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Berlin tour in the Citroën DS Tissier: goddess in super-size format

Dino Eisele
Berlin tour in a Citroën DS Tissier
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V before the upcoming test drive in Berlin, the best wife of all warned: 'Don't do it. You will demolish two- or three-digit numbers of someone else's cars, lose a friend and find yourself in police custody in no time. But we need you at home - your youngest daughter's birthday is the day after tomorrow, and you still have to get the drinks. '

That's not how you should talk to a fearless test driver. That's why I'm standing here on a Berlin Havel island, buckling the '69 Porsche 911 E Targa onto the back of a Citroën DS that has already been lengthened into the bizarre - and secretly shivering a little. Not because the loading scene takes place on Eiswerder of all places; I'm already thinking of the tour from Spandau across Siemensdamm, Otto-Suhr-Allee and Strasse des 17. Juni to the Brandenburg Gate and beyond.

Citroen Tissier - 9.4 meter long express transporter

It is already dawn and the Berlin rush hour traffic has increased dramatically since the fall of the Wall. Despite their eight or even ten lanes, the wide boulevards are only flooded slowly. And I will rush into this inferno of horns, flashing lights, bezels and fists, surrounded by almost 20 square meters of Citroën DS.

The van, manufactured by the French commercial vehicle specialist Pierre Tissier, grows behind the driver's back to a width of two meters and a length of 9.4 meters. As is typical for Citroën, the whole load is pulled by the two front wheels; At the rear, the 2.3-liter injection engine pulls six more wheels, mounted on the three DS axles distributed under the loading area.

Tissier built eight of them in the 1970s, mostly for the express transport of magazines from Paris to Berlin, where the Gallic occupiers in the northern districts waited daily for news from the Seine. There was still no internet, and the stretched DS carts were the fastest freight connection on the road between the two cities.

The goddess also offers comfort in XXL format

The Porsche is lashed down. Purpose of the trip: to take the Targa to its winter quarters on the Citroën DS transporter, which is well known in the classic car scene. Why through me? Martin Halder, inventor of the old-timer oasis Meilenwerk and owner of both the Porsche and the DS,radiates philanthropy: 'You always complained that when you were young you were never allowed to race through Berlin in a 911. Now you can.' The piggyback 911 seems to be grinning.

So today Fuhrmann. The comfort of the Citroën has not taken a patina. The driver sits enthroned on a wide, soft leather armchair and the steering wheel's five-speed gearshift is within easy reach. The incomparable hydropneumatic suspension - both Mercedes-Benz and Rolls-Royce once acquired licenses from Citroën - smooths out any unevenness, and since the hydraulics can lower the body separately on the rear axles, loading and unloading is easy: the aluminum flatbed also serves as an access ramp.

The original team is surprisingly easy to see. The rear-view mirrors stick out like uncorrected sail ears before a visit to the surgeon, the power steering works very smoothly, and after the first two curves around the Wilhelmine halls on the island, self-confidence grows: the Porsche is still on the loading area, there is no corner of the wall in one Cloud shrouded in brick dust, and even the indicators work perfectly. The Neuendorfer Straße should come.

Unfortunately, it is not the only one coming. As soon as we turn in, we stick to standing traffic like the orange peel in a jam. It will be better at Falkenseer Platz, we think. But aren't people often wrong? The square is a system of endless lines of cars, biting their tails, turning around the center at walking pace. It is not possible to cut into the closed society.

170 km /h are not possible in rush hour traffic

Finally pity only has a bus driver on line 139: he stops, grins, and lifts his thumb. To whom the greeting remains unclear: the Porsche, the Citroën or even the driver? After all, the BVG man knows about the stress if you want to plow through something here that is longer than a Golf.

At the Juliusturm, on Nonnendammallee and on Siemensdamm: traffic jam, traffic jam, traffic jam. Jakob-Kaiser-Platz? Traffic jam. Tegeler Weg? Traffic jam. Even after half an hour, the driving report is still limited to the experience with first gear: It engages smoothly, but the 120-hp four-cylinder now and then plagues the 120-hp four-cylinder at low engine speeds. 'But on higher tours it runs wonderfully smoothly', comforts Meilenwerk employee Ulf from the passenger seat. And further: 'The straight-line stability is fantastic even at 170 km /h, you will see.' Where can we drive 170 in Berlin? Ulf doesn't know that exactly either.

Meanwhile the sky has taken on the color of dull piano lacquer. But despite all the darkness, Berlin traffic has a bright spot in store: the Spandauer Damm. We turn, the space in front of the Charlottenburg Palace is free, we put the DS in front of the wrought iron fence to take a deep breath and cool off. After twoMinutes a security man chases us away. His threat of filing a complaint echoes for a while: 'Everything is private here!'

On Otto-Suhr-Allee we at least get into third gear, then the traffic jam at Ernst-Reuter awaits us -Space. There is a legend about it that a novice driver once circled here on the inner lane until he ran out of fuel. He is said to have simply not found a way to turn during the rush hour.

Turn onto Straße des 17. Juni, this splendid old Prussian avenue straight through the Tiergarten, the stage for historical events from Kennedy's visit in 1963 to the Love Parade. The strange transport swims loosely in traffic, towards Goldelse, as the Berliners affectionately christened the figure on top of the Victory Column. But your territory is devilish: a chaos of traffic lights, stop lines, lane changes and turning options. The inconsiderate have a clear advantage here.

God has an understanding of that. Instead of making the DS driver work up a sweat, he shifts this problem to the surrounding traffic. He keeps a respectful distance, and it has never been easier to circle the Big Star in rush hour than with the Citroën and its cargo. Berlin drivers, you actually have a heart for the extraordinary.

The DS poses for the final photo in front of the Brandenburg Gate. The place is of course closed for such things, and a security officer is hanging on the roof rails again under the bored eyes of the many Berlin police. His command to vacate the place immediately sounds like a neighborly misfiring. We crank the side window down: 'Then we'll just drive to Charlottenburg Palace.' The regulators wish good success, but their accompanying smile seems a bit too malicious. You know your colleagues.

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