6th place – Jack Shepherdson’s Top 10 Classic Grand Touring Cars
12,000. That’s how many Citroën DS’ were sold on October 5th 1955, its first day at the Paris Motor Show. Never before has the automotive industry leaped forward so far with just one car. The DS offered so many clever features never seen on a car of its stature before, such as self-levelling headlights which rotated with the wheels, raised rear lights to aid visibility, a fibreglass roof to lower the centre of gravity, a front wheelbase wider than the rear to improve aerodynamics and disc brakes, making the DS the first car in the world to employ disc break technology.
The DS also pioneered subducting engine technology, which allowed the engine to be pushed under the car in the event of a crash, improving safety. Despite this, the DS’ most innovative feature was its hydropneumatic suspension. Independent from the other wheels, the suspension system compressed gas and used it as a spring. This allowed the ride height to be adjusted at any time, and even allowed a tyre to be changed without using a jack. This all combined to make the DS to this day, considered by many to be the most comfortable car ever made.