Rare Rides: A Stunning 1962 Citron ID19, Le Dandy

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
rare rides a stunning 1962 citron id19 le dandy

Our most recently featured Citroën was a BX five-door hatchback, which made its way to Maine on a plane from Spain. But perhaps, as some readers indicated in the comments, it wasn’t Citroën enough given its development on a platform also used for Peugeot vehicles.

Maybe this more pure French beauty will satisfy: An ID19 Le Dandy coupe, from 1962.

By the Fifties, Citroën needed a replacement vehicle for their groundbreaking front-drive flagship sedan, the Traction Avant. Wanting to get their new car just right, the company spent 18 years developing the new car in secret. By late 1955 it was ready, and the new DS entered production.

The aerodynamic shape of the DS was penned by the same man who worked on the Traction Avant, Italian sculptor-designer Flaminio Bertoni. With its emphasis on technology and sexy shape, the DS was instantly popular. But there was a problem: cost.

The most basic DS19 model was 65 percent more expensive than the Traction Avant, which had a negative effect on sales in a country still rebuilding from World War II. Citroën had to take the DS downmarket, so the ID range was developed. Though the body was the same as the DS, ID models had fewer luxuries inside, and less powerful engines than DS brethren. The same 1.9-liter engine which produced 69 horsepower in the ID made 75 horses in the DS. ID customers did without things like power steering and the automated-manual transmission, and settled for a standard manual with clutch. The basic “Normale” (for normies) trim was 25 percent cheaper than the cheapest DS. That’s where today’s coupe comes in.

Citroën wanted convertible versions of the DS by the late Fifties. The design work was handed out to French coachbuilder Henri Chapron, who created a convertible called La Croisette in 1958. With a reinforced frame and a two-door body, the DS cabriolet was not very affordable. La Croisette was the basis for 390 specially-built coupe and convertible DS cars, made in the late Fifties and Sixties. Cars were largely custom order, and were called Concorde, Le Leman, Le Paris, or Le Dandy. The names were used to signify the various rooflines of coupe and convertible Chapron DSs. Boutique production of the modified DS turned into official factory production later. Though factory versions were still made by Chapron, all were convertibles. Around 1,365 factory convertibles were produced.

The Le Dandy is considerably more rare, with an estimated 50 total examples completed over a seven-year run. Rarer still is the car selected as donor — an ID19. The wealthy original buyer ordered a Le Dandy built on the more basic ID sedan, presumably for driving enjoyment via the four-speed manual.

There’s an easy case for another DS write-up, but the successful sedan will never reach the rarity of this Chapron-built coupe. It’ll be on auction at Pebble Beach on August 16th, and is expected to fetch $300,000.

[Images: seller]

Join the conversation
3 of 41 comments
  • DweezilSFV DweezilSFV on Aug 04, 2019

    It's pretty but looks like a slightly tweaked early 50s Muntz Jet

    • -Nate -Nate on Aug 04, 2019

      Very much so, better looking than a Muntz IMO . -Nate

  • SPPPP SPPPP on Aug 14, 2019

    Amazing how this car manages to look ... slender. Few cars do that today, I think.

  • Art Vandelay Best? PCH from Ventura to somewhere near Lompoc. Most Famous? Route Irish
  • GT Ross The black wheel fad cannot die soon enough for me.
  • Brett Woods My 4-Runner had a manual with the 4-cylinder. It was acceptable but not really fun. I have thought before that auto with a six cylinder would have been smoother, more comfortable, and need less maintenance. Ditto my 4 banger manual Japanese pick-up. Nowhere near as nice as a GM with auto and six cylinders that I tried a bit later. Drove with a U.S. buddy who got one of the first C8s. He said he didn't even consider a manual. There was an article about how fewer than ten percent of buyers optioned a manual in the U.S. when they were available. Visited my English cousin who lived in a hilly suburb and she had a manual Range Rover and said she never even considered an automatic. That's culture for you.  Miata, Boxster, Mustang, Corvette and Camaro; I only want manual but I can see both sides of the argument for a Mustang, Camaro or Challenger. Once you get past a certain size and weight, cruising with automatic is a better dynamic. A dual clutch automatic is smoother, faster, probably more reliable, and still allows you to select and hold a gear. When you get these vehicles with a high performance envelope, dual-clutch automatic is what brings home the numbers. 
  • ToolGuy 2019 had better comments than 2023 😉
  • Inside Looking Out In June 1973, Leonid Brezhnev arrived in Washington for his second summit meeting with President Richard Nixon. Knowing of the Soviet leader’s fondness for luxury automobiles, Nixon gave him a shiny Lincoln Continental. Brezhnev was delighted with the present and insisted on taking a spin around Camp David, speeding through turns while the president nervously asked him to slow down. https://academic.oup.com/dh/article-abstract/42/4/548/5063004