Lot 3

2013   |   Scottsdale Auctions 2014

1923 Citroën Type C2 TL Drophead Coupe

SOLD $59,400


$45,000 - $65,000| Without Reserve


VA 13707


VA 13707

Car Highlights

Complete and Well-Executed 10-Year Restoration
1999 Northwest Citroën Owner’s Club All-French Meet Winner
Paint and Upholstery by Walter Johnson and Kirk Pearson
Immensely Popular as France’s First “People’s Car”
Example of the First Car to Circumnavigate Australia

Technical Specs

856 CC L-Head Inline 4-Cylinder Engine
Single Sidedraft Solex Carburetor
11 BHP (Rated), 5 HP (Taxable) at 2,100 RPM
3-Speed Sliding-Gear Manual Transmission
2-Wheel Mechanical Drum Brakes
Solid Front and Rear Axles with Quarter-Elliptical Leaf Springs

Saleroom Addendum

*Please note that this car is titled as a 1924.

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This Car

Now offered from a knowledgeable and enthusiastic consignor, this beautifully presented 1923 Citroën Type C2 features two-seat TL drophead coupe bodywork. The prior owner bought it in France during the early 1970s, imported it to the US, and placed it inside his home. It was acquired by the consignor in 1995 and completely restored under his care over the next 10 years. Impressively, the required parts, including new pistons, bearings, valve guides, and kingpins, were still readily available, some 70 years after the model was introduced. Walter Johnson and Kirk Pearson, both restoration experts with several Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance winners to their credit, applied the paintwork and trimmed the interior, respectively.

Following completion, the Citroën earned top honors in the Northwest Citroën Owner’s Club All-French car meet in Seattle. Minimal miles have been covered since then and solely for parade and show outings, with the consignor reporting that the vehicle’s period-style Michelin Pilot Clincher tires remain hardly worn. A correct, quality restoration overall, the Citroën is reported to run quietly. With its drophead coupe body style, the Citroën looks quite formal with the top raised, yet carries a decidedly sporting flair when it is lowered. To provide reliable operation in parades, an easily detachable electric fan was added, to assist the car’s nonpressurized cooling system. Quite rare in the US, this charming automobile is understood to provide remarkable ease of maintenance, heightening its considerable “fun factor” for the vintage car enthusiast. Great things can come in small packages and, as history has proven, this 1923 Citroën C2 TL Drophead Coupe is simply a wonderful case in point.

The French "People's Car"

Inspired by Henry Ford, French industrialist André-Gustave Citroën established the world’s first mass-production automobile factory outside of the US in 1919. The launch product was the diminutive Type C, a true “people’s car” that mobilized France after WWI. Always innovative, Citroën is also widely credited with originating the basic dealer sales and service network as we know it today. Offered initially as a sporting two-seater Torpedo, the Type C quickly evolved into the C2 and C3, with the “TL” drophead coupe offered from 1923. Often referred to as the “5CV” after its taxable horsepower rating, the Type C also lovingly remains the “Citron,” as vast numbers of the cars were originally finished in yellow.

Beloved for bringing style and verve into the new entry-level market it pioneered in France, the Type C also garnered a strong export market. In addition, the French upstart gained unlikely worldwide fame in 1925, when it completed the first circumnavigation of the Australian continent, prevailing over brutal conditions throughout the journey.