1970 CitroŽn Type DS 21 IE Chapron CabrioletSOLD
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CitroŽn Type DS 21 IE Chapron Cabriolet

Reference Number 127372

as of 5/23/2011

Overview
Car 1970 CitroŽn Type DS 21 IE Chapron Cabriolet
VIN 00FB3378 
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Known History

In October 1955, CitroŽn astonished the automotive world, and the general public maybe even more so, with its legendary "front wheel drive", by launching the revolutionary DS 19. Under highly aerodynamic bodywork, the newcomer offered a brand new hydro-pneumatic independent four-wheel suspension, height and brake control adjustment, automatic clutch, with gearbox and steering assisted by a very high-pressure hydraulic circuit. No European car managed to equal the handling properties of the DS for many years. The fundamental soundness of CitroŽn?s pioneering hydro-pneumatic suspension is demonstrated by its ongoing use in the company?s top-of-the-range models. In 1966, the original 1,911 cm3 long-stroke engine of the DS with rocker arms, fitted with an aluminium cylinder head with hemispherical chambers, made way for a 1,985 cm3 short-stroke engine also available in 2,175 cm3 and 2,347 cm3 versions; the DS was then fine-tuned in various ways, such as with revolving headlights, fuel injection and a five-speed gearbox.

 

In parallel with the original DS, CitroŽn offered other derivative models such as the ID (a simplified and less expensive DS), the huge Safari estate car and the two-door convertible (Cabriolet); this had what was known as factory bodywork but was built by Henri Chapron. Although the first Cabriolets were produced by Chapron on his own initiative and independently of CitroŽn, the manufacturer then entrusted the coachbuilder with production of the "factory" model. CitroŽn?s DS Cabriolets were built based on the standard saloon body shell from 1961 to 1963 and then with the more rigid ID estate car shells, which have a thicker interior side frame. Like the estate car, the ID/DS Cabriolets had two jacking points. The subframe therefore had more bending strength and the doors attached to two strike plates further helped its rigidity. On this structure without a B-pillar but that retained the standard bonnet and front wings, Chapron built the rest of the bodywork on (longer) doors, as well as a reinforced windscreen frame to take the fixings for the hood, a receptacle for the hood in the rear, longer rear wings and a fibreglass boot lid. Furthermore, Chapron fitted the DS/ID Cabriolet with special finishes (including boomerang shaped indicators mounted on the rear wings) and, as an option, a Jaeger dashboard with round dials and, as was the tradition for this coachbuilder, high-quality leather trim to the customer's specifications. With regard to the DS Cabriolet, it only had the DS 21 engine after September 1965, first the 109 hp and then the 115 hp carburettor version and, from September 1969, the 139 hp injection version (DS 21 IE). A total of 1,365 factory Cabriolets were manufactured with the DS 19 or DS 21 engine between 1960 and 1971, whereas Chapron offered his own models up until 1973.

 

The vehicle offered for sale is a DS 21 IE Cabriolet delivered new on 5 May 1970 to a Parisian architect, Mr Phelouzat. Its original colours were black sandstone with red leather trim and a beige hood. Options selected included an electric hood, a hard top, a Jaeger dashboard, a special horn and a height-adjustable driver's seat.

 

This DS Cabriolet purchased by the seller in autumn 2000 underwent a total restoration from 2008 after the origins of the vehicle had been checked by consulting the manufacturer?s vehicle file and Mrs Chapron herself. As well as checking the authenticity of this 1970 convertible, it also had to be confirmed that the main options (electric hood and hard top) were genuinely original and not added later. Mrs Chapron?s attestation, dated 16 October 2001, confirmed that the bodywork was given manufacturing no. 9380 and no. 32801 for the shell and that the vehicle had indeed been delivered on 5 May 1970 with red leather trim, a beige hood and a hard top. This number 9380 that Chapron stamped on specific components was found by the seller on the windscreen frame and inside the door linings. Furthermore, the manufacturer?s vehicle file on 6 October 2000 confirmed the origin of the vehicle and that it was sold on 29 May 1970 to Mr Phelouzat, based on the serial no. 00FB3378 appearing on the vehicle registration certificate and the chassis plate. On 1 December 2010, the seller received confirmation from the CitroŽn Conservatoire of the serial no. FB3378 cold stamped on the chassis, the manufacturer?s plate number (DS series FB 00FB3378), body shell no. 0032 000801 and of the match between this no. 32801 delivered to Chapron on 27 March 1970 and the Chapron manufacturing number (9380) of the DS 21 Cabriolet vehicle completed and delivered to CitroŽn on 5 May 1970 and then to the sales outlet on 15 May. On the other hand, in this correspondance of December 2010, it is stated that the serial number does not match that appearing on the production handrails; this is the only available archive source that the manufacturer now has for providing an attestation of conformity, since the 1970 sales register, consulted in 2000, is no longer available.

These are the items as they appear in the file sent by the seller. It is an excellent opportunity to buy a vehicle with extremely rare options that has been entirely restored.