A 1965 DS21 Chapron Concorde Coupe owned by Hyman LTD Classic Cars in St Louis, MO, was bid up to $143,000 USD today on the Bring a Trailer auction website.
Unlike the DS convertible models by Henri Chapron which we wrote about last month, (see https://citroenvie.com/d-cabriolets-a-high-stakes-game-with-potentially-high-returns/), the coupe models; Concorde, Le Dandy, Le Lemans and Le Paris, are rarer than the convertibles (cabriolets) but have a select following as the bodywork lines are polarizing to those that prefer the tapered flow of the convertible.
The Concorde, with the large rear window and “squared-off” roofline, and the “petit-finned” rear fender treatment, is arguably one of the prettier Chapron bodied DS coupes.
We monitored the auction to try and determine if the strong market for Chapron bodied DS coupes can be sustained into 2020 with the high prices they have commanded in the past. This car is a good benchmark for value because it has a known resale history.
It was for sale at the Bonhams auction at Retromobile in February 2011. At that time the upholstery was not redone or refreshed and the engine was mentioned as an “exchange standard”, which means that the engine was replaced by an identical model. “DX”. https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/19137/lot/388/
In August 2019 it was for sale at Bonhams Pebble Beach Auction and remained unsold at a high bid of $140k. Mark Hyman picked it up after that for an undisclosed amount and was obviously trying to make a profit on BaT.
It is not surprising that this Concorde was only bid to $143K. The car is not totally original. The 2,175cc DX inline-four is a replacement engine that was reportedly installed after the car was acquired by a mechanic in 1985. The interior was reportedly reupholstered in the early 2000s, and cracking in the leather can be seen on the driver’s seat. The turn signal switch is said to be faulty, and the signals are not operable.
As well, the tachometer does not function properly as shown in the video accompanying the Bring a Trailer ad. All in all a nice driver, but the market had already assessed this car at around $140K and prices are not rising. Not in the USA at least. Are the good-old-days (for sellers) of high-priced DS Chaprons behind us?
At the Gooding & Company Pebble Beach auction last year a Le Dandy in pristine condition sold for $330k. https://www.goodingco.com/vehicle/1962-citroen-id19-le-dandy-coupe/
What surprised everyone at the Gooding & Company auction, even more than the Le Dandy’s price, was that a beautifully restored 1959 DS19 factory sedan, (no Henri Chapron custom body) remained unsold at a high bid of $150K but sold post-auction for $215K. https://www.goodingco.com/vehicle/1959-citroen-ds19-berline/
In the last decade, luxury assets performed exceptionally well as central bankers handed out free money to the elite class to hoard assets of their liking. And naturally, these people, with exceptional taste, bought things out of reach for the common folk. In the case of Citroëns; the Henri-Chapron bodied models and rare factory models such as the 2CV Sahara 4×4.
However, classic car values were down by 5.6% in 2019, according to Historic Automobile Group International’s (HAGI) Top Index. Part of the underperformance can be attributed to the lack of Asian demand. Chinese buyers account for 33% of global luxury goods sales. There is a lot of uncertainty in Chinese markets and the riots in Hong Kong didn’t make it any easier for people to have confidence and open money.
The classic car market has been cooling following a massive rise in price after the 2008-09 financial crisis. Classic car prices saw double-digit gains after the recession, rallying 50% year by year through 2013.
What’s now becoming evident is that ‘Not QE’ (has been demonstrated) and other monetary gimmicks deployed by central banks are failing to raise asset prices of many luxury goods. Perhaps the world is stumbling into a period where toolkits of central banks are becoming less responsive to stimulate asset price inflation, and if that is the case, then everyone will figure out that prices of luxury goods have been hyper-inflated over the last decade.
See the full listing for the 1965 DS21 Chapron Concorde Coupe along with over 100 photos at: https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1965-citroen-ds21-chapron-concorde-coupe/
Update – Jan 15, 2020: Subsequent to BaT auction, the 1965 DS21 Chapron Concorde Coupe was listed for sale by Hyman on Hemmings for $189,500 US. https://www.hemmings.com/classifieds/dealer/citroen/ds/2323553.html#&gid=1&pid=2