The Elkhart Collection | Lot 1241
1966 Citroën DS 21 Décapotable by Chapron
$246,400 USD | Sold
| Elkhart, Indiana
23 October 2020
- A captivating, coachbuilt DS cabriolet by Chapron
- One of only 483 DS21 versions produced
- Refinished in original Vert Foret with black leather interior
- Maintained for its first 24 years in the South of France
- Among the most comfortable automobiles ever built
The Citroën SM is a French icon and the Décapotable ranks among its most sought-after variants. The first was produced in 1958 by renowned Parisian coachbuilder Henri Chapron, who initially bought complete DS coupes and converted them. Citroën eventually relented and had Chapron build the factory cabriolets starting in 1961. In total there were 1,365 factory cabriolets built by Chapron, including 483 DS21s; Citroën was still receiving orders long after official DS production ceased in 1971, with the last cabriolet completed in 1978. Each was finished to the height of luxury in one of 15 paint colors, 13 shades of leather upholstery, and three carpet colors.
The car offered here is from the second season of DS21 cabriolet production, the most popular year for the model, and is equipped with automatic transmission. It has had an ideal life. It was sold new in the South of France to Ralf Emmerling of Port d’Antibes and remained there until 1990, when it was sold to Paolo Carlini of Sorengo, Switzerland. Mr. Carlini retained the cabriolet until 2008, when it passed to a collector in the Netherlands. The current owner acquired the cabriolet in 2013, and it has enjoyed the good care and maintenance typical of the collection.
During its lifetime the Citroën has been refinished once, in its original color of Vert Foret, while the remarkably comfortable black leather interior is mostly original; the Haartz cloth top and carpets were replaced before the current owner’s acquisition, and the hydraulic systems were converted to the superior LHM “green fluid.” It is reported that the hydraulic suspension system still works properly and provides a superior ride.
This is among the finest highway automobiles in this collection and would be a joy to experience running on American country roads and highways. As the Citroën DS continues to grow in popularity in this country for its unorthodox and fascinating design, the coachbuilt cabriolets or Décapotables are among the most desirable and sought after—especially the more powerful DS21 variant, as that offered here. It is an exceptional example of the renowned car beloved by French enthusiasts as the “Goddess.”