International Trophy Sale 2013

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*WITHDRAWN* 1972 Citroen DS-23

Lot No.: 344

Registration: Private number not included in sale
Chassis Number: 01FC6778
Engine Number: 0673010892
Number of cylinders: 4
CC: 2347
Year of Manufacture: 1972
Sold for (£): Unsold

The Citroën DS was a ground-breaking car that not only had beautifully elegant coachwork but was also bristling with advanced technology. Both the saloon and convertible featured self-levelling hydro pneumatic suspension which achieved new levels of ride quality and handling for a road car. It was also the first mass-produced car to feature power front disc brakes; it also had power-steering and a clever semi-automatic transmission.

The 'La Croisette' title was used for the early drop-top DS derived from the name of the glamorous 2kms Promenade in Cannes in the South of France. 25 of these unofficial DS convertibles had been built by 1959. Demand was so high that Citroën relented and wisely allowed Henri Chapron to become the official sub-contractor for the conversion of both the convertible and a new coupé named (in France at least) respectively as Le Caddy and Le Dandy.

The Le Caddy was redesigned using Bertone's proposals giving a one piece rear wing. These official cars are known as Usine (factory) Cabriolets and were sold throughout the Citroën dealer network. Citroën provided the reinforced rolling chassis from the DS Break (Estate or Safari in UK) for the DS Usine Convertible. Production of the Citroën DS Convertible ended in 1973.

Despite its popularity the limitations of the small French carrossier meant that relatively few Citroën DS Convertibles were actually made and it has now become the most highly prized variant of the car. Original convertibles have gained a high value and their exclusivity gave rise to replicas being made more recently from DS saloons by companies such as Worcestershire based Dee-Ess Conversions.

The vendor is a Citroën enthusiast and we are informed that this particular DS Cabriolet replica was purchased in 2010 as his life time ambition to own a DS Cabriolet. There is no more comfortable driving machine than a DS, and as such the car was driven around in the Sutton Coldfield area during the summer months of 2010 until, with the onset of winter approaching, it wasdecided that the Citroën was in need of attention to both its bodywork and interior.

A local body shop in Birmingham was tasked with the complex job of bringing this amazing car back to its former glory. We are informed that both doors and all the wings were removed for the purpose and then subsequently repainted in Borelly ivory (AC084). As soon as the car's coachwork was complete the vendor then set about the task of refurbishing the seats and the soft top, the seats are among the most pleasant in the automotive world, and combined with this cars legendary suspension they cosset you like no other classic. At the same time it was decided to fabricate a new full and half tonneau cover set to go with the vehicle.

We are informed by the vendor that thecar starts, the suspension rises and it drives and brakes very well, indeed from a driving perspective (rather important, however attractive the clothes are ...), the DS feels very modern. The famous 'black mushroom' brake 'button' works perfectly well after a little acclimatisation and the very direct steering is finger-light, the spacious cabin is purposeful and masculine in a very gallic way.

As values for a genuine factory convertible sky-rocket, the enthusiasts gaze will naturally fall upon alternatives that are almost indistinguishable from the real thing. So this amazing piece of automotive sculpture represents something of a bargain. The Citroën DS has, quite possibly, the greatest concentration of design and engineering genius ever seen in a car, indeed, that old rogue the late Alan Clark knew a classic when he saw one and indeed often wrote of his love for his DS convertible. (PLEASE NOTE CHERISHED NUMBER IS NOT INCLUDED IN SALE)