Daphne: 1974 D Spécial purchased October 2016
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Thread: Daphne: 1974 D Spécial purchased October 2016

  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! MelanieYlang's Avatar
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    Default Daphne: 1974 D Spécial purchased October 2016

    After many years of admiring the classic Citroën DS, the opportunity to acquire one in good running order landed squarely in my lap, and after only brief hesitation I accepted the challenge.*

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    Longing to be a classic car collector, I had been looking for a 'serious classic' to add to my stable of one recent classic (a Chrysler Scorpion, marketed in the US as Dodge Challenger and Plymouth Sapporo, and elsewhere as variations on Mitsubishi Sapporo / Galant Lambda), but had something else in mind - although I wasn't certain exactly what. To be honest, it hadn't occurred to me that I could afford to buy a DS...but, life is full of surprises!

    After some repairs to the suspension by the previous owner's mechanic, I collected my slightly shabby '74 D Spécial from the Adelaide Hills and drove her to a new home, 400 kilometres away. This was, frankly, a roadtrip fuelled by nerves, as I had only test driven the vehicle for a short time around the suburbs at dusk with a speed limit of 60kph while wearing rose-tinted glasses; driving a goddess on a highway for hours was a different proposition, and it took much longer than usual, allowing frequent stops for adjustments, fuel, head-scratching, food and photos.*

    These photos were taken at the hamlet of Yumali, which scarcely appears to support a human population. I had brought my green Matchbox Car DS - found at a swap meet earlier in the year (perhaps an omen of the surprise to come?) - along for the drive, having intended to take just such a 'Mini-Me' shot.



    https://goddessonahwy.wordpress.com/
    Last edited by MelanieYlang; 21st November 2016 at 02:13 PM.
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    FEEDING TROUBLES: Since commencing custodianship of my goddess, I have attempted to refill the fuel tank on three occasions; each time, petrol wept gently onto the service station driveway, mocking my attempts and causing me to gnash my teeth while the tank remained only half-full (or is that*half-empty?). I had expected refuelling to be slightly difficult, due to the position of the tank and fuel filler, but this seemed ridiculous! Fortunately, she’s a thrifty contraption, and doesn’t ‘drink like a fish’.*

    The man about the house and a mate did some investigating, and discovered nothing more complicated than a split in the fuel filler hose, which promised to be a simple job to fix (it was). And having easily removable body panels certainly made things easier.

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    Fellow Frogger! MelanieYlang's Avatar
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    GETTING FRESH AT THE REAR: The man about the house has been very busy working on Daphne, having wire-brushed old surface rust from much of the rear quarter, prepping with zinc paint to help prevent the rust spreading further, and freshening the whole lot up with matte black paint.*

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    THE DOWNS OF UPHOLSTERY: Daphne’s upholstery has fallen into disrepair; the driver’s seat is the saddest, of course, and neither the passenger side nor the rear are very presentable. One of the things I was adamant I wanted in my next classic was a ‘nice interior’ – you know, somewhere very pleasant to be when behind the wheel – and this car’s interior is not currently giving me the experience I had requested!*

    Though I had seen whole replacement upholstery sets available for goddesses online from faraway lands in foreign currencies, I decided to see what could be done locally. A trip to the local motor trimmer got me thinking about going for something a little different from the standard Citroen options.*

    I am currently considering contrasting black leatherette with black and white houndstooth or herringbone inserts. I figure that the black leatherette would be in keeping with the original low-budget spec and match in reasonably well with the existing black vinyl door trim, and the fabric insert would give the car a bit of a stylish twist that’s still period correct (though not Citroëncentric). Also, the fabric will be more comfortable to sit on than black vinyl that’s notoriously hot in summer and cold in winter.


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    RE-COVERING THE STEERING WHEEL: I may not be handy at fixing machinery, but at least I felt confident about stitching on a leather steering wheel cover*to improve the mess that was lurking under no-less-than three autoshop steering wheel covers. It started out really easy as I covered the good part of the wheel, but as I approached the nasty bits I lost my way a little, and the job ended up taking twice as long as I first thought. Anyway, the end result isn’t perfect, but neither is it too bad.*

    The cover was made to measure by Mr Steering Ltd, and shipped fairly quickly from the UK; a helpful link to a tutorial on YouTube was included, along with the waxed thread and a tapestry needle.
    Tip:*raise the car up on axle stands so the steering wheel moves freely and you can get easier access as you stitch. I was glad to find a reason to be grateful that Daphne was already on stands!




    CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: before (note nasty section from 2’o’clock to 4’o’clock); cover in position ready for stitching; beginning; progress; approaching difficulties; detail of nasty section; the point when I thought I was home and hosed, but wasn’t; end result.
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    Fellow Frogger! MelanieYlang's Avatar
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    I started a blog about my car's journey, which shares a bit more than I will here, as this thread is specific to the restoration. Thanks for your interest and support!

    https://goddessonahwy.wordpress.com/

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    if you're keen and cashed up the 'targa' vinyl seat covers are available online Melanie. A quick google came up Bryce, aka here-
    Citroen DS Noir Targa interior - Sydney

    may still have them, PM perhaps and most of the European suppliers stock them. Darrin at Citroenclassics shop site?

    Bit of fitting but hey!

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    Fellow Frogger! MelanieYlang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by forumnoreason View Post
    if you're keen and cashed up the 'targa' vinyl seat covers are available online Melanie. A quick google came up Bryce, aka here-
    Citroen DS Noir Targa interior - Sydney

    may still have them, PM perhaps and most of the European suppliers stock them. Darrin at Citroenclassics shop site?

    Bit of fitting but hey!
    Cashed-up I am not, so will shop locally and be getting the upholstery done in stages. And the minor inconvenience experienced with fitting the steering wheel cover confirmed for me that I have no interest in struggling to fit seat coverings myself!!! I may as well pay someone else to make and fit them properly, and use the opportunity to get something custom made...it might not be as resaleable as repro, but it'll be more interesting to me

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    Fellow Frogger! lozenge's Avatar
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    a lovely car. thanks for sharing the story, long may the three of you run.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lozenge View Post
    a lovely car. thanks for sharing the story, long may the three of you run.
    Thanks very much! I hope I can give Daphne the lifestyle she deserves.

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    Hi Melanie,

    Your blog is wonderful and it was something I wanted to document for both my 2CV and hopefully one day, a DS. Congratulations and best of luck.

    Kind regards,

    Syd
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    1974 Citroen D Special (Blanc Meije)
    1989 Citroen 2CV 6 Dolly (Plum & Custard)
    1995 Citroen XM Series II V6 (Vert Vega)

    (Previously owned Frenchies - 1976 Citroen GS 1220, 1997 Peugeot 306 XSi)

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    Quote Originally Posted by gsowner84 View Post
    Hi Melanie,

    Your blog is wonderful and it was something I wanted to document for both my 2CV and hopefully one day, a DS. Congratulations and best of luck.

    Kind regards,

    Syd
    Hi Syd, thanks so much for your kind words! One reason I wanted to start this blog was because I often search personal blogs when I'm researching, so wanted to be able to share any useful information I found out along the way with others

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    with your blog Melanie, just had a squiz and you're pondering if it is a 'real DS', what has the build plate got on it, FD or something else?
    Its the plate on the engine side in front on drivers side, that code will identify the car specifically.
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    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Lovely story. Do enjoy Daphne! You'll find all the help you need here. She'd have given you a lovely ride on that oldish road through from the hills to Bordertown and beyond.
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    JohnW

    Renault 4CV 1951
    Renault R8 1965
    Renault Scenic 2005 (wife's)
    Renault Scenic 2007 (mine)
    Peugeot 306 XT 1995 (daughter's)
    Citroën CX Pallas 1980

    National Co-ordinator, Renault 4CV Register of Australia

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    Fellow Frogger! garyk's Avatar
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    Best colour for a D Special ;-)

    Daphne: 1974 D Spécial purchased October 2016-d-special-1974.jpg
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    Once upon a time:


    Many R4s (incl. fourgonnette), R5LS, R16TS.


