1958, February 12:

On this winter day another beautiful Citroën DS19 was carefully finished in the Quai de Javel factory in Paris.



A DS19 being finished in the Citroën factory


This car with chassis no: 33629 was equipped with body panels in elegant ”Noir AC 200” with roof and wheels in stylish ”Bleu turquoise AC 137” and interior upholstery in ”Jersey Gris Elephant”. It was destined for the Swedish capital Stockholm.

This is the story of that car.




1958, April 15:

The car was first registered to Automobiles Citroën in Stockholm and it was driven its first 10000 km in three months as a company car by Theodor Arendahl who was head of Citroën in Sweden at the time. [Coincidentally April 15 1958 was also the day the Swedish Citroën car club was founded]



Mr Arendahl test driving an early DS in Stockholm 1956


1958, July 28:

The engineer Mr Tore Gidlund from Sollentuna outside Stockholm bought the car second hand directly from the head of sales for Citroën in Sweden. Mr Gidlund only drove the car 8000 km in five months until one unfortunate December day in 1958 when he slid of the road and hit a lamppost with the right side of the car.

The insurance company ”Ansvar” redeemed the car from Mr Gidlund. The story of this car could have ended here, with the car being scrapped but faith had other plans for this car.



Mr Gidlund as test driver for Scania Trucks, in a 1970s broshure.


1958, December 29:

The inventor Mr Julius Lindblom from Sollentuna bought the wounded DS19 from the insurance company and had the damage from the accident repaired by his next door neighbor Mr. Sture Brolin who had a car repair workshop.



The DS19 outside its garage of more than 2 decades


Mr Lindblom had since the 1930:s among other things been developing ambitious ideas of tilting train cars for high speed trains, he was first in the world to patent solutions for tilting train cars.  After previously testing his ideas on models he proceeded with full scale experiments on cars. First during the 1940s with a hand-made prototype car built on a custom made aluminium body,  some Citroën Traction parts and a VW engine, and during the 1950s with a VW kleinbus based prototype.


   

   Mr Lindbloms first two prototypes in action. [video]


In 1955 Citroën introduced the groundbreaking DS19 and Mr Lindblom decided to use the new well suited Citroën DS hydropneumatic system for his next prototype.


1959, May:

In the summer of 1959 the work commenced with transforming the elegant newly repaired Citroën DS19 into an advanced prototype vehicle with Mr Lindbloms patented* suspension system that automatically inclined the car body up to 9 degrees into the bend when driving in a curve! *The patent can be downloaded here.



Mr Julius Lindblom presenting the inclining DS19.


1959, July 1:

The car was registered with “hydraulic self adjusting system” and over the following 20 years the technology was carefully tested and improved.



The inventor Mr Julius Lindblom working on his prototype.


Mr Lindblom once said when asked if his system was suitable for cars; ”No... there are enough accidents already... it could possibly be suitable for ambulances...” implying that people would overrate their diving capabilities with such a car.

During all these years the car was stored in a garage between short test track drives, with a modest 1000 km added to the mileage.





















A video of the prototype DS19 in action!


1979:

The hydraulics were restored to its original functionality by Mr Lindblom and the prototype parts where donated to the Swedish Technical museum in Stockholm.

Mr Lindblom kept promoting his inventions to the train industry world wide.

This type of inclining suspension system is currently in use in many parts of the world including the Swedish high speed train X2000, but that is a different story...



Mr Lindblom saying his farewell to the DS19 in 1980.


1980, April:

The true Citroën enthusiast Mr Thomas Claesson from Åkersberga outside Stockholm bought the DS19.

After years of passionate devotion to the ”Traction” he had now found interest in the DS.



Mr Claesson proudly driving the DS19 home in 1980


Over the years Mr Claesson started restoring and documenting the car. Mr Claesson nicknamed the car “Hjulius” after its previous owner Julius Lindblom. [ Hjul is Swedish for wheels ]

In 1981 Mr. Claesson published an article about this DS19 and its story in the Scandinavian Citroën magazine ”Attraction”.

[As a ten year old kid I read this article and since then the myth of this car has rested in my subconscious...]



Mr Claesson working on the DS19 in the 1980:s


The process of restoration paused around 1986 and the DS19 was then resting in its garage for over 20 years before the decision was taken to find a new owner for the car. 

During its time with Mr Claesson less than 100 km was added to the mileage of the car, resulting in a total of only 19750 km so fare from when the car left the factory.


2006, May 8:

I am now the proud owner of this wonderful car, without a doubt the ultimate car of my dreams.

My job is now to maintain the legacy of this unique piece of automotive history.




The car is now going through a massive restoration.

The target is to carefully and without any compromises restore the car to its original splendor, without loosing the well preserved charm and details from its history...






  1.    Read about the ongoing restoration here!

  2.    I am still looking for some spare parts, check the list here!


Many thanks to Thomas Claesson and Julius Lindblom

for material, facts and great inspiration!

 

The story of a 1958 DS19