1970 Citroën DS 21 Pallas
Owner: Lars Banka
Location: North-Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Model: DS 21 “Pallas”
One day Lars Banka’s wife returned from a walk filled with excitement. She told Lars about a car she had just seen and couldn’t stop talking about it. Lars went out with his wife to try to find the car, but it was gone. When they had almost returned home, they spied the car in a different spot.
The Citroën was perfect. It was the right year, model, engine, and color. Best of all, it was for sale. Neither Lars nor his wife had been looking for this particular kind of car—they didn’t even know that they both loved this kind of car. It was love at first sight for the both of them. Though Lars and his wife had both already fallen in love with the car, they spent a dizzying weekend discussing pros and cons before calling the owner that Monday. Disappointingly, the owner had decided the Citroën was no longer for sale. It took Lars three weeks to get the owner to sell him the car, but upon handing over the keys, the owner made Lars note in the contract that in case he sold the car again, Lars would have to offer it to the previous owner before anyone else.
Lars wants to preserve the car, so he prefers to only drive it in the summer, during which time he and his wife drive it as frequently as possible, particularly on holidays in France. Their favorite place to drive the car is on the small, winding side roads near the Normandy coast, where on their left is the English Channel, and on their right are small villages and chateaus. Lars calls the Pallas “the perfect traveling car”, as it is stylish and relaxed. He even compared it to a huge whale that embraces the passengers and takes them where they need to go. (We quite enjoy this imagery.)
The shape of his car is Lars’ favorite, particularly the ultra-long front section. Some other favorite features are as follows: the look of the four eyes behind glass, the downswing of the roof, the split rear mirror against the blind spot, and the trumpet-shaped turning lights above the rear window. Lars admires the genius engineering underneath the metal skin of the car: how the high-beams are linked with the front wheels, so that dark corners are lit up before the car even makes a turn, the living-room seats which let you sink in and give an unforgettable ride, and the famous hydraulic suspension system. He claims that the car is in good shape but is no Pebble Beacher; Lars thinks a car should be allowed to show its age.
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Photography by Lars Banka and Arne Banka