1963 Citroën DS 19 Décapotable by Chapron
- Rare coachbuilt DS 19
- Exquisite cosmetic restoration
- Meticulously engineered mechanical updates
Amongst the most desirable versions of the famed Citroën DS was the factory-authorized décapotable, or cabriolet usine, produced by Parisian coachbuilder Henri Chapron. Chapron took up what the factory had neither the time nor the resources to do, and he produced his first two-door convertible version of the “Goddess” in 1958. For 10 years, from 1961 to 1971, Chapron produced 1,365 décapotables to individual customer order. After official production ended, a handful of cars continued to be produced on a custom basis until 1978.
Beautifully restored and comprehensively upgraded, this 1963 Citroën DS 19 décapotable offers much more than meets the eye. The initial restoration took place around 2004, while the car was in Europe. The cosmetic restoration is documented with a series of photographs, and copies of ownership papers place the car in Holland in 2006.
In 2011, the Citroën came to the United States under new ownership; the car was serviced and prepared for touring and rallies. The owner commissioned an Indiana-based prototyping/engineering firm to source, build, and install a late-model CX GTi Turbo engine adapted from a later Citroën CX. The engine features a “stroker” crankshaft that’s been micropolished, lightened, and balanced, then paired with custom billet pistons and balanced connecting rods. Additional features include a ported-polished head with stainless valves, a specially designed cam, custom CNC-milled flywheel, and an updated turbo. Fueling and ignition are controlled via a standalone Motec M400 ECU, custom-adapted with a Hall Effect distributor, crank, and cam sensors. A custom alloy radiator by Ron Davis keeps things cool, and the five-speed gearbox has been suitably upgraded with gears made by Hewland. Another upgrade worth noting is the conversion of the car’s hydraulics to use the widely available LHM fluid.
Presented in a gorgeous shade of blue with wonderful accenting brightwork, the DS 19 rides on Vredestein Sprint Classic radials mounted on factory steel wheels finished in cream with full stainless-steel wheel covers. Lighting is provided by Cibie headlamps and S.E.V. Marchal fog light pods specifically designed for the DS. The interior is beautifully restored, featuring supple tan leather seats, optional Jaeger round-dial instrument panel, as well as a restored factory radio. The blue canvas soft-top fits snugly, is fully lined, and ties the color scheme together beautifully.
The car is accompanied by a detailed history file with restoration photos and invoices for the service and engine conversion, totaling nearly $200,000. Additionally, the original 1.9-liter engine, gearbox, and parts removed during the conversion are included, F.O.B. seller. A rare coachbuilt DS, this tastefully upgraded example is sure to impress any French automobile enthusiast with its wonderful 1960s styling and upgraded performance.