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Coachwork by Chapron
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The Citroën DS captivated the entire motoring world when it was launched at the 42nd Paris auto show in 1955. The first day of the salon, Citroën took 12,000 orders, a number that had risen to 80,000 by the time the Grand Palais closed its doors a week later.
Other parts of the French car industry were struggling. As one of the last French coachbuilders, Henri Chapron was competing against the odds. Nevertheless, in 1958, he succeeded in creating a gorgeous cabriolet on the DS platform. This was followed by various hand-built coupes and convertible models, all manufactured in limited numbers due to their very high cost.
In 1961, Citroën realized that better sales could be achieved. A cooperation began in which Chapron was contracted to build a luxurious DS cabriolet to be distributed via the Citroën dealer network. Citroën paid for the tooling, which was installed in the Chapron works, and agreed to supply DS 19 and DS 21 platforms in greater quantity. This became the iconic and soughtafter DS cabriolet d’usine. From 1961 to 1974, about 1,365 of these vehicles were made.
Chassis 00FA0662, a rare fuel-injected model, was shipped by Citroën to Chapron on October 14, 1969. The chassis was given Chapron cabriolet d’usine order number 9346 and was finished in Swan White with red leather. Delivery to Citroën took place on November 25. As the car was to be exported to Canada, a heating system capable of withstanding severe frost was installed.
This DS21 was purchased new at Carrier Motors in Montreal in 1971. The first owner used it regularly before putting it in storage for a number of years. In 1988, Arnold Korne of the province of Ontario bought chassis 00FA0662 from its original owner. Mr. Korne recommissioned the Citroën and performed a partial restoration. In 2011, he embarked on a six-year rotisserie restoration to original specifications. Original Citroën factory parts were used, and great pains were taken to achieve authenticity in the smallest details. The livery was changed to Metallic Red offset by tasteful tan leather, and the top was replaced. The mechanicals were refurbished, and the DS21 has been driven sparingly since completion of the work.
The specification and high-quality restoration of this iconic model provide a rare combination. The offering of this Citroën DS21 presents a seldom seen opportunity to add a seminal French icon to any collection.