AS French President Charles De Gaulle and his wife travelled in a black Citroen DS along the Avenue de le Liberation on August 22, 1962, a dozen gunmen opened fire.
A hail of 140 bullets killed two motorcycle bodyguards, shattered the Citroen’s rear window and punctured all four tyres.
Though the Citroen went into a front-wheel skid, De Gaulle’s chauffeur was able to accelerate out of it and drive to safety, all thanks to the superior suspension system.
De Gaulle and his wife kept their heads down and came out unharmed from this assassination attempt.
From that moment, the Citroen DS became an icon of a nation.
And now the latest DS model is back and the wheels of the new French President Emmanuel Macron.
The all-new DS 7 Crossback was Macron’s car of choice as he paraded down the Champs-Elysees to his inauguration over the weekend.
The specially-designed crossover had a personalised opening roof so Macron could greet the French crowds who had assembled in the Paris streets in the driving rain.
It was the first time the DS 7 had been seen on the road and it won’t be available for regular punters until January 2018.
This version won’t be on sale, either, as a team of DS engineers and craftsman delved deep into the options list for Macron’s masterpiece.
French Republic signature badging, Ink Blue paint and a leather interior named Opera Inspiration after the Parisian district all make this DS 7 stand out.
The 20-inch wheels are personalised with golden detailing, too, and there’s even a flag holder for the Tricolour.
The youngest French leader since Napoleon travelled in comfort thanks to the DS Connected Pilot autonomous system and Active Scan Suspension which uses cameras to anticipate bumps in the road.
Thankfully this journey was much less frenzied than the one De Gaulle made 55 years ago.
The DS still remains a French hero.