This Custom Citröen DS19 Is Almost Like a Two-Door Limo
Looks almost the same if you close your eyes.
Continuing the theme of old, excellent Citröens is this DS19… and it’s no normal DS. It’s actually coach built, and specifically modified by Henri Chapron to fit the rear passengers more comfortably while being a two-door. That’s cool and all, but it also manages to maintain that incredible DS form factor and design flare, staying true to the original ’50s Italian-Parisian café pipe dream design by Flaminio Bertoni. It almost doesn’t look coach built, but rather it is exquisitely detailed and reimagined.
Car(s): 1963 Citröen DS19 Concorde by Henri Chapron
Location: Mullin Automotive Musuem, Oxnard, Ca
Photog: Chris Rosales (Instagram: @chrishascamera, Twitter: @chrishasacamera)
Camera: Sony A7R II with Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L
Chapron himself is a hugely celebrated French designer and coach builder, known for giving Delehayes, Talbots, and Delages gorgeous bodies, until French law taxed his business out of viability. He then switched to customizing Citröens, starting with the DS in 1958. This DS, the Concorde, is actually pretty far into his run of work with the company, built in 1963.
One of the most notable features of the Chapron coachwork is the added brightwork that highlights and sharpens the previously invisible character line that swoops down from the fenders of the DS19. As your eye follows it, you realize that this DS is missing two doors, and is made into a coupe. The roofline is profiled, and the greenhouse is changed greatly. All of it amounts to a fabulous testimony towards French design superiority in the ’50s and ’60s, a beautiful notchback spaceship with exaggerated, athletic yet elegant proportions. The sheetmetal of the rear haunches is very slightly different and more chiseled, somehow making the original DS19 look lackadaisical compared to this machine.
You can see the vehicle for yourself if you can make it to the Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, California, not too far north of Los Angeles.
As big as we could get it: