Saturday, January 28, 2006

Roll Structure

The original roof supports were delicate as was the side intrusion protection. I've added this roll structure. It will be buried in the ceiling liner when finished. Since it follows the lines of the existing pillars it won't be particularly noticeable from the side view either. It is not super robust with alot of bracing because I didn't want it to show. But it will help some.

Heating and Air Conditioning

Isn't it lovely?

My Wheels

Made by Billet Specialties

New Radiator

Front Bumper Mods

This engine will require much more cooling than the original so more air is being provided. The slot in the bumper has been opened up to allow more air to enter. The brake ducts near the headlights will also be routed towards the radiator. The original duct on the belly pan (not shown) is also going to be modified.You can also see the beginnings of an engine shroud in this picture.

It Makes No Sense For Me to Change The Suspension Now

The estimate to remove the live axle and install one of the independent suspensions below is about $8,000. The suspension parts alone are $2,950. The rear frame would need to be modified as well as the wheel wells and trunk areas. With tax and labor it would come to $8,000.

I got a quote of $10,000 to $30,000 to install citroen hydropneumatic springing with height correction and roll correction. That assumes that the independent rear is already in place.

The total change would come to somewhere between $18,000 and $38,000. It would be crazy to make the change when you consider that I could buy a DS in good condition from Citroen Concourse of America, EBay, or similar for $15,000 to $20,000. I could even buy the most expensive Citroen on offer for the top end of that range. For example, there is what appears to be a pristine chapron available for $45,000 (which seems high to me.)

I took a ride in this 'Cuda that Kevin has built and it handles very well. It has the same suspension that is in my Citroen. The 'Cuda weighs alot more, too. The Citroen will be alot of fun to drive. (The 'Cuda won best of show at the recent San Francisco Rod & Custom Show).I know many of you Citroen purists will still complain that I have desecrated a valuable masterpiece. But, tough luck. If it was such a valuable piece of machinery, why was I able to buy it for $600?

I think Pablo said it well on one of the German websites linked to this. (My translation) "How many DS/ID have already been restored in the world? In France there are millions. Where is the sacrilege? It is not a cult object since umpteen have been built. It is only revolutionary. Now here is an amateur handicraftsman who builds with admirable professionalism and care a 2006 variant. It’s his personal vision. It speaks of his creativity, humor and individuality. Does one have to see everything by the 'Oldie eyeglasses'? You should have tolerance instead of the narrow-mindedness of a garden dwarf. (Thank you anonymous for the translation help.)

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Suggestions Wanted

A number of viewers have commented on the various websites linking to this that it is a shame I have abandoned the Citroen hydropneumatic suspension. I agree, it is a shame. However, because my car is rear wheel drive, the original rear suspension was entirely unsuited.

As I said on a prior page, if I use an independent A-arm type rear suspension, then maybe I can still use the citroen hydropneumatic springing. The idea would be to replace the coilover springs all around with pushrods and pivots that lead to the original Citroen pneumatic spring spheres. I would also need the hydraulic pump, fluid reservoir, main accumulator and height correctors.

Here are two available A-arm rear ends:

I would appreciate any comments about the technical pitfalls I might encounter making this change. I realize the change will cost money.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Real Engine & Radiator

Rear Tire Barely Fits Under The Skirt

Those aren't my wheels.

Test Fitting Body Parts

Those aren't my wheels

More New Parts

Door latches.Heating and air-conditioning controllerPedals. I guess we've got an oval theme going on here.Gauges


We're using this template to show us how to put the body parts back on.

Base Interior

Rear firewall, tunnel and floorFront firewall, tunnel and floor. That is not my steering wheel. It is just a dummy for positioning purposes. We're going to have one like the original.New dash

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

New Equipment

Steering shaft, brake master cylinder, firewall, and dummy engineAldan shocks and 2.5" x 9" coilover springs. Wilwood brake disk and 6 piston calipers.Power assist steering rack and dummy engine.

Rear Suspension

Here's a closer look at the modified four-link suspension. I know it is much more archaic than the original hydropneumatic independent suspension. But it can handle the added power without any additional engineering. Keep in mind that the original was front wheel drive. The rear suspension arms would have needed reworking to accept drivelines. And there was an engineering question about how those arms would accept the additional loads coming from the drivelines.I think the ideal solution would have been to make an independent rear suspension using unequal A-arms, coil-overs and differential from a corvette. Then at some later date, when I find an open-minded Citroen expert, I could have the hydropneumatic system reinstalled. By that I mean put in the tank, pump, main accumulator, suspension control valves, suspension pressure spheres, and height correctors. Then I would remove the coilover springs and substitute pushrods and pivots that would run to the pressure spheres.

Independent Front Suspension

Here is a better look at the Mustang II geometry independent fron suspension.

New Chassis

The new frame is simple ladder of box section tubes.It includes Mustang II style independent front suspension.The rails needed to be shortened by about six inches at the rear cross member to fit.It also includes a solid rear axle and modified four-link rear suspension.More of the trunk rust is evident here.

Rust Repair

New sheet metal was fabricated to replace part of the trunk support.and to replace the rocker panels on both sides.

Monday, January 09, 2006


The rocker panels were completely rusted out. As were the bottoms of the doors

The trunk supports
The C pillar
The other C pillar and rain gutters
and more issues with the trunk support.


It starts...

...and ends...You can see we didn't save much. We kept the body panels and this supporting framework. It is getting an all new chassis, running gear and interior.

Kevin Bradley

I talked to a local hot rod builder who specializes in '32 Fords, Vern Tardell. I guess he's actually kind of famous. He thought it was an interesting idea but he didn't want to do it.

Then I was browsing at a hot rod show in Fortuna, California when I ran into Kevin Bradley, a hot rod builder from that area. I told him about my idea. He thought it sounded fun. I checked out his operation and some other cars he had done. He took a look at my car. He told me his ideas and made a proposal. We made a deal. He took the car to Rio Dell and got started.

For cost reasons, I made two compromises, that I am still conflicted about. I agreed to use a solid rear axle instead of independent rear suspension. And I agreed to give up the Citroen hydropneumatic springing and ride leveling system.

I gave up the independent rear suspension on the theory that I will use the car as a family-type cruiser rather than a road racer. We could have used a modified corvette-type independent rear suspension but that would have added quite a bit to the cost. I gave up the hydropneumatic springing and ride levelling system for several reasons. Kevin had no experience with it (who does?), our rebuilt version of the car is heavier than the original, we'd given up the independent rear anyway, and if I really wanted to I could use air-ride springs.

The Dream

First, I thought I would restore it myself. How hard can it be? Then I realized it wasn't an issue of difficulty but an issue of patience. I found I lacked patience. Next, I thought I would pay someone to restore it. Then I learned what many have learned before, it is cheaper to buy a pristine example then to pay for a restoration. I had a dilemma. I wanted to have this car and drive it but it made no economic sense to restore it to original. And if I was going to pay too much money for something there were some things I would change. Like, I'd want more power. How about 400 horsepower instead of the 88 original horsepower? And air conditioning; I need air conditioning. It's probably not very safe the way it is. Can I improve the safety features; maybe strengthen the passenger compartment somewhat? One thing led to another.

This is where it finally ended up. I spec'd a 400+ horsepower corvette crate engine, an appropriate transmission, rear wheel drive instead of the existing front wheel drive, beefed up independent suspension and brakes all around, and a new interior. Basically I wanted a new car with the old body.