1970 Citroen DS21 Décapotable
Year of manufacture1970
- A genuine Chapron-built DS 21 Décapotable
- One of only 40 DS 21 cabriolets built for 1970, and 483 produced in total
- Rare Canada-delivery car desirably equipped with new-for-1970 fuel injection
- Fully restored in 2017; four owners from new
- Retains numbers-matching engine; accompanied by Citroën documentation
From the moment it was unveiled in October 1955, the Citroën DS captured the motoring world’s imagination…and its spell has never worn off. Beneath its refined yet avant garde styling by Flaminio Bertoni was a slate of cutting-edge technology; in particular, its marvelous self-leveling hydropneumatics suspension enabled excellent roadholding without sacrificing ride quality. As anyone who has driven a well-sorted example can attest, the DS offers an almost unearthly experience while underway.
One feature not made available to DS buyers at the outset of production was a convertible top—though not due to lack of prospective orders. Ultimately, Citroën turned to coachbuilder Henri Chapron to create the “Décapotable usine,” or “factory convertible,” to help meet demand.
These were not mere chop jobs: True cabriolets, like the stunning 1970 example offered here, have doors four inches longer than the sedans, in addition to other cosmetic changes. Importantly, they also received frame reinforcements to ensure their structural integrity. These cars were sold new through Citroën dealers. In all, there were 1,365 factory cabriolets built: 770 DS 19s, 483 DS 21s, and 112 ID 19s, making them rare when new and eagerly sought today. Of these, a mere 40 were built for 1970, of which a handful were delivered to North America.
This car, originally finished in Swan White over red leather, was delivered to Canada and purchased via Montreal’s Carrier Motors in 1971. It was desirably optioned with new-for-1970 Bosch electronic fuel injection, which gave its 2,175-cubic-centimeter inline-four engine a respectable 125 brake horsepower; this was paired with a four-speed semi-automatic transmission.
Its second owner, located in Ontario, Canada, purchased the car in 1988. He performed a partial refurbishment and used it for some time, before beginning a photo-documented six-year rotisserie restoration in 2011. Completed in 2017, original Citroën parts were used where possible over the course of this job to maintain the highest possible degree of accuracy. At this time, the car was refinished in its present metallic red over a tan interior, an attractive combination. It was subsequently acquired by the present Florida-based consignor in 2019; it has been stored in a climate-controlled facility since, seeing only limited use.
With just four owners from new, this rare and beautifully restored fuel-injected DS 21 Décapotable offers its fortunate next owner a motoring experience unlike anything built before or since. It is accompanied by photos of its restoration, service invoices dated 2019-2020, copies of its original factory record, and documents from Citroën and Chapron attesting to its authenticity. To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/mo21.