[rescue] Sun Netra = Ultra 2?

Sheldon T. Hall shel at tandem.artell.net
Sat Dec 9 16:08:16 CST 2006

Phil Stracchino wrote ...
> Sheldon T. Hall wrote:
> > French cars have always been distinguished by that sort of 
> > thing.  Even the
> > big DS Citroens had relatively piddly engines, yet they 
> > could sustain
> > dam'good cross-country speeds.  You just had to forget 
> > anything you knew
> > about driving a car, and get used to the hydraulic gear-change, the
> > single-spoked steering wheel, the moldy-orange brake 
> > button, and all the
> > other ergonomic strangeness.
> "Brake button"...?

Yep.  A rubber-covered button on the floor, instead of a pedal.  It didn't
move perceptably; instead of applying more brakes when you pushed farther,
it applied more brakes when you pushed harder.  Using those brakes was an
acquired skill, especially for someone raised on non-power-brake US cars, I
can tell you.  It was even tricky for somone raised on
don't-need-no-steenkin'-power-brake-Britcars.  The DS had very powerful
brakes, and the first few times they were applied by the uninitiated the
result was generally a smoking stop rather than a gentle deceleration.
> >  Great ride, though, and amazing ability to
> > maintain their momentum through the corners. 
> They may have looked funky according to US tastes, but they were very
> mechanically advanced and very aerodynamic.  They had self-levelling
> hydropneumatic suspension and a full underbody pan to clean up airflow
> under the car, which enabled them to maintain higher cruising speeds
> with a smaller engine.
They were perhaps more "tabula rasa" than "advanced," with a side-order of
"NIH," but they were, and are, very interesting cars.

A slightly stretched, all-black DS-23 Pallas with a divider and full
back-seat curtains used to live not far from my ex-mother-in-law, on the
outskirts of Copenhagen.  Every time I saw it, it was parked in the full
"down, boy" position, with the sills right on the ground.  It looked like
some sort of escape pod.  It was a pretty up-scale car for the neighborhood;
I don't think too many members of the Royal Family lives in those
grey-brick, late-forties apartment blocks.


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