1962 Citroën DS19 Décapotable
Coachwork by Henri Chapron
Chassis no. DS19 4294050
Engine no. 0214003527
Just as it had done 21 years previously with the revolutionary 'Traction Avant', Citroën stunned the world again in 1955 with the launch of the strikingly styled 'DS'. The newcomer's startling appearance had been determined by the requirements of aerodynamic efficiency, while beneath the shark-like, low-drag bodyshell there was all-independent, self-levelling, hydro-pneumatic suspension plus power-operated brakes, clutch and steering. No European car would match the DS's ride quality for several years, and the fundamental soundness of Citroën's ahead-of-its-time hydro-pneumatic suspension is demonstrated by its survival in present-day top-of-the-range models. In 1966 the DS's original 1,911cc, overhead-valve, long-stroke engine was replaced by a short-stroke 1,985cc unit, also available in 2,175cc and 2,347cc versions, while other developments included swivelling headlights, fuel injection and a five-speed gearbox.
Other models offered alongside the original DS were the ID (a simplified, cheaper version), the cavernous Safari estate and the two-door Décapotable (convertible). One of the most stylish cars of the 1960s, the latter was the creation of Parisian coachbuilder, Henri Chapron, who called his first such model 'La Croisette'. At first the conversion was not approved by Citroën, forcing Chapron to buy complete cars rather than rolling chassis, but eventually the factory relented and went on to produce its own usine version on the longer chassis of the ID Break (estate) model. Chapron continued to build his own Le Caddy and Palm Beach convertibles together with various limousines and coupés, the most popular of the latter being 'Le Dandy'.
This beautiful example of one of Chapron's rare coachbuilt Citroëns was delivered new in Sweden, remaining in that country until earlier this year when it was imported into the UK. We are advised that the last owner in Sweden was a Citroën specialist who expertly maintained the car throughout his 26 years of stewardship. Registered with the Chapron Club, it is a C-Matic (semi-automatic) equipped model finished in Arctic Blue with beige leather interior. The car comes with a hand-written history, owner's handbook, sundry service receipts, current UK MoT certificate and UK V5C registration document. A rare opportunity to acquire an original Décapotable preserved in superb rust free condition.
- The car is from 1965 and not from 1962 as stated in the printed catalogue