Champagne intérieur rouille (export USA), by Dr Danche

Kim lives in the USA (he is one of the people who helps to organize the Citroen Rendezvous in the United States, please check their website and he sent me the following informations about the marvellous 1959 DS19 that he owns:

"The car was originally purchased by an American couple.  They bought the car through a program that Citroen offered in the United States.  The program allowed US citizens to purchase a car in the USA, but pick it up in France.  You could use the car while you were on vacation, then it would be shipped to the USA for your use in America.  You'll see that the front of the car has a French "TT" plate issued in Paris (75).

I'm not really sure how my car would have been delivered when the Americans picked the car up in Paris. I would think that the car would have been given to them in France with the American turn signals in place.  After all, the French turn signals were prohibited according to the Americans, BUT the American turn signals were allowed in France. 

I am also assuming that the car was picked up in Paris with European headlights with yellow bulbs.  I have always thought that when the car was returned to Citroen in Paris for shipping to the USA, French mechanics removed the European headlights and replaced them with sealed-beam headlights.  In 1959, France required yellow headlights in all cars.  In 1959, all American cars could only be sold if they had sealed-beam headlights.  In addition, in 1959, cars could only be driven in the USA if they had white headlights--yellow headlights were not allowed.

When I purchased the car, it had 6-volt American sealed beam headlights.  I decided to replace them with European headlights and use yellow bulbs.  The American sealed beam bulbs were very dim and made driving the car at night dangerous, so I decided to switch back to the European lights. "


You can see the American turn signals in this photo and the French "TT" plate issued in Paris (75).

The car's colour is Champagne, with Aubergine roof.

Here is a photo which shows the inspection sticker that was placed on the car in 1962 (with a hole punched in it for August).  The car was purchased by an American who picked the car up in Paris and drove it while on vacation.  The car was then shipped to the United States where it was registered in the state of West Virginia.  At some point in 1960-1962, the car was hit from behind and damaged.  The body was repaired at that time.  During the accident, a tooth was broken off of 1st gear.  The tooth rattled around in the transmission until it jammed in the gears, causing the transmission case to crack in half from the force.  The car was put into storage at that point.  It was later sold to a Citroen dealer in the state of Pennsylvania, and later, to a Citroen car collector/mechanic in the state of West Virginia.  I purchased the car in 2003 and had the mechanicals restored.  The transmission was replaced with another one since the case was not usable.

The car is like as if it were 1962--it is like a 3-year-old car!
Here is the tail of the car with its American tail lights.  The is no finger tab on the button/lock for the trunk lid.  The main part of the rear bumper is aluminum and from an ID.  The car was in an accident in 1960/1961 and there was no DS bumper to use as a replacement, so the ID bumper was used instead.  The license plate is a vintage New York license plate from 1959.  You can see a "59" metal tag attached to the right bottom corner of the plate.  This metal tag was used to show that the registration was paid for 1959.  In New York, we can drive with vintage plates on our cars!  The plate has to be from the year the car was manufactured--so my 1959 DS has a "59" New York plate.
There is an armrest on the driver's door: this is US specific, like on Othello's 1956 DS for US market.
The fabric color is Rouille.

-MPH not KPH on the speedometer.

-Gas gauge is on the left, volt meter is on the right (they switch places between 58 and 59 models).

The gauges read "fuel" and "battery".

This is the temperature gauge that was fitted to the American model cars.

The car has different turn signals for the American market which extend beyond the trumpets.  If you look on the parcel shelf, you will see a vintage speaker grill which was added to the car back in 1959/1960.

The rear window is glass for the American market.

The roof on the car is Aubergine.  Look closely at the "C" pillar on the driver's side:  the car was damaged in an accident in 1961 and the "C" pillar was painted black, not Aubergine.  The roof was not damaged, so it retains its original paint.


Here is the LHS tank which has directions in English printed on it.  The oil cap is in French, however.

Here is the front turn signal light for the American market.  It has an aluminum body.
Incredible car, isn't it?

Dr Danche.

I finish with a question for all the readers of this article.
Do you see on this last picture these blue marks with the citroën logo?

As you might know, these are the sign that the car wears it's original paint.

But i wonder about the meaning of the figures "2" and "20"?
Any idea?

If you have these marks on your car, please send me the pictures, we could maybe find a rule with more examples.