Looks like a Chapron special-body Citroen DS convention that CC reader Chris spotted on the streets of Maastricht, the Netherlands. Leading off the parade of these beauties is what appears to be a DS 21 Cabrio d’Usine (factory body), which despite its name, was built by Henri Chapron’s bodyworks, but sold by regular Citroen dealers as a factory-listed car.
But the Chapron Lorraine Limousine behind it is in a different league.
Here’s a better look at the Cabrio’s graceful nose. The Cabrio is the rarest of the “factory” D cars; only some 1,365 were sold from 1958 through 1973. It used a special under-structure with reinforced side members and other modifications. I rather prefer the earlier single-headlight front end, but that’s a source of endless debate.
Here’s a look at its graceful tail. All of these special-bodies DS cars have rather unorthodox proportions, due to the realities of the DS, especially with its rear wheels positioned at the extreme end of the body. Some work better than others, and this one works very well indeed for me. And I’m not the only one; these are highly coveted cars.
The Lorraine sedan has the later faired-headlight version, with the lights that turned along with the front wheels, a feature not allowed in the US, as well as the headlight covers.
Chris didn’t get a full profile shot of the Lorraine, so I’ll pop this one in, in order to get a proper idea of its more traditional proportions. Perhaps not everyone’s cup of absinthe, but undoubtedly there were a few folks with the money who wanted to have something more unique and distinct from the very common DS.
Undoubtedly this was anything but a random meeting of these two Chaprons. There’s a paper sign in the rear window of the Lorraine, but I can’t make it out. Regardless, it was a fortuitous street-side find.