The Citroen DS is French, Iconic

The number of votes was a little underwhelming, but the result is now beyond dispute. The Citroen DS is considered the most iconic French automobile by some of the wisest automotive enthusiasts in the galaxy – YOU!

It’s a deserved result. Whilst the 2CV delivers plenty of ingenuity and has the French version of the common touch, the DS delivers style, comfort and technical innovation in bucketloads. And let’s face it, all that liberté, égalité, fraternité stuff is important, but style transcends all, non?


Next week, I think we’ll cross the Channel and vote on Britain’s finest. Four of the five initial nominations select themselves, I think. I’ll have to put my thinking cap on for the last one, however. Either that, or draft in some assistance.

You should give some consideration to your nomination, too.

You may also like


  1. Iconic English cars……

    My top five:
    MG B
    Jaguar XKE
    Mini Cooper
    Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud
    London Taxi (yes, this is a car marque)

    Others to consider:
    AC Cobra (if such can be considered British)
    Caterham (take your pick)
    Land Rover Type II/III or Defender (your choice)
    Jaguar XJ6
    Rolls Silver Spirit/Bentley Mulsanne
    Austin-Healey Sprite
    Triumph Spitfire
    Aston Martin (you choose)

    My all-time favorites are the Jensen Interceptor and Jaguar XKE. Hard to argue with either, really.

  2. My dad ran three these in a row through the 1960s, so I couldn’t really vote for anything else. Unfortunately, I was only around for the last years of the third one. It’s one of my earliest memories, but I really wish he’d purchased another. Citroen was out of North America, so a fourth DS wasn’t an option.

    My other early childhood automotive memory is of a Series 2 Land Rover, which I’m sure will make the British list. My guesses for the others: Mini (original), Silver Shadow, MGB, E-Type. All of those cars are from the 1960s, so perhaps I should cast a wider net. I prefer the 1970s Jaguar sedans to the E-Type, but they are less iconic.

  3. They’re some seriously good nominations and yes, you both seem to have picked three-and-a-half of the four that pick themselves.

    I’ve written to a motoring friend in the UK for an opinion on the fifth. But I have a feeling that whatever is chosen will be disputed and that this poll might feature way more contenders than the French one.

    Bernard – I’m absolutely hopeless at art, but at age 14 I could draw a nearly flawless (to my mind) picture of the XJ6 by hand. Loved, loved LOVED that car. In fact, there’s probably a story in it……

    1. I can draw a reasonable Land Rover 109 (in profile), with or without spare tyre on the bonnet. I can also draw a Fiat Panda. The original one, of course. The new one looks too much like a Citroen C1, or a serving of jello.

  4. Morgan. It’s English. It’s iconic. If you got one 50 years ago and you got one now, they would be more alike than perhaps any other car.

  5. British motoring….Where to start?
    The London Cab? It never would have occurred to me but as an icon it’s right up there for sure. Good suggestion. Neither for some reason, did the Land Rover or Range Rover (original) despite what they represent.

    So I’ll offer the 5 which did come to mind as most iconic

    The Mini (original) which I predict will win
    Morris Minor – split screen, low-light, open top, or Traveller
    Jaguar E-type (Because.)
    Aston Martin DB5 (the DB6 is my preference but courtesy of 007, the DB5 is more iconic)
    Blower Bentley (Picnic Hampers and Le Mans)

    +1 Option
    Jaguar MkII (Ronnie Biggs/Great Train Robbery & Inspector Morse)

    Of course as Tompa remarked, there are almost too many to choose from. Other strong contenders from a British perspective would be

    Austin 7 – it spawned a new era in motoring and so many derivatives trace their ancestry to that car
    Ford Popular
    Ford Cortina
    Jaguar XK120, 140 & 150
    Lotus 7 – the original clubman sports car
    Lotus ELAN – widely regarded as the best lotus ever made
    Morgan Plus 8
    MG TC
    Rolls Royce Silver Cloud
    Rolls Royce Silver Shadow
    Rover P4 ‘Aunty’ Rover (also the P5 and P6)
    Triumph TR6
    Triumph Stag

    Will 3 wheelers be eligible?
    Bond Bug
    Morgan JAP
    Reliant Robin (for all the wrong reasons but if the 2CV got a mention then surely the robin can still be a nominee)

    This is going to be an interesting week ahead

    1. Ahh Ian, the Reliant Robin. Goes with the DB5 in the same way Mr Bean compliments James Bond. Fantastic nomination.

      And all Saab fans have gotta love the Triumph Stag.

