims from one of the Corgi Accessory packs. (Usually these have been attached off-centre or they've worn badly or one is missing and I prefer to remove them. That's not easy as the glue is really sticky, incidentally. But these look OK so they'll stay.)
Everything's looking good and then we look at the roof.
It has a distinct 'black' look about it - as if there were black underneath or a coat of black had not been entirely removed.
So I have to wonder all over again just what is going on, or coming off, here. Help!
The base looks fine. I have to believe that they're the original rivets. That dab of silver on the front valence is a little odd but nothing we haven't seen on totally original factory models when the brush slipped, and I think it would have been a brush for this model.
I dug out the other two in the hope of some inspiration. The latest 'all green' does look very much like the earlier one. The paint texture is very similar and quite different from the black-roof 210.
The two shades are not identical but very close and distinct from teh genuine article shown here. I am inclined to think that this is is the work of the same person. Few can have the ability to be so precise around windows, or skilled with the masking tape. Surprisingly, though, the splash of green on the silver at the front on one shown here is not what one would expect from such a perfectionist. There is a slight difference in the rivets on the genuine article but I have seen many other genuine 210 models with the more regular finish as the two on the left below display. We know that professional restorers now often use a similar rivet but it is very fresh-looking and always stands out and to those of us used to looking at these things it is always obviously a case of the base having been removed. You can been buy soft metal rivet heads to stick on but, again they're invariably in an incorrect design.
I have to believe these are all genuine, original rivets and that the bases have been in place since leaving the factory. Which means there has to have been someone out there with a good, but not quite right, shade of metallic green and a very, very steady hand.
I had hoped one of the 'all greens' would be a nice variation and still wonder, even at this last stage of writing, that maybe there was another batch of paint used by Corgi and that these may be more interesting than repaints. However I have to conclude that they're nothing more than an interesting couple of models which someone has spent some time on.
I'll have to sell the first 'all green' as a repainted model now instead of as a scarce find but I think I'll still get my £10 back. The latest one I may hang on to for a while. Its holiday triangles in the rear window, registration plates, CD plate and tax disc all tell me that, if it had been messed around with, it was a long time ago - before they were added. Now that's a thought. Yes, I will hang on to this one.