Have you ever seen a list of the world’s greatest cars that doesn’t include a Citroen DS? It’s a reliable chart-topper, famous as much for its looks as its technical unorthodoxy. In a mid-Fifties world of shocks and springs, the DS instead used hydropneumatic suspension with little spheres of pressurised oil and nitrogen for each wheel, meaning the car always remained level. That wasn’t the only innovation, but it’s the one that made its name. A name that, as any pub-quizmaster will tell you, is a play on déesse, the French for goddess.
Images: Simon Thompson
This feature originally appeared in issue 290 of Top Gear magazine