Citroën DS 19 (1956) at the Louwman Museum in The Hague (Holland)
Citroën is a major French automobile manufacturer, today owned by Stellantis, founded in 1919 by the French industrialist André-Gustave Citroën. With regard to design and technology, this car was revolutionary. When it was introduced in 1955 the Citroën DS went against all the design conventions of the time and immediately acquired iconic status. The car was also very advanced technically, with front-wheel drive, hydro-pneumatic suspension and hydraulic control of the brakes, clutch, gearbox and steering. It was also the first mass-produced car fitted with disc brakes. There was no conventional brake pedal, but a sort of small cushion-like button-switch on the floor, affectionately known as the 'champignon' (mushroom). For drivers who were not used to it, it was difficult to gauge the pressure required. The Citroën DS 19 on display in the museum is identical to the model that was introduced in Paris in 1955. Early models such as this had a distinctive fibreglass roof to reduce the weight of the car. In 1956 a simpler version, the ID, was introduced and the Pallas, a more luxurious version, followed in 1964. In 1968 the car's front was redesigned and it was fitted with headlights that swivelled with the steering wheel. Production of the Citroën DS ceased in 1975 after approximately 1.5 million examples had been produced. Ironically, only few people know the name of the designer of the Citroën DS; it was the Italian Flaminio Bertoni, chief designer at Citroën at the time.
The Louwman Museum in The Hague, the Netherlands, features one of the most impressive private car collections in the world. Several hundred cars are on show to teach you all about car history. The Louwman Museum offers a wide collection that includes everything from antique and classic cars to Formula 1 racing cars and hybrids. Since 1934, two generations of the Louwman family have assembled a unique collection of cars. The present Louwman Museum was designed to display the collection to the public. It was festively opened in 2010. The collection leads you from horse and wagon to the first self-propelled vehicles. It also takes you past the luxury cars from the end of the 19th century, post-war "affordable cars" and the first racing cars. Some of the Louwman Museum's highlights include unique specimens such as the boat-car, the beach-car and the swan-car as well as famous cars such as James Bond's Aston Martin from the film Goldfinger and the customised Cadillac Fleetwood of Elvis Presley.