By on August 1, 2019

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]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

41 Comments on “Rare Rides: A Stunning 1962 Citroën ID19, Le Dandy...”


  • avatar
    FreedMike

    The proportioning is odd, but I’ll be damned – it works. Tres bien!

    Citroen did make some pretty amazing (and mechanically exasperating) stuff in its’ time.

    (I wish the photos showed what’s being done with all that space behind the front seats. Is there a back seat? I can’t tell.)

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Citroëns are without a doubt among the most interesting cars on the planet, their whole design school is unlike any other. Even as a kid I was fascinated by their unique look and high quality. The SM blew me away from it’s debut, but $300K for this ID is crazy, but probably deserved

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      I grew up in the ’60s, and my dad was always fascinated with the DS, and also the Volvo 122 (Amazon). At The State Fair of Texas, cars like Volvo, SAAB, and Citroën were displayed in a separate building, then called the World Exhibits Building (which also showcased the latest imported appliances, kitchen wares, and other stuff), instead of in the Automobile Building where the American iron was on display. So of course we always went through there to check out the Volvos and Citroëns.

      He always wanted a Volvo or Citroën, but they were out of our price range, my parents first owning a ’52 Packard, then a brand new ’66 Rambler American.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      My dad had an SM – it was a spectacular car, as long as you didn’t expect it to consistently do things like start or run, or not blow its’ engine doing 35 in second gear.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        I had a classmate in the Netherlands whose father had an SM. He replaced it with a Camaro, which made perfect sense to all the kids who hadn’t lived in the US.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        You mean the SM was temperamental? I never would have guessed

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          You wrote that as a kid you were fascinated by their high quality. I used to be around them all the time and high quality is not something I would associate them with. Admittedly they were part of PSA from 1976, which did them no favors, but they didn’t become Peugeot’s value brand by building great cars on their own.

          They had some very advanced ideas that they never executed well enough to influence the industry. Their senior products always looked distressed on the streets of Europe. DSs with crushed valence panels, CXs with dents and seam rust, SMs with both. There was always something about them that made them unsuited for use on this planet. At some point I struggle to take their advocates seriously. The DS and ID were lovely sedans. This butchered coupe looks like a rolling slug. Where’s the ability to differentiate good design from a dog’s breakfast?

        • 0 avatar
          OliverTwist78

          The SM engine is a shortened Maserati V8 with two cylinders removed. What Citröen and Maserati didn’t bother putting in the V6 was timing chain tensioners. Over the time, the timing chains loosened up and stretched until they jumped the cog wheel by one tooth. Kaboom! Valves opened and closed too soon and getting thrashed by the pistons.

          Very expensive to replace!

          • 0 avatar
            lon888

            The problem was the SM was sold to big money guys like doctors, execs, etc who had no mechanical skills. The tensioners required adjustment (very easy process) every 10k miles. Also the old piston type air con compressors set up a nasty harmonic imbalance in the engine. Substitute a modern rotary compressor and the problem is resolved. If I were to hit the lottery, the first exotic I would buy would be an SM. There’s a guy over in France right now who is doing restomods on them and calling them SM2. I’d get one…” type

          • 0 avatar
            -Nate

            So ;

            There are or are not timing chain tensioners ? .

            -Nate

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            There are tensioners that use oil pressure to maintain the right tension, and there are chain tensioners that rely on some type of spring. I’m guessing the SM engine has an idler pulley that can be moved via loosening and tightening a bolt or some sort of threaded adjuster. Such a mechanism allows you to set tension, but it has no way of maintaining tension. Think of it as the difference between hydraulic and mechanical lifters.

          • 0 avatar
            -Nate

            Understod .

            Above ot says both yes and no, this is what I’d like to know…..

            -Nate

          • 0 avatar
            Greg Hamilton

            That’s good to know. Those Citroen and Maserati engineers must have moved on to BMW where they learned to install timing chain tensioners, but instead of metal they thought, “Hey we’ll just use plastic.” Same effect–Kaboom!

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    I’ve seen plenty over the years about the Henri Chapron convertibles, but this is the first coupe. And to be built on the cheaper ID, instead of the DS? Makes you wonder about the guy that commissioned it.

