Posted in majorette

Vintage Treasures Part 1: Majorette Citroen DS21 Ambulance

Sometimes it is better not to search, and instead to let the treasure find you. This was the case when I entered a second hand shop in my town, where a plethora of vintage cars awaited. Yes, they’re in rough shape – but it’s hard to find vintage cars for a reasonable price that aren’t in “played with” condition.

Frankly, the retro factor more than makes up for the paint chips… they just add character to it, anyway!

Majorette Citroen DS21 Ambulance

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An oldie but goldie. No.206 at scale 1/65. I can’t remember when I first saw this model advertised but I’ve lost count of how many years I’ve wanted it. Usually I couldn’t justify the price online when there were so many other models out there I also wanted.

With the help of SwiftysGarage user Dreamer64 and the website citrowagon.fr I was able to find a lot more information about the vehicle upon which this particular coachwork is based – it is an extended 20/21 Break CURRUS ambulance produced after 1969. This creation added to the already unparalleled success of the DS Break as an ambulance, as two stretchers could be placed side-by-side in the larger bodywork.

Having looked at the real thing online, I have to admire how accurate Majorette was. I think Matchbox should seriously consider doing this model or a similar Citroen Break on those gorgeous disc wheels, yes indeed, maybe as a camper van conversion.

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There have been a number of variations with the casting, as is to be expected with any vintage Majorette. I believe the car was run between 1974 and 1980, and in that time the most prominent variation was arguably the beige/blue windows (I think the blue came later? I think it works better since the light on top is part of the interior plastic). The floaty suspension is just superb, and the detail for the 1970s is tremendously accurate.

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Other variations included the wheel styles, these being the commonly seen tri-spokes. It doesn’t show up great in the photos, so if you’re wondering, that license plate reads “5212 YC 75”. I think it’s especially great how Majorette designed the headlamps on their DS, with the swivelling lamps clearly visible behind the housing. Very cool.

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I feel like I was lucky to get one for £1 in a second-hand store which still has its flags, and is in such relatively good condition (I’ve seen worse on eBay going for more).

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The van includes an opening rear door in blue plastic, and on the inside, the same injured guy who also had an appearance in the VW Fourgon military van.

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The size of the model is also very reasonable, as I find Majorettes tend to be on the large size scale-wise (some even going to 1:55 Siku scale), but this sits very nicely beside the Matchbox Mattel Citroen DS (also one of my favourite castings):

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This glamorous vintage Majorette does the brand and the real car proud, but I would expect no less from it – the “Made in France” stamping is a testament to that. And, if you were in the situation where you needed an ambulance, what better car to transport you than the Citroën, with its legendary hydropneumatic suspension? The DS encapsulates timeless French design, and, in the case of the DS, a truly revolutionary car. An excellent model for any collection!

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Author:

Graphic designer, writer for Classic American auto magazine, journalist.

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