1971 Citroen DS19 Safari: Reader ride

By: Ruby Niemann, Photography by: Ruby Niemann

Presented by

Ruby Niemann's 1971 Citroen DS19 Safari Ruby Niemann's 1971 Citroen DS19 Safari Ruby Niemann's 1971 Citroen DS19 Safari
Ruby Niemann's 1971 Citroen DS19 Safari Ruby Niemann's 1971 Citroen DS19 Safari Ruby Niemann's 1971 Citroen DS19 Safari
Ruby Niemann's 1971 Citroen DS19 Safari Ruby Niemann's 1971 Citroen DS19 Safari Ruby Niemann's 1971 Citroen DS19 Safari

Ruby Niemann's 1971 Citroen DS19 Safari...

1971 Citroen DS19 Safari: Reader ride
Ruby Niemann's 1971 Citroen DS19 Safari

My mechanic mostly works on Citroëns and he was really surprised when I showed up four years ago – when I was at 18 or 19 – with this ridiculously-old awesome car but my first car was a 1976 Triumph 2500, which was falling to pieces, but I really loved it.

When I was about 17 my drama coach told me the only car that would be better for me than an old Triumph would be a Citroën DS, so when I got into law school and dad asked what sort of car I wanted, I said a Citroën. He found it in Queensland through the Citroën club but they are really hard to find and expensive so we were lucky to find this one for about $10,000.

Dad had the car shipped to Adelaide, where I am at uni, and when I saw it I loved it. It’s huge, obviously, but it’s surprisingly easy to drive for such a large car, it’s really manoeuvrable. It’s got a 1.9-litre four and a four-speed, column-shift manual gearbox. There are so many weird quirky things, like the odd ‘button’ braking system, that took a while to get used to but it’s really cool. It’s a dream to drive and I’m so happy with it. Old cars can be a bit hit-and-miss but it’s really solid to drive.

I really like the self-levelling hydropneumatic suspension. It feels like you’re in a spaceship when you start the car and it takes a couple of minutes to fully lift up, the back first then the front. I get funny looks sometimes because I’m only 152cm tall and I’m driving this giant car – it must look a bit bizarre – but all my friends love it. They think it’s extremely cool.

 

Sign up to our free weekly newsletter for more unique car reviews and features plus see the latest unique and classic cars for sale.

Subscribe to Unique Cars magazine
- Print edition
- Digital edition