A NEW APPROACH IN AN AGE OLD BUSINESS+44 (0) 1926 691 141
Sold for: £135,000
Used by everyone from the humble cabbie to the president himself, the Citroën DS is an icon and the Décapotable ranks among its most sought-after variants. Designer Flaminio Bertoni planned a convertible when the DS19 was launched in 1955, but teething troubles put the brakes on the idea. Many of the 80,000 buyers who placed orders at the show were still waiting two years later.
The DS19 relied on a complex, integrated hydraulic system to control the suspension, steering, gearshift, and brakes. Critical tolerances were at the limits of available tooling, and mechanics were baffled, especially when workshop manuals were delayed. However, the DS' rigid box chassis and unstressed skin meant a convertible was an attractive possibility, and coachbuilder Chapron stepped forward. His “La Croisette” cabriolet, named for the promenade in Cannes, appeared in 1958. Citroën would not sell Chapron separate chassis, so he was reduced to buying complete cars and dismantling them. Even after the firm relented and had Chapron build “Usine”, or factory cabriolets in 1961, he continued making his own customs.
In all, there were 1,365 factory cabriolets built: 770 DS19s, 483 DS21s, and 112 ID19s. Never common, the popularity of the cabriolet has never waned. Citroën was still receiving orders long after official production ceased in 1971, with the last car completed in 1978. The cabriolets were outfitted in the height of luxury. There were 15 paint choices, 13 shades of leather upholstery, and three carpet colours, allowing more than 76 possible combinations. Engines ranged from 66hp at first, to 141hp. Despite apparent similarities with the saloons, there are critical differences between real DS convertibles and the 'homemade' variety.
True cabriolets like this one have doors four inches longer than the saloons and use double latches. Two strips of brightwork run along the side of the car, one at the crease of the door and one at the rocker panel. The tail is one long, sweeping piece, and the boot lid is fibreglass. Cabriolets also have two jacking points along the side, as the rear bumper does not remove like on the saloon, so the car must be lifted higher to change the wheel.
The car presented here is a 1970 Citroën DS21 EFI Décapotable, which amazingly retains its original service booklet, manuals, and German registration book. This latter piece of evidence tells us that the car was purchased new by Professor of Surgery, Dr Theo Burckhart, who ensured it was regularly serviced, right up until he sold it to Frau Donate Kruger in 1976, who later became Frau Donate Thrun (with either her name(s) or her husband's Herr Bernd Thrun appearing on numerous invoices), keeping the car up until c2005 (but more than likely until it was exported to the UK – it was originally MOT’d in the UK in 2007 before going to Budapest). It then returned to the UK in 2009/10, indicating c90,000 km and registered 114 XUY, and was sold by ‘Classics & Cabriolets Collection’ of Essex.
In recent years, Citroen DS Cabriolet prices have climbed due to their status, rarity and sheer elegance.
In recent years, this car has formed part of a large collection and as such has received little or no use and an element of recommissioning is to be expected to return it to the road once again. Your inspection pre-sale is welcomed and encouraged to appreciate the potential of this rarely offered motor car.
You can now book a one-to-one appointment (up to one hour) to view this lot at our central location between 16th and 30th July. Please contact Joe on 07779 082707 / firstname.lastname@example.org to secure your appointment or to discuss the car in more detail. The health and safety of both our customers and team remain the utmost priority, we are therefore operating to strict COVID-19 guidelines and full instructions for arrival and inspection protocols will be given when making your appointment.