Mid-year 1971 was a pivotal time for Canadian DS's.  Specifically, all cars made after April of 1971 for the Canadian market had many simultaneous changes that brought them to a configuration almost identical to their American counterparts. Note that a manufacturing date of April, 1971 would imply a late 1971 delivery. We will refer to cars made after this date as mid-1971 cars. 



The headlights, tail lights, and turn signals on 1971 US model DS's were identical to 1970 models.


However, in mid-1971, the metal frames for the USA side marker light housings became plastic on the front and rear of both sedans and wagons. More detail on the side marker lights can be found in the "side marker light summary" section. 

Also in-mid 1971, Canadian cars (both sedans and wagons) sadly lost all of the Euro lighting and received full USA lighting, front and rear. 

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Illuminated side marker light with plastic housing



In 1971, USA sedans had the same rear bumper that 1969 1/2 and 1970 DS's received. 


In mid-1971, Canadian DS sedans finally received the USA rear bumper and rear license plate pan. 

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USA rear bumper with flattened area to allow better visibility of the license plate - Used in USA between 1969 1/2 and 1972 and in Canada in late 1971 and 1972


There were very few dashboard differences on 1971 USA models as compared to 1970 USA models. 


In mid-1971 Canadian cars received the USA glove box door with the rotary open/close knob instead of the Euro rectangular grab pocket. Refer to the 1970 section for more details and photos.


Canadian cars received the rotary knob glove box door in mid-1971



1971 D-Specials sold in the USA and Canada went back to more luxurious appointments, including padded door panels, cloth headliners, padded carpets, vinyl in the trunk, and a clock - features oddly missing on 1970 D-Specials. 


Generation 3 headrests with snap-on pillows started showing up on US cars in 1971. For Canadian cars, generation 3 headrests most likely showed up in mid-1971 when many of the other USA changes were incorporated. 

Generation 3 headrests with snap-on pillows on 1971 and 1972 USA models

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Evaporative loss systems to capture fuel tank vapors became mandated in the USA in this era, and the main component of an evaporative loss system is a charcoal canister. The parts books suggest that 1970, 1971, and 1972 USA cars received an evaporative loss system; but this is an error - only 1971 and 1972 cars for the USA had the system. 


We understand that the state of California required evaporative loss systems for fuel tanks for foreign cars as of 1970, but Citroën received a one year exemption from the state since they were unable to comply in time for 1970 models.  But by 1971, Citroën was able to bring the cars into compliance and thus 1971 and 1972 DS’s had the charcoal canister.  Note that by 1971, evaporative loss systems were not only a California requirement, but were also a federal requirement. 


The charcoal canister was mounted inside the front right fender and had hoses to the air cleaner and to the fuel tank. The air cleaner was unique since it had a spigot for the charcoal canister hose. 

This system also included a plastic vapor recovery tank that was mounted in the right wheel well area (item #1 in the parts book snippet).


In mid-year 1971, Canadian cars finally received the same smog controls that USA cars had.  The parts books show that Canadian cars never received a vapor recovery system, but we believe that this is in error and that emission controls became identical between USA and Canadian cars as of mid-1971. 


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Parts book image showing fuel evaporative loss system components - the charcoal canister is shown circled


Rubber hose leading from the charcoal canister in the right fender to the air cleaner


Charcoal canister inside front right fender


Charcoal canister (same unit used on the SM)


Plastic vapor recovery tank in right rear wheel well

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1971 and 1972 D-Specials intended for the USA were equipped with an unusual and not particularly desirable single barrel Solex carburetor that was part of the smog certification (Solex model 35 EISA). 


It was equipped with an electrically-actuated idle jet cutoff solenoid.  The wire to this solenoid had a nasty habit of falling off, thus causing the car to stall at inopportune times. 

This carburetor required a unique intake manifold since the bolt spacing on the mounting flange was different than that of the standard Solex 34 PB1C carburetor that had been used on all earlier D-Specials and ID19’s.  The unique intake manifold created an interference with the fuel pump outlet spigot, thus requiring a unique fuel pump that has not been available for many years. 

Based on the problems with this carburetor and near zero spare parts availability, almost all 1971 and 1972 D-Specials have been retrofitted with a different intake manifold and a DS21-style Weber carburetor. 


Canadian D-Specials received this unusual Solex carburetor a few months after USA cars, in mid-1971. 


Smogged Solex 35 EISA carburetor used on USA 1971 and 1972 D-Specials.


ID19’s and D-Specials always had a simplified brake system with a conventional brake pedal in lieu of the champignon (mushroom) brake pedal. This is true on US and Canadian DS's up to 1972, except for a few months in late-1971 when USA and Canadian D-Specials received the champignon brake pedal, without a brake accumulator sphere! We suspect this change was an interim solution associated with compliance with USA safety regulations (see "leak finder" discussion below). For 1972, D-specials for USA and Canada went back to a simplified brake system, albeit a different design than earlier D-Specials. 


Also in late 1971, in conjunction with the mushroom brake pedal, all USA and Canadian DS’s and D-Specials received hydraulic components called leak finders (two per car).  Leak finders were small hydraulic components that were located in the tubing leading to the front and rear brakes.  If there was a hydraulic leak somewhere downstream in the brake system, the leak finders would shut off flow to the affected brake(s), thus retaining the hydraulic system integrity for the remaining brakes, as well as for other hydraulic systems on the car. If a leak finder detected a leak and shut off flow, a switch at the end of the leak finder would be actuated to illuminate the red STOP warning light on the dashboard.  Leak finders were also installed on DS’s intended for some of the Scandinavian countries in mid-1971. 

In industrial and aviation circles, this type of device is called a volumetric hydraulic fuse, since it passes a specific volume of fluid before it “sets” and shuts off flow. The fluid volume needed to “set” the fuse is designed to be somewhat more than the normal volume of fluid needed to apply the brakes. In this manner, the fuse will never “set” with normal braking activity, but will “set” if an abnormally high volume of fluid passes out to a set of brakes.

Leak finders made bleeding the brakes a bit of a chore since the leak finders interpreted brake bleeding as a leak and therefore would shut off flow to that set of brakes. 


Leak finders were installed on the lower left side of the engine compartment on D-Specials with the simplified brake system.  On DS’s equipped with the champignon brake pedal, the leak finders were mounted in the driver’s footwell area, directly on the brake valve.  


Mushroom brake pedal on a late 1971 D-Special. 

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Leak finders as found in late 1971 (and 1972) DS’s with the champignon brake pedal

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Disassembled leak finder



Between 1969 and 1972, all DS’s in the USA had 180-380 (180-15) Michelin XH tires.  Euro equivalent cars would have 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.