      1. For the Ford fans there’s also the Escort Mexico, Sierra Cossworth, and (left of field, in the same vein as the London cab) the Transit Van …”well ‘e did say ‘automotive icon’, not just iconic cars, Guv!”

        1. Yes, the Ford Transit. “The Backbone of Britain”. Good shout. But is it an icon as internationally distinguished as some of the others? Plus we surely have to concede that, in spite of establishing Britain as a key European base and really making itself at home in the UK, Ford is an American company not a British one.

  6. Thanks I love this brand. Have a great weekend and keepthe comments and views coming please

  7. The most iconic British cars are, without question, all English. The Austin 7. The original Mini. The Land Rover. The Aston Martin DB5. The Jaguar E-Type. The Rolls Royce Silver Shadow. The Rover SD1. The Lotus Esprit. The, ahem, Allegro…

    But some might be interested to know that the first company to manufacture a car in Britain was not actually English at all. It was Arrol-Johnston of Scotland, who also built the world’s first off-road vehicle. There were a number of manufacturers north of the border, but alas they rather lost their way after the first world war and virtually all of them folded, or merged or if they continued they stopped making whole vehicles. The most successful was probably Albion, once famous for its “Sure as the Sunrise” trucks and buses. I think Albion still make vehicle components but they are now a subsidiary of a US company. David Dunbar Buick was, of course, a Jock but he emigrated and that was that.

    In a way, the decline of the Scottish motor industry foreshadowed what would happen to the much larger English industry, which virtually collapsed 50 or so years later, and today is kept alive by foreign companies and foreign investment. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, of course, it’s just an interesting reflection of the UK’s relative decline in relation to its former dominions. Tata’s Jaguar/Land Rover being the iconic, as it were, example.

  8. Let’s see:

    Jaguar E-type
    Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud
    Mini Cooper
    Aston Martin DB5
    The London Taxi
    McLaren F1 (The supercar)

    and Tyrrell P34 (The six wheeled F1-car)

  9. “Tyrrell P34 (The six wheeled F1-car)”

    Wow, I had never heard of that before. Thunderbirds are Go!

    (Hey, surely Lady Penelope’s car should be up there too come to think of it?)

    1. It won the swedish GP in 1976 in the hands of Jody Scheckter.
      It is a very unusual car with four small front wheels raced only in 1976 and 1977. The only six-wheeled race car ever, I think.

  10. I guess my age is showing, my top picks:
    Jaguar XK150
    Triumph TR3
    Jaguar 2.4L Saloon (1950’s)
    Rolls Royce Silver Cloud

    And, for jest, the Triumph TR10, and don’t tell me there was no such car. I had a 1958 TR10 sedan. Quite fun when you could get it running. It was only called a TR10 in the USA.

  11. I could not agree more but I could not resist showing what evolved and came next from Citroen. The Masserati powered SM. A white one is my next-door-neighbor to my SPG in The Wisconsin Auto Museum, in Hartford, Wisconsin. It is also in white! Here are 2 wonderful clips, one on the road in England and a proud Aussie taking delivery!

    If they made the DS today it would still be ahead of its time,. All you would need is ABS/Stability control an a more modern engine to comply with emissions.

  12. Lotus 7
    Lotus XI
    Lotus Elite
    Lotus Elan
    Lotus Elan +2
    Lotus Europa
    any Caterham 7 (JPE, HPC, VVC, Roadsport, Superlight, etc. … )
    Lotus Esprit
    Lotus Elite/Eclat/Excel
    Lotus Elise
    Lotus …
    It is going difficult to restrict them to just 5 icons, even not mentioning about ranking them properly. I guess the obvious Mini’s, MG’s, Jags, Bentleys and Landies or even a Rolls will do the necessary. A TVR will be fine too.

    I do love the SM though and of course the DS and even the CX.
    Missed some other french crap in the poll-list like the Renault R4 & R5.
    Or any of the iconic Matra’s.
    Even a Venturi would be more preferable than those many million francs Bugatti’s.

  13. Considering all or most of the real Brit stuff is in hands of foreign investment parties, wether continental or global – next to family wokshop Morgan, isn’t Bristol the other last real British car manufacturer ?
    Or doesn’t the end 60’s american V8 and less then 1 car a year production figure qualify it as a proper car brand ?
    Look forward which 5 icons will be listed.