The various versions and models of D Series Citroen can be quite confusing for many people. We often have people ringing for parts, but not knowing the actual model of car that they own. Almost always D's for sale on ebay and the like are mis-described and all lumped under the DS label, regardless of whether they are a DS, ID, D Super, or whatever. More appropriate names for the DS/ID family of Citroens are "D Model" or "D Series", and these are often shortened to simply "D".
This page is an attempt to provide the information you need in order to know what model you own, or if you don't own one yet, what models you may be looking at, regardless of what they are being described as.
Models you may find include:
ID19 - The lower spec version of the DS made in various forms, Saloon and Estate, from 1958 to 1969
ID20 - An ID19 with a little more power. Made for the 1969 model year only. (1985cc)
DS19 - Made in various forms from 1956 to 1968
DS20 - A DS19 but with more power. Made from 1969 onwards. (1985cc)
D Super - The ID20 was re-badged D Super from the 1970 model year. 4 speed manual gearbox as standard, but low ratio 5 speed was an option until July 1972. (1985cc)
D Special - The ID19 was re-badged D Special from the 1970 model year. This is the lowest spec D model of this age. (1985cc)
D Super 5 - When the DS21 was superceded by the DS23 in 1972, the DS21's 2175cc engine was fitted to a D Super along with the higher ratio 5 speed manual gearbox to create a new model called the D Super 5. These have the same trim and spec as a D Super, but an extra gear for better cruising and extra power due to the larger engine.
DS21 - Made from 1966 until 1972 the DS21 has a 2175cc engine producing 109 bhp until 1968 and 115 bhp thereafter in carburettored form. For the 1970 model year onwards, the DS21 was available with optional Bosch D Jetronic fuel injection which increased the horsepower to 139 bhp.
DS23 - In July 1972 the DS21 was superceded by the DS23, the only change being the size of the engine, increasing to 2347cc. This engine produced 124 bhp in carburettored form and 141 bhp with the optional Bosch D jetronic fuel injection.
A general idea of the age of the car. When talking about the age of a car of this era, it is the model year which should be referred to, which is NOT necessarily the calendar year of manufacture. For instance, a common one I hear is "I have a 1969 D Super". There actually is no such thing because the D Super name came out with the 1970 models, therefore it would be a 1970 D Super, but made sometime in the last 3 months of 1969. The model years ran from October to September, so 1970 models began in October 1969 and finished in September 1970.
From the external appearance of the front of a D Model you can roughly tell the age of it. Look at the bumper and headlights. Earlier "first front" cars looked like the top photo on the right and were made from 1955 until the end of the 1962 model year. This is a French model with accessory rubber buffers on the bumper, the British built version had a more pronounced number plate box which held the number plate vertical. "Second front" cars, as in the second photo down, are 1963 - 1967 models. They have a more streamlined bumper and underpanel arrangement, plus air intakes under the headlights. Cars of this group can be narrowed down further as the wheels of the 1963 - 65 models were metric 400mm with single bolt fixing and 1966 onwards models had 15" wheels with 5 stud fixing. Again, cars for the British market had a more pronounced number plate box, but the British factory at Slough ceased production during the 1966 model year. Later 1966 models and all 1967 models for the British market were Paris built with British spec number plate box. "Third front" (3rd photo down) cars are 1968 - 1975 models and have 4 headlamps behind glass. The smaller inner ones are actually driving lights and may swivel with the steering, depending on model and spec. For these later cars, there is another external change which can narrow down the age of the car, the door handles. For the 1972 model year onwards, the exterior door handles changed from the push button type that they'd been from the start, to lift up door handles with separate locks and anti-burst door catches.
Other changes can also help narrow down the age of a D model: The windscreen wipers changed from the "clap hands" type to conventional parallel action during 1964. The front under panel inlets for brake cooling changed from tall and narrow to short and wide on DS's and Safari's for the 1966 model year and ID saloons for the 1967 model year. The battery changed from being on the left (British passenger side) of the engine bay to the right for the 1967 - 1969 models, before swapping back again for 1970 models until end of production. All models, except for some export markets such as USA, changed to green coloured LHM hydraulic fluid for the 1967 model year onwards. The hydraulic components of cars with LHM in the hydraulic system should be painted green, earlier models with LHS2 hydraulics should have black painted components. The dash board for the 1969 model year only was the same shape as earlier ones, but was all black (instead of black and light grey) and used some switches from the 1970 onwards models. Until December 1970 the rear view mirror was mounted on a stalk on the dash, after December 1970, it was stuck to the inside of the windscreen.
What's the difference between an ID and a DS? Quite a bit at the beginning, but not so much at the end! This can get quite complicated, so I'll attempt to give a simple overview only. The most obvious difference until the 1970 model year was the dash board, the DS having a "slopey" dash and the ID a more vertical dash with flat top. From 1970 onwards, both variants shared the same dash. Until 1963 a DS had a semi-automatic gearbox and an ID had a manual gearbox but in 1963 the DS became available with a manual gearbox also. The only ID variant to ever have a semi-auto gearbox option from the factory was the estate, known as the Break or Safari. A limited number of these were produced with semi-auto gearbox from 1968 onwards, mainly in right hand drive and all had the ID style dash. Throughout the years a DS always had more power than an ID of the same age and was of a higher trim level. A DS has gold coloured chevrons on the boot lid and an ID has silver coloured chevrons. So, until 1970 the easiest way to tell a DS from and ID is the dash board, but there was one major difference that differentiated the DS from the ID right from the beginning until the end; The braking system. Apart from estates which were all ID's but with a DS braking system, only the DS variants had the more complex braking system which included a brake accumulator sphere. The brake accumulator sphere (2 on early DS's) is located on the top of the chassis leg just below the front of the hydraulic fluid reservoir under the bonnet. If your car has one and isn't an estate, it's a DS, if it doesn't have one, it's an ID variant, regardless of what your chassis plate may lead you to believe. Citroen didn't help by confusing their own designations. A "D Super 5" for instance, has DS21M on the chassis plate, but is in fact an ID variant due to the trim and braking system, not a DS at all!
What engine should my car have?
DS19: 1956 to March 1961 - 1911cc with 75 bhp. March 1961 to September 1965 - 1911cc with 83 bhp. For 1966 onwards models click here for a table listing the engine types and what they were fitted to.
ID19: 1958 to 1960 there was a base model called "Normale" which had the 62 bhp 11D engine straight from the Traction Avant, but not many were sold and are very rare now. From 1958 to 1963 the standard ID19 had a 1911cc engine with 66 bhp. For 1964 and 1965 the power of the 1911cc engine increased to 75 bhp and for the 1966 model year, the last year the 1911cc engine was used in any D model, the power increased again to 81 bhp.
However, it's not quite that easy as some ID19 export models were fitted with the 1911cc 83 bhp engine from the DS19 from 1962, as was the ID19 estate from 1962 until 1965. For 1966 onwards models click here for a table listing the engine types and what they were fitted to.
What is a "Pallas"? From 1965 onwards an even higher trim level was available, the Pallas. This was only available on DS models and consisted of a much more luxurious interior trim with better sound proofing and additional exterior brightwork. Nowadays, many non-Pallas models have had Pallas bits added, so what you think is a Pallas, may well not be.