    GS 1015, 1220, sedans and wagons.
    CX 2200, 2400.
    ID 1966, 1969, DS21H, DSpecial, DS23 Pallas.
    C5 2002, 2004 petrol and diesel.
    sold ..... D Special 1974 ... to fellow Tassie AFer.
    sold ..... Xantia Activa 1998 (look out Gulargambone)
    sold .....GS 5 speed sedan (what a tale)
    sold .... 1986 2CV6

    And now:

    C5 2.2 HDI 2005 wagon
    CX25GTi 1985 auto
    CX2500 IE Pallas 1985 auto
    DS23 1973 Pallas
    DS23EFI 1975 Pallas

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    Fellow Frogger! MelanieYlang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by forumnoreason View Post
    with your blog Melanie, just had a squiz and you're pondering if it is a 'real DS', what has the build plate got on it, FD or something else?
    Its the plate on the engine side in front on drivers side, that code will identify the car specifically.
    It has FD, and my understanding is that Daphne is a 'real D Spécial'! Which isn't as special as other models, being the later name for the ID, but is a great beginner's goddess

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    Fellow Frogger! MelanieYlang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnW View Post
    Lovely story. Do enjoy Daphne! You'll find all the help you need here. She'd have given you a lovely ride on that oldish road through from the hills to Bordertown and beyond.
    Thanks John! She did indeed give me a great ride on the highway, and has been fine on the more rickety local roads round home, too. I have been amazed by the generosity of members here, who have been so helpful with all my questions in the past month of ownership.
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    Fellow Frogger! MelanieYlang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garyk View Post
    Best colour for a D Special ;-)

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	D Special 1974.jpg 
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    Agreed!

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    well it is a DS because that is also on that plate. : ) Some people have issues with this detail and so be it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by forumnoreason View Post
    well it is a DS because that is also on that plate. : ) Some people have issues with this detail and so be it.
    I'm learning to not mind!

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    RE-POSITIONING THE WINDOW WINDERS. While I was sitting in the back seat today, contemplating what to re-trim Daphne's C pillars with, I suddenly noticed that the window winder handles were all akimbo, pointing in quite different directions.*

    I scurried away to ask the nice folks on Aussiefrogs what I could do to fix this. Within minutes I had a reply that it wasn't difficult to re-position the handles, so I set about doing so. However, I was stumped, and after staring blankly at the handle for a while, I returned to the forum for further instruction. Apparently, all it would take was to push on the plastic spacer ring between the door trim and the handle, remove the locking pin, put the handle in the correct position, drop the pin back in, and the job would be done.*

    Actually, it pretty much did go that way, though I didn't have any tools other than my hands; almost immediately I dropped the first locking pin in the blue metal gravel of the 'workshop', and spent a few frantic minutes looking for it, but that was the only mishap. In a short while I had all four handles facing forward, though all at different angles due to some vagaries of the mechanism.*

    This project was yet another example of the generosity in sharing knowledge in the Citroën community.

    BELOW: winder handle and black plastic ring spacer removed (pin is where? Probably on the ground) from winder mechanism on the door.*

    BOTTOM: winder handle, black plastic ring spacer and locking pin, which attaches the handle to the winder mechanism (metal lug poking through hole in the door trim) through the hole you can see at the top.



  22. #22
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    SORTING OUT RUSTY STUFF
    Paul has been wowing me with his practical skills for the betterment of my goddess. This is part of the rear panel that holds the tail lights, but it had pitted rust; he stripped off the old black paint on both sides, sanded back the rust, had the trailer plug holes welded by a boilermaker mate, body filled the welds, and at the time of this photo had applied two coats of zinc-based undercoat. Next, he'll apply primer filler, then finish with matte black pain, and we'll be back in business!*
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    TIDY TAIL...
    Progress has felt quite slow of late, although that's probably because I've barely been involved in it, plus there have been a few hitches. Well, you can't plan for the unexpected, as much as I try to - and here, I am out of my depth.*

    At any rate, the back end is looking much better, thanks to some fiddly work undertaken by the man about the house. The area surrounding the boot has had rust removed, been treated and repainted black, the boot lip seal was replaced, and the tail lights made to work. Daphne is now looking quite tidy for anyone coming up at the rear.


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    Very wise to get those jobs done Melanie. Happy motoring.
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    LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL. It's been a couple of months since Daphne has been up on blocks, and I'm delighted to report that we only have one more job to do before the roadworthy inspection, and that's install the reverse light switch.

    I decided to stop worrying so much about the dreadful upholstery and put on a full set of generic seat covers that'll do the job for a while, which neatened the interior more than I expected.

    Last night Paul installed the bush for the temp gauge sender and got all front lights working, and we went out for a quick test and tune run...everything went like it ought (that's Paul under the hood, checking the business end was alright), and I'm feeling much happier! I reckon we'll be on the road early new year.



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