Lot 318

Monterey 2023

1965 Citroën DS 19 Cabriolet by Chapron


$291,000 USD | Sold

United States Flag | Monterey, California



Chassis No.
Chapron No.
US Title
  • Coachwork by Henri Chapron
  • One of approximately 120 DS 19 Cabriolets built for 1965
  • Wears a rotisserie restoration by marque authority Vincent Crescia of Geneva, Switzerland
  • Desirably equipped with a true four-speed manual gearbox
  • Cloaked in stunning Bleu Antarctique over blue leather livery with a black fabric convertible soft top
  • Accompanied by a Henri Chapron Certificate of Authenticity as well as copies of period press, sales, and ownership literature

From the moment it was unveiled in October 1955, the Citroën DS captured the motoring world’s imagination. Beneath its refined yet avant-garde styling by Flaminio Bertoni was a slate of cutting-edge technology. One feature initially unavailable to DS buyers, however, was a convertible top. Ultimately, Citroën would turn to coachbuilder Henri Chapron to create the “Décapotable Usine,” or “factory convertible.” Sold new through Citroën dealers, fewer than 1,400 factory cabriolets are believed to have been built, making them rare when new and eagerly sought today.

The DS 19 Cabriolet on offer here, chassis 4424011, is a highly desirable early iteration equipped with a coveted four-speed manual gearbox. Per a copy of the Henri Chapron Certificate of Authenticity on file, this example was the 16th 1965 model year DS 19, and just the sixth equipped with a manual gearbox, to be delivered to Chapron’s facility in Levallois Perret, France. Arriving on 8 September 1964, the car was factory-finished in Corrida Red over Bleu Turquoise leather interior and, after its completion, was sent back to Citroën on 12 October 1964.

One of approximately 120 DS 19 Cabriolets believed built for 1965, and one of far fewer equipped with a manual gearbox, this example was treated to a three-year, comprehensive restoration by the renowned Citroen expert Vincent Crescia. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, Crescia is a respected world authority known for the concours restorations he performs on Chapron-bodied Citroëns from the very building that once housed his father’s Citroën dealership. Beginning in 2013, Crescia completely disassembled the car to ensure an absolutely straight foundation before beginning a painstaking reassembly process.

To showcase both Crescia’s work, and Bertoni’s original design, the dazzling shade of Bleu Antarctique was chosen for the exterior while the interior was retrimmed in blue leather. Crescia is said to have paid particular attention to the mechanical components in order to ensure this DS 19 Cabriolet functions as one of the finest in existence. Numerous copies of photographs documenting his masterful restoration process in Geneva are available for review. In addition to its Henri Chapron Certificate of Authenticity, the sale is also accompanied by copies of period press, sales, and ownership literature.

Boasting the coveted four-speed manual gearbox and wearing a concours restoration by one of the marque’s world-renowned authorities, this exceedingly rare, coachbuilt DS 19 Cabriolet certainly ranks among the finest examples extant.