Sat, 08 May 2004 01:30:46 GMT

A triumph of French genius over French engineering.

That's what my old friend Julius Ruff called Citroën automobiles. This was back in the sixties, when we were both in college. In those days your iconic Citroëns were the 2-cylinder 2cv and the aerodynamic DS. The 2cv had windows with hinges, bug-eye headlights, less curb weight than a large motorcycle and accelleration that Car & Driver called “eventual.” The DS had headlights that turned with the steering wheel, a brake that was a button on the floor and a failure-prone hydraulic system that controlled most of the car's fluid systems. Both were distinctive to extremes matched by no other cars, ever.

For some reason I woke up at 3-something this morning, thinking about that quote. I found it nowhere on the Web, so I had to write it down.

[The Doc Searls Weblog]


Doc hits on an important point here. i call it hubris. but really it is when engineering hits the road in a very real way. when you get a committee of technical engineers together to build something as complex as a car, you get one of the most fantastic cars around. it isn't that this was the only example involved. maserati partnered with citroen for one or two amazing examples of hydrolicization. now….. why. why did those hydraulic enabled cars come about? it is a fantasic story about nations and design and perfection and engineering. if you have access to the story, you just smile, else you say the 'ds' is 'different', such is life.