A private ride around Paris in a vintage Citroën DS is a definite splurge. But, what an intimate and unique way to greet the City of Light! It is like stepping into a time machine for a luxurious cruise on the streets. All the while, having a soft-spoken and knowledgeable driver answering questions and gently pointing out the amazing monuments that suddenly appear around each corner.
Schedule Your Own Private Paris Excursion
Originally, we were looking at other types of Citroëns, but decided they were too small. Luckily, I stumbled onto Guillaume Dazin’s website. There, in amazing color photos, was a breathtaking Citroën DS! The DS is one of my dream cars!
On his website, Guillaume has photos of his specially built 1973 Citroën DS 21 Pallas Limousine Convertible. “DS” is pronounced in French like the word, “Déesse.” And, “déesse” means “goddess.” (Those clever French marketers.) And, it is indeed a goddess! In 2015, the French people voted it their favorite car. Also, in 2009, an international jury voted it the “Most Beautiful Car of All Time.” Take a look and see if you agree that it is a goddess.
Immediately, I wrote Guillaume in English asking about a reservation. Soon, I received a reply email in English. The Goddess was available!
Via email, we set up a date and time for our first night in Paris. Something easy to do that does not require lots of mind power after the long flight and potential jet lag! Guillaume texted me once we arrived in Paris and we also exchanged text messages reconfirming the arrangements after arriving at the hotel. Since Guillaume and I arranged everything well in advance, these kinds of reassurances and attentiveness are details that really make for a stress-free trip.
An Evening Cruise in a Classic Citroën Sipping Champagne
At 6:30pm, Guillaume and his Goddess arrived in front of the hotel. After introducing ourselves, and laughing at our great adventure, and giving the Goddess her due admiration, we hopped in. From there, it was pure luxury. The seats are so plush that they cradle you. We waited to pop the Champagne, so Guillaume started her up, put her in gear and off we went. It was as if riding on air in a great pampering recliner! Guillaume explained that the DS is equipped with hydro-pneumatic suspension. To the lay person, that means the car is kind of floating along on air!!! Extraordinary. (If you want to know more, Guillaume loves his DS, knows its history, is an engineer in automotive design by profession, and can explain everything in great detail.)
We had all been to Paris before, so we requested a leisurely ride to sip Champagne and admire the most beautiful city in the world. Although Guillaume is fine with you requesting certain destinations, we left the decisions to him. First, he drove us down by the river side to see the back of Notre-Dame de Paris. Snow was still on the cobblestones, the wind was brisk, and across the river, Notre-Dame de Paris glowed under the night sky.
Guillaume helped each of us out. The car is so beautiful each of us was afraid we would break something if we pushed or pulled too hard. We soon learned how to maneuver in and out of the goddess and we stood in the snow admiring the view. Guillaume popped the Champagne, poured it in our crystal flutes and all was right with the world!
City of Lights on Air
From there, Guillaume drove us around and stopped anywhere we asked, he took pictures of us and we took selfies with him. It was easy to relax right away because he is such a good and cautious driver. Guillaume answered any questions we had and he provided little tidbits of information. Like, the Concorde Bridge was built with stone from the Bastille prison. And, the obelisk in the center of the Place de la Concorde is the oldest monument in Paris and it was a gift from the people of Egypt. Plus, rather than the giant Arc de Triomphe, Napoleon wanted a statue of an elephant the same size as the current arch! Wouldn’t that be amazing!!
As we floated along, people honked and waved, rolled down the window and asked about the car, and generally ogled the goddess! Guillaume drove us to a great spot to see the Eiffel Tower and an incredible Art Deco building. He took all around Place Vendome, up the Avenue Champs-Elysees, and eventually dropped us off at our restaurant for dinner. Our 2 hours flew by as we rode in style around the streets of Paris sipping Champagne.
It was a memorable evening, with a wonderful host, in a fabulous car. (In the warmer months, he lowers the top – can’t wait to go back and try that version!) A perfect night.
Update from Guillaume: “I am now offering tours aboard my DS in the beautiful city of Bordeaux and surrounding vineyards. In the heart of French culture, at only 2H by train from Paris centre.” Perfect for a day trip.
Private Paris in Distinguished Luxury – Citroën and Champagne
To read more about Guillaume’s Goddess or request a booking in Paris, Versailles, Bordeaux, or ….
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2019 and has been updated with new tours.