Last updated on December 14, 2021
Today’s car is a 1973 Citroën DS21 Convertible. The DS was introduced at the 1965 Paris Motor Show. It had 12,000 orders on the first day and 80,000 orders total during the next ten days of the show. That record was not broken until 60 years later by the Tesla Model 3. Henri Chapron first created a rebodied Citroën DS coupe into a Chapron Décapotable (convertible) in 1958. After Henri’s many DS one off creations, mostly convertibles, Citronën contracted him to make the DS factory authorized convertibles. Citroën supplied a rolling chassis with the hood, front fenders on it and other key components. Chapron reinforced the chassis, extended the original doors by approximately 7.1 inches (18 cm) and made the rest of the body panels themselves. Another interesting note on Henri Chapron, he began his career developing custom body designs for French luxury vehicles, like Talbot, Delage, and Delahay in the 1920s.
I saw this car at the French / Italian car show at Woodley Park in Van Nuys, CA on November 7th, 2021 and it is owned by Jeff. It is finished in Black with a Black leather interior and Black convertible top & boot, It is powered by a 2.2 liter, in-line 4 cylinder, engine producing 101 hp. Power is sent to the front wheels through a five-speed manual transmission. Delivering that power to the limited slip front differential with 4.37 to 1 gear ratio. Helping slow this baby down are disc brakes in the front and drum brakes in the rear. The DS was the first car to feature power front disc brakes as standard equipment. The independent suspension was sprung by an advanced hydro-pneumatic system that was self-leveling and adjustable for ride height. The unique tapering wheel track reduced understeer which is a common issue for front-wheel drive cars. A total of 1,365 factory convertibles were manufactured. The Citroën DS21’s top speed is 109 mph.
This is a very rare and nicely kept car. It would be fun to take to a low rider car show. But, what a hit at french car shows, car shows and local Cars and Coffee outings. Thanks for riding along. Frank