1960

NEW
12/2022

It looks like the very first DS wagons to arrive in the USA occurred in January of 1960 when suddenly new wagons were being shown in several US dealerships. A few months later, Auto France, Ltée in Montreal introduced DS wagons to Canada. 

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Boston Globe, Jan 24, 1960

First DS wagons in USA in Boston in January, 1960

12 VOLT CHANGE. DS19 models changed from 6 to 12 volts in December of 1959, meaning it took effect for most 1960’s. This change happened on Euro cars almost a year later, for the 1961 model year. The 12V change required a different dynamo, voltage regulator, starter, starter relay, turn signal flasher, heater fan motor, battery tray, horns, bulbs, coil, wiper motor, etc. Click HERE for an old dealer memo listing all of the differences associated with the 12V changeover. 

We think this happened to Canadian DS's at the same time. 

TURN SIGNAL SWITCH. It has been a pain to understand the turn signal story for US models. I am reasonably sure that before June of 1960, ID19’s and wagons in the USA had egg-timer turn signal switches with external Klaxon flashers. But starting in June of 1960, USA ID19’s started receiving a stalk-type turn signal switch, unique to the USA (P/N DM 522 05c, without an internal flasher). This is a few months before Euro ID19’s would get a stalk type switch (P/N DM 522 05b, similar but with internal flasher). 

Typical AXO Turn Signal Switch

There were various versions, some with and some without internal flasher units

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Chris Dubuque

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Mark Krahn

Stalk-type turn signal switch on a 1960 ID Wagon

Mark Krahn’s 1960 Canadian wagon has a stalk type switch and an external flasher unit, so it follows the USA configuration. 

CHOKE KNOB. Early choke knobs on DS19’s had a letter “S” marked on it. If we believe the parts books, the choke knob on USA DS19’s had a unique choke knob with the word “CHOKE” for a brief period from December 1959 to August of 1961. For 1962, the choke control design completely changed along with a new dashboard and had no words or letters at all, thus allowing USA and Euro choke knobs to again be the same.

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Chris Dubuque

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Greg Long

“S” symbol on choke on Euro choke knob, “CHOKE” on USA cars for 1960, 1961

AC DATA PLATE. Starting in 1960, west coast cars in the USA had a small data plate installed on the firewall (near the wiper motor) that showed the model year of the car. An example would be "AC65" which is for a model year 1965 car (see photo). On rare occasion, the 'AC' number was stamped onto the number plate itself in front of the serial number instead of being on a separate tag (but this is rare and seems to have only occurred in the early 1960's). Since these AC number plates were installed adjacent to the serial number, some local licensing agencies added the AC number to the serial number, sometimes not. So using the serial number plate in the photo as an example, the car's title might show the VIN as 4428619, or AC654428619

 

These tags are a bit mysterious and were not installed on every car sold in the USA. While nobody is 100% certain of the whole story, Richard Bonfond and the late Carter Willey helped us understand it, at least as well as possible. The story was that Citroën had two main headquarters to import cars; Los Angeles and New York. The Los Angeles office handled all cars shipped to the west coast ports of the USA (LA, San Francisco, Seattle, etc.) and the New York office handled all cars that arrived at the various east coast ports. All west coast cars from 1960 had the AC tag. So far, I have not been able to find out the reason why west coast cars had the tag and east coast cars did not. The most logical guess is that the state of California required it, so they were installed on all cars processed through the Los Angeles office. The AC tags were installed by Citroën personnel as a port-installed part, like the sealed-beam headlights and other parts. The Nuancierds.fr website has photos of each plate from 1960 to 1972 HERE.

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Chris Dubuque

Canadian cars did not receive these AC plates.

SIDE PANELS. Starting in 1960, ID19’s in USA and Canada started using corrugated panels on B and C pillars instead of flat panels used on Euro ID19’s of this era. The corrugations were 6 mm. Before 1960, USA/Canadian ID19’s had the flat panels.

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Bringatrailer.com

6 mm corrugated panels on USA 1960 ID19’s, still flat on Euro cars

REAR REFLECTOR. For a brief period starting in 1960, USA wagons used a curious rear reflector. This reflector was used on USA and Canadian wagons from May of 1960 to November of 1961.

nuancierDS.fr

Odd round reflector used for a year and a half on USA wagons

The part number of this reflector is DS 579-1a; the same part number used on USA sedans during almost the same time period (from July 1959 to early November 1961). Note that the housing and mounting method was a bit different between sedans and wagons, but the round reflector itself (made in the USA by a company named Stimsonite) was the same. Clearly there was something odd going on with USA regulations concerning rear reflectors in the late 1950's and early 1960's. 

We think Canadian wagons had this same reflector, but this needs confirmation.