Saturday, February 7, 2015

1970 Citroen DS Chapron "Le Provençal"

The Citroën DS is a four-door, front-engine, front-wheel-drive mid-size car manufactured and marketed by the French company Citroën from 1955 to 1975 in sedan, wagon/estate and convertible body configurations. Italian sculptor and industrial designer Flaminio Bertoni and the French aeronautical engineer André Lefèbvre styled and engineered the car. After 18 years of secret development as the successor to the Traction Avant, the DS 19 was introduced in 1955 at the Paris Motor Show. In the first 15 minutes of the show, 743 orders were taken, and orders for the first day totalled 12,000. The DS was the first mass production car with front power disc brakes. It also featured hydropneumatic suspension including an automatic leveling system and variable ground clearance, power steering and a semi-automatic transmission.

A cheaper sub-model, the Citroën ID, was introduced in 1957. The ID shared the DS's body but was less powerful and luxurious. The ID19, powered by a 1,911 cc (116.6 cu in) in-line 4 engine was also more traditional mechanically: it had no power steering and had conventional transmission and clutch instead of the DS's hydraulically controlled set-up. In 1970, ID20, powered by a 1,985 cc (121.1 cu in) in-line 4, was introduced. From then on, the ID19 becoming "D Special" and ID 20 becoming " D Super ". (wikipedia &

The newspaper Le Provençal Marseille commissioned Henri Chapron a variant of a DS convertible in 1970 to be used for covering various sporting events while proudly representing the daily paper on its business trips. It also followed the caravan of the Tour de France 6-7 times. Built on the basis of ID 20, the edges of the roof were kept to ensure rigidity. Witness accounts also confirm that there was just one convertible car for the newspaper, implying that this was the only car. This contradicts the history written in 1992 by the excellent Olivier de Serres who suggested there would have been two. ( &

(Photos from, &

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