The exterior lighting on 1970 USA cars was similar to that of the 1969 ½ USA cars except two more changes occurred:  


  • First, the side reflectors became illuminated (amber in the front, red in the rear), thus driving more wiring changes as compared to Euro models.  The side marker light housings were still metal for 1970. The lamps were made by Seima.


  • Second, the Lucas roof-mounted rear turn signals on USA sedans became amber in color instead of red and the lens changed shape to be a bit longer.  Also, there was a more substantial reflector inside the lamp to improve light output. 


Canadian sedans took another strange turn in 1970 for exterior lighting. They continued to have full Euro lighting in all locations, except for the tail lights. In 1970, they received the round Lucas tail lamps, but no back-up lights. This is reflected in the parts books and seems to be borne out via memories and photos of 1970 Canadian cars. 

Illuminated side marker light. For 1970, the housing is still stainless steel with a plastic chafe strip

Roof-mounted turn signal lens: Longer and amber color for USA 1970-1972 and Canada from mid-1971

DS21 with features found on a 1970 USA car: Sealed beam headlights in cast aluminum buckets, Scintex turn signals under the bumper, blanking plates covering the Euro turn signal locations, and illuminated side marker lights with a stainless steel frame



Beginning in model year 1970, both Euro and North American cars had a major dashboard redesign.  This new dashboard had three large dials (one containing warning lights, one for the speedometer, and one for the tachometer).  


As was typical, there were some dashboard differences between Euro cars and USA cars, most notably the headlight and turn signal switches which were different (the USA turn signal switch did not incorporate the passing headlight flasher function and the USA headlight switch did not incorporate the function to turn on/off the inner headlights). 


We believe that all USA cars had engine temperature gauges (some Euro versions had blanking plates in the dash instead of a temperature gauge). We also believe that all USA DS’s had clocks (with the exception of 1970 USA-bound D-Specials, which were unusually stripped-down cars). 

A door buzzer was incorporated on 1970-1972 USA and Canadian cars.  The buzzer module, made by AXO, was hooked into the door switches and the ignition switch. Most them were disconnected many years ago due to the irritating noise they made when a door was open. 

As part of this door buzzer system, the interior light switches in the door jam were changed on all USA / Canadian DS's between 1970-1972 to a plastic switch that required a bigger hole in the "A" pillar. This switch was later used in some CX applications. This new switch was wired in such a way that interior light operation was no longer a simple grounding operation at the switch. As you can imagine, this door buzzer system drove many more wiring changes between USA / Canadian models and Euro models.

AXO door buzzer module, mounted under the dash on driver’s side

Door switch used on 1970-1972 US and Canadian cars

Dashboards and wiring on Canadian cars were similar to USA cars in 1970, but not identical.


Canadian cars finally received USA-style hazard lights starting in 1970.


The glove box door was different on USA models starting in 1970.  USA cars had a glove box door latched by a rotary knob, while the Euro cars initially had a rectangular grab pocket to open the glove box.  It has been speculated that this change was due to a US safety requirement to have a positive latch on the glove box door so it could not pop open during an accident.  In mid-1971, Canadian cars would get the USA glove box door.  Eventually the Euro cars would get a rotary glove box door knob, but lockable with a key. 

Euro glove box with rectangular grab pocket

USA glove box door with rotary knob to latch the door (1970-1972)



Before and after 1970, ID19’s and D-Specials for the US market had always been well appointed with features not found on their French counterparts. Examples include carpets with foam backing, padded door panels, cloth headliners, padded vinyl in the trunk, a clock, etc. 


In an unusual move, 1970 D-Specials sold in the USA and Canada had stripped-down interior appointments, similar to what would be found on French cars. They had simplified door panels, plastic head liners, floor mats with no foam backing, no trunk vinyl, and no clock. 


The uncomfortable headrests used on some USA 1969 ½ cars disappeared by 1970 in favor of a flatter headrest that we are calling the second generation headrest. More information on headrests can be found in the 1969 ½ section. 

Simplified door panels found on USA  D-Special in 1970 only



USA cars received two data plates that certified that the car met applicable safety and pollution laws.  These data plates were not initially included on Canadian cars, but did appear, probably in mid-1971 when Canadian cars became effectively identical to USA cars.


The pollution data plate was installed in the right side of the engine compartment near the wiper motor, starting with 1970 models.  Green plates were used for D-Specials and black plates for DS21’s. 

Emission control data plates in the engine compartment as found on 1970-1972 USA model cars. Note that D-Specials received the green plate and DS21’s received the black plate

The safety equipment data plate was in the left door jam.  The first data plate showed up in 1969 1/2 (see the 1969 1/2 section for details). But for 1970, the plate slightly changed design and wording. This new plate was used on 1970, 1971, and early 1972 cars. Later 1972 cars received different color plates (see the 1972 section for more detail). 

Yellow safety equipment data plate in the left door jam of 1970, 1971 and early 1972 sedans and wagons for USA

These data plates were not initially included on Canadian cars, but did appear, probably in mid-1971 when the configuration of Canadian cars essentially merged with their American counterparts. 



All 1969-1972 DS’s delivered to the USA were equipped with 180-380 Michelin XH tires.  Euro equivalent cars had XAS tires, with most Euro models having narrower tires in the rear. 


We believe that Canadian 1966 to 1972 sedans and wagons were delivered with 180-380 XAS tires.

Lucas rear turn signal and mounting bracket as used on 1970-1972 USA cars and Canadian cars from mid-1971

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