" Fans of French cars are usually pretty easy to spot. They’ll be the ones leafing through a car magazine or hanging around a Peugeot, Citroen or Renault dealership with a look of mild sadness and disappointment on their faces. "
Paris Retro: DS Doctors
Francophilia is a common, if perhaps unexpected thing in these islands. Agincourt, Norman invasions, and centuries of general and endemic antipathy between France and Britain hasn’t diminished the reality that we have a grudging admiration for many things French.
“We started specialising in French cars because basically because we had Citroens. People at the time were scared of them,. “ Tony Williams tell me. Tony is co-proprietor of Paris Retro, a garage in the Somerset town of Temple Cloud specialising in all things French (as well as being dab-hands at anything on four, or two wheels for that matter).
“We can do anything from full restorations from the ground up of classic DS models, all the way through to simple day-to-day maintenance of everyday cars.”
The Paris Retro yard is litterred with mouthwatering examples of Citroen’s groundbreaking ‘goddess’ in various states of order.
“We have had a particularly great number of DS lately. The thing about them is that they are relatively simple to work on, despite people being afraid of the hydraulics.”
The prevelance of air suspension and electronic trickery is one of the the things about French cars that have made many British engineers turn sneerily up at the French fondness for super-mechanical jiggery pokery amongst French cars. But the fear is pretty much unjustified.
“French cars are built along the same principles as any other vehicle, “ he tells me, “ and Hydraulics are just a line. And what’s more, even though the design of the DS is around fifty years old, it remains a beautiful, practical and relatively fuel-efficient car.”
According to the expert, many of the examples of DS he has seen lately continue to reach around 30 MPG if they are treated right.
“And there’s one thing that remains true about Citroens is that they are a great ride.”
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