  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    Oh mon Dieu! Une si belle automobile!

    Why can’t we have anything like that today? (Sigh…)
    Hope the French is correct – it’s been a few years!

    • 0 avatar

      *voiture, no automobile

      • 0 avatar
        theflyersfan

        Ahh, Corey, it had to be you! ;-) Don’t you know that Cincinnati lost all French culture when La Maisonnette shut down? (as I weep softly…)

        All right class, gather around for some French 101.

        L’automobile is still used, especially in other parts of the world that speak French (not France.) In my old living nook in West Africa, I heard l’automobile and la voiture used interchangeably. Some of my French got a little “warped” from not being in France.

        But Voiture is the common use word, kind of like English speakers swap “car,” “vehicle,” and “automobile” in casual conversation.

        File this under “Did You Know?” Automobile originates from French.

        And now everyone can resume searching for stuff they aren’t supposed to see at work.

      • 0 avatar
        James Charles

        Corey, or auto. Bikes moto.

        As a kid in the States my step mother had a grey DS wagon. I remember going out to Montauk Pt fishing with my old man and he’d raise the vehicle to drive on the beach.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    Beautiful!

  • avatar
    redgolf

    This color combination is now in vogue ( 2 tone ), always did like the red/black color combo especially on motorcycles.

  • avatar

    Remember, the DS was voted the car of 20th century by the European journalists. I concur.

  • avatar
    thejohnnycanuck

    Well to those of you salivating over a French built car you can still buy a Yaris hatchback.

    Oh wait, didn’t Toyota just wave the white flag on that one?

  • avatar
    relton

    I had a DS19 with a manual transmission, 1966 model. I think it was an option.

    I also had an SM with a 5 speed manual. The Maserati engine was blown, and I installed a Ford 2800 V6. It required the engine to run in reverse, which meant a new cam among other things. Nice car, then I sold it in a moment of weakness.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    This looks like a perfect vehicle for someone who has nowhere to be and nothing to carry along the way.

    I have heard some eye-opening things (in a good way) about Citroen suspensions.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    It sure is pretty ! .

    I knew a few who owned DS’ in the 1970’s, all of them were seriously tatty yet kept going, dribbling that special hydraulic oil out every where they went .

    I was an Indie Peugeot Mechanic in the early 1970’s and discovered that French cars are fine, you just have to do everything _their_way_ or else .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    Ermel

    The DS “sedan”, if you want to call it so profane a word — which I don’t, so let me start over in fact.

    La DS berline is one of those designs that may have benefitted from slight retouches over the years, like the twin under-glass headlights in ’67, but whose proportions are perfect in such a way that anything which changes them — like Breaks (wagons), convertibles, coupés, or shortened rally cars — looks not just odd but hideous in comparison.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Dear OEM CEO:
    a) Consider the fact that this particular vehicle is likely to sell for over a quarter of a million dollars at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance
    b) Reconsider what relevance your “entry/mainstream luxury” product has to that target audience
    c) Fire the stupid promotional firm which ever encouraged you to sponsor the Concours

    http://www.pebblebeachconcours.net/sponsors/current-sponsors.html

  • avatar
    JoeBrick

    I liked the car that Clark W. Grizwald drove in Euro-peon Vacation. The one with which he knocked over an important monument on Salisbury Hill. It was an orange DS. That car was the highlight of the whole movie, with the possible exception of the ‘shower scene’ with Mrs. Grizwald…

  • avatar
    DweezilSFV

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

  • avatar
    SPPPP

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


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • SPPPP: Amazing how this car manages to look … slender. Few cars do that today, I think.
  • SPPPP: Elon Musk seems quite sure that his ideas are the best, and if you like something different, well, your...
  • akear: This car comes at a good time for Acura since Cadillac has pretty much neutered their high performance lineup....
  • APaGttH: Bar-S hot dogs are PEOPLE! PEOPLE!!!!
  • dal20402: 5 of 113 Rangers here are 2WD (all base work trucks). Zero of 20 Expeditions.

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Timothy Cain, Canada
  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States