Paris

5-6 February 2014

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Lot 42

1968 Citroën DS21 Decapotable by Chapron

  • Chassis no. DS21460008

€140.000 - €160.000


139 bhp, 2,175 cc overhead-valve four-cylinder engine with Weber two-barrel carburettor, four-speed semi-automatic transmission, front and rear independent adjustable self-levelling suspension, and hydraulic front disc and rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 3,124 mm

  • The most desirable coachbuilt variation of the “Goddess”
  • An excellent restoration by marque specialist Keyzer
  • Performance proven on a continental grand tour


Used by everyone from the humble taxi driver to Charles deGaulle, the Citroën DS is an icon of French motoring. Amongst the most desirable versions was the factory-authorised Decapotable, or Cabriolet, produced by Parisian coachbuilder Henri Chapron. Chapron took up what the factory had not had the time or resources to do, and he produced his first two-door convertible version of the “Goddess” in 1958.



At first, Citroën refused to sell Chapron separate chassis, so the coachbuilder was reduced to purchasing complete cars and dismantling them. Eventually, the factory relented, and for 10 years, from 1961 to 1971, Chapron produced 1,365 Decapotables to individual customer order. After official production ended, a handful of cars continued to be produced on a custom basis until 1978. Each was hand built to the highest of standards, with handmade doors that were four inches longer than the saloon’s and on double latches; a tail that had been crafted as one long, sweeping panel, with a fibreglass boot lid; and decorative brightwork along the flanks. There were 15 paint choices, 13 shades of leather upholstery, and 3 carpet colours available, allowing for 585 possible combinations.



The Decapotable offered here, equipped with the famous DS semi-automatic transmission and a Continental Edison radio, is believed to have been originally delivered to Canada and then imported to Holland in 1993. Between 2008 and 2010, it was restored from the ground up by well-known DS specialist Keyzer, including 500 hours spent on bodywork in the original Arctic Blue and a new interior, chrome, electrical wiring, suspension, wheels, tyres, a convertible top, and a stainless steel exhaust. A list of work performed and many pictures of the car are included in the file.



The owner reports that the car runs and drives very well, and he should know what he speaks of, as he has taken this car, after the completion of its restoration in 2011, on a continental European tour to Italy, which included travelling to the sun-drenched islands of Sicily and Sardegna and then back to Florence.



For swift motoring across long distances in total comfort, the enthusiast simply cannot do better than a chic and avant-garde Chapron Decapotable. This must be one of the nicest examples available.






Moteur quatre-cylindres, 2 175 cm3, 139 ch, soupapes en tête, carburateur Weber double-corps, transmission semi-automatique quatre rapports, suspension avant et arrière indépendante oléopneumatique à assiette constante et réglable, freins hydrauliques à disques à l'avant et tambours à l'arrière. Empattement: 3 124 mm.



  • La version de carrosserie la plus désirable de la DS
  • Excellente restauration par le spécialiste Keyzer
  • Performances vérifiées lors d'un grand voyage continental




Utilisée par tous, depuis le modeste chauffeur de taxi jusqu'au Général de Gaulle, la Citroën DS est une véritable icone de l'histoire automobile française. La version cabriolet produite par le carrossier parisien Henri Chapron avec l'approbation de la marque est une des versions les plus désirables de cette voiture. Chapron a pris en charge ce pourquoi l'usine n'était pas correctement équipée, et a fabriqué en 1958 sa première version décapotable deux portes de la DS.



Au départ, Citroën a refusé de vendre à Chapron des châssis séparés, si bien que le carrossier a dû acheter les voitures complètes et les démonter. Finalement, l'usine a modifié sa position et, pendant 10 ans, de 1961 à 1971, Chapron a produit 1 365 cabriolets pour répondre à des commandes de clients individuels. Après la fin de la production, quelques voitures sont encore sorties des ateliers, sur commande spéciale, jusqu'en 1978. Ces modèles étaient fabriqués avec le plus grand soin et comportaient des portes rallongées de 10 cm par rapport à celles de la berline, sur deux charnières. L'arrière était formée d'un panneau plus long, avec un couvercle de coffre en fibre de verre, et la voiture recevait des enjoliveurs latéraux supplémentaires. Le client pouvait choisir entre 15 teintes de carrosserie différentes, 13 couleurs de cuir pour la sellerie et trois nuances de tapis, ce qui permettait 585 combinaisons de couleurs.



Le cabriolet que nous proposons ici, équipé de la fameuse transmission DS semi-automatique et d'un autoradio Continental Edison, a été probablement livré neuf au Canada, avant d'être importé en Hollande en 1993. Entre 2008 et 2010, il a été complètement restauré par le spécialiste bien connu Keyzer, qui a passé 500 heures sur la carrosserie peinte de sa teinte d'origine Bleu Arctique, un nouvel intérieur, les chromes, le faisceau électrique, la suspension, les jantes, la capote et un échappement en acier inoxydable. Une liste des travaux effectués ainsi que de nombreuses photos font partie du dossier.



Le propriétaire indique que la voiture fonctionne très bien, et il sait de quoi il parle car, après la restauration, il a effectué en 2011 un voyage qui l'a emmené en Italie, jusqu'à l'extrême sud et les îles de Sicile et de Sardaigne avant de remonter vers Florence.



Pour voyager sur de longues distances de façon agréable, rapidement et dans un confort total, il est impossible de faire mieux qu'un cabriolet DS Chapron, chic et avant-gardiste. Celui-ci est probablement l'un des plus beaux exemplaires disponibles.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

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bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

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dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

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Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

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dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

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gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

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jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

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Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

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msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

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ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
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pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

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pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
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