Tag Archives: Roving

Load Bearing Steel Roof – Citroën DS23 Familiale

Three years after the launch of the Citroën DS series a Estate/Station Wagon variant was launched in 1958.

The major difference between the Estate / Station Wagon and Saloon / Sedan, aside from the vast cargo capacity was that the new variant was built with a steel roof to which a standard roof rack was fitted.

Citroën DS23 Familiale, Goodwood Festival of Speed

All of the Estate / Station Wagon DS’s had three rows of seats, with the middle three all folding down to allow access to the rear.

Different markets were supplied with different variants with different names in France the down market ID based and higher spec British and Australian DS based le “Break” were fitted with two side facing seats in the cargo area where as the Estate in the UK, Wagon in the US and Station Wagon in Australia were all fitted with a forward facing third row of seats.

Citroën DS23 Familiale, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Ambulance versions of the Familiale were also built with a 60/40% fold down split in the 2nd row of seats to accommodate a stretcher and at their Slough plant in the UK a three door hearse was also built.

Fans of horse racing in the UK became particularly familiar with a 1974 DS 23 which was converted by the British Broadcasting Corporation into a Colour Roving Eye.

Citroën DS23 Familiale, Goodwood Festival of Speed

The Colour Roving Eye comprised a colour television camera and cameraman on the roof, a Band V transmitter within the cargo area, with a small generator on a trailer in tow to provide the necessary electrical power for the equipment.

The heavily laden vehicle, chosen for it’s smooth ride over uneven terrain such as that found next to race courses was ideal for live transmissions.

Citroën DS23 Familiale, Goodwood Festival of Speed

It was regularly seen in long shots during live transmissions at the start of horse races being driven at speed alongside race courses before the transmissions cut to close up shots as the races were in progress.

The Italian registered DS23 Familiale example seen in these photo’s at Goodwood Festival of Speed was built in 1973 and fitted with both a factory fit sun roof and factory fit air conditioning options.

Thanks for joining me on this “Load Bearing Steel Roof” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a visit to Pendine Sands. Don’t forget to come back now !