With a declining market for his coach building skills on supplied bare chassis Parisian Coach Builder Henri Chapron turned his attention to tailoring existing bodies for his demanding clientele starting with converting saloon / sedan Citroën DS19’s into two door La Croisette Décompatable convertibles and later two door La Paris Coupés in 1958.
Until 1959 his DS 19 conversions were built without the approval of Citroën and Chapron had to buy entire cars and convert them, using a vertical chrome strip to hide the join between the rear door panel and the rear wing panel.
From 1960 the La Croisette, named after the exclusive Cannes boulevard, was built with a single rear panel from the rear to the door, first seen on the Chapron Le Caddy Convertible in 1959.
From 1961 Citroén commissioned Chapron to build the DS19 Usine (factory) Convertible’s to order for distribution through their dealer network from, the Usine was based on Flaminio Bertoni’s drawings.
Building La Croisette, Le Caddy and factory Usine Convertibles at the same time proved unsustainable and the La Croisette model was dropped afer 52 examples had been built in 1962, the Le Caddy lasted until 1968 with 34 examples built while the Usine production survived in ID/DS19 and later DS21 form until 1971 with 1325 examples built.
Curiously despite clearly having a post 1960 single piece rear wing with no pre 1960 vertical chrome strip covering the join between the rear door and rear wing today’s featured car was shown at Goodwood with a label advising us it is a 1958 car.
Thanks for joining me on this “Cannes Boulevard Convertible” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be visiting a Volksfest for the first time. Don’t forget to come back now !