is a newspaper advertisement by CitroŽn Cars
Limited circa 1967 - 1969.
first thing that struck me was that in this era of the sound-byte, it
is far wordier than anything that might be produced nowadays.
The second thing that struck me was the inconsistent hyphenation employed in the word road-holding (items 28 & 30).
aside the examples of the copy writer's hyperbole - "the perfect
aerodynamic shape" - it is clear that this ad was written by an
enthusiast, rather than a "professional".
this one of the first examples of an ad majoring on safety? Obviously
this pre-dates any of Volvo's safety-oriented campaigns. While on the
subject of Volvo, I recall an interview with a pair of senior people
from Volvo and CitroŽn published I believe in CAR, on the merits of
active versus passive safety - you can guess who was in which corner.
If anyone has this article I would greatly appreciate a copy. As I
recall it, CitroŽn's stance was that the dynamics of the vehicle's
handling and roadholding, coupled with predictability of responses
should result in a vehicle that will be able to avoid accidents while
Volvo's view was that accidents are unavoidable and therefore one
should design a vehicle that will minimise the effects of an accident
on the human frame.
Of course the truth lies somewhere between the two.
also recall reading an American publication entitled "Europe on $5
& $10 a day" which warned readers that they should beware of
European cars, particularly the CitroŽn DS which may appear to be
moving very slowly when in fact it may be travelling at speeds in
excess of 100 mph. It also warned drivers not to tailgate the DS
because its braking abilities far outweigh anything that an American
car can do.
many of the 40 safety-related items listed were sufficiently unusual in
the late sixties to warrant a mention. By my calculations, at least 30
of these features are to be found on the XM .
there's no mention of seatbelts in the ad although they were an optional
fitting. All my father's DS's of this era were
fitted with them. As a layman with little knowledge of vehicle
construction, it appears to me that with the exception of air bags and
side impact bars, there have been few improvements in vehicle design
from a safety point of view.
Since this ad predates the mid seventies oil crisis and is safety oriented, it is hardly surprising that "the perfect aerodynamic shape"
offers only the benefit of "maximum high speed stability" without any
mention of low fuel consumption. Finally, that "perfect aerodynamic
shape" was eventually matched by Ford with the introduction of the
Sierra in 1981 - both had a Cd factor 0.34.