RIO RIO4114 French 1960 Citroen DS 19 Limousine with French President Charles de Gaulle (1:43 Scale)
"The graveyards are full of indispensable men."
- French President Charles de Gaulle
The Citroen DS (also known as Daesse, or Goddess, after the punning initials in French) was an automobile produced by the French manufacturer Citroen between 1955 and 1975. The DS is well-known for its futuristic, aerodynamic body design, and for its innovative technology (including its hydropneumatic suspension system).
The DS advanced the achievable standards in terms of ride quality, roadholding, handling, and braking in an automobile. Automotive journalists of the time often noted that competitors took decades to adapt to the higher standards it set. The smooth, aerodynamic body lines gave the car a futuristic appearance. While it looked very unusual in 1955, public tastes appear to have caught up with the DS in the post-Ford Taurus/Audi 100 era.
After 18 years of development in secret as the successor to the venerable Traction Avant, the DS 19 was introduced on October 5th, 1955, at the Paris Motor Show. The car's appearance and innovative engineering captured the imagination of the public and the automobile industry almost overnight. 743 orders were taken in the first 15 minutes of the show, and orders for the first day totalled 12,000.
Far from being just a fascinating technology in search of a purpose, contemporary journalists were effusive in noting how the DS dramatically pushed the envelope in the ride handling compromise possible in a motor vehicle.
This particular 1:43 scale DS 19 features President Charles De Gaulle standing in the rear passenger compartment. Now in stock!
Length: 3 inches
Width: 1.5 inches
Historical Account: "The Fifth Republic" - Charles Andr Joseph Marie de Gaulle was a French general and statesman who led the Free French Forces during World War II. He later founded the French Fifth Republic in 1958 and served as its first President from 1959 to 1969.
A veteran of World War I, in the 1920s and 1930s de Gaulle came to the fore as a proponent of mobile armoured divisions, which he considered would become central in modern warfare. During World War II, he reached the temporary rank of Brigadier General, leading one of the few successful armoured counter-attacks during the 1940 Battle of France, and then briefly served in the French government as France was falling.
He escaped to Britain and gave a famous radio address, broadcast by the BBC on June 18th, 1940, exhorting the French people to resist Nazi Germany and organized the Free French Forces with exiled French officers in Britain. As the war progressed de Gaulle gradually gained control of all French colonies except Indochina most of which had at first been controlled by the pro-German Vichy regime. Despite earning a reputation for being a difficult man to do business with, by the time of the Allied invasion of France in 1944 he was heading what amounted to a French government in exile, but although he insisted that France be treated as a great independent power by the other Allies, the Americans in particular remained deeply suspicious of his motives. De Gaulle became prime minister in the French Provisional Government, resigning in 1946 due to political conflicts.
After the war he founded his own political party, the RPF. Although he retired from politics in the early 1950s after the RPF's failure to win power, he was voted back to power as prime minister by the French Assembly during the May 1958 crisis. De Gaulle led the writing of a new constitution founding the Fifth Republic, and was elected President of France, an office which now held much greater power than in the Third and Fourth Republics.