by George Dyke…..

The Gooding & Company auction at Amelia Island on March 8, 2019, will be an interesting one to watch as it will feature a 1970 Citroën DS21 Décapotable that I am very familiar with.

As the auction listing describes, the cabrio, Chassis: 00FA0662, Engine: 458000706, as a rare fuel-injected model. It was shipped by Citroën to Henri Chapron on October 14, 1969. The chassis was given Chapron cabriolet d’usine order number 9346 and was finished in Swan White with red leather. Delivery to Citroën took place on November 25. As the car was to be exported to Canada, a heating system capable of withstanding severe frost was installed.

This DS21 was purchased new at Carrier Motors in Montreal in 1971. The first owner used it regularly before putting it in storage for a number of years. In 1988, Arnold Korne of the province of Ontario bought chassis 00FA0662 from its original owner. Mr. Korne recommissioned the Citroën and performed a partial restoration. In 2011, he embarked on a six-year rotisserie restoration to original specifications. Original Citroën factory parts were used, and great pains were taken to achieve authenticity in the smallest details. The livery was changed to Metallic Red offset by tasteful tan leather, and the top was replaced. The mechanicals were refurbished, and the DS21 has been driven sparingly since completion of the work.

Not mentioned in the listing is that Arnold, shortly after he purchased the car in 1998 sold it to a fellow in Florida. The new owner never bothered to transfer the original title but did manage to have the interior leather redone locally and have an aftermarket air-conditioner installed. After doing that, he kept it in a carport at his home. Arnold stayed in touch with the owner and pondered re-purchasing it at some point.

That time came back in 2011 when Arnold, who vacations in Florida each winter, noticed that another DS cabriolet that he had once owned was up for auction at Amelia Island. It was a registered as a 1963 but had later version “cats eye” turning headlights and a 1971 interior as it had been restored from three different cars in Toronto. That red DS cabrio went for $85,000 US at the time, selling to Hyman Motors in St. Louis.

The day that car sold, Arnold, who has been procrastinating over the price to offer for ‘his’ 1970 DS Cabriolet in the carport, and realizing the cabrio prices were on the rise, went over to the owner and bought back the car.

Arnold had the DS Cabrio shipped to Toronto, and that’s when I saw it, and actually drove it for the first time. It ran rather rough and there was some door fitting issues that indicated some degree of rot had set in. That is when Arnold decided to have it properly restored.

Our local Citroen expert is a fellow by the name of Bernard LaBorde. He immigrated to Canada from France in 2010 and works out of a shop that he shares with Arnold in Toronto. Bernard’s father was an engineer at the Citroën factory all his life and Bernard grew up with his hands on Citroën. So, Arnold decided to hand the restoration task over to Bernard and the following pictures show the progress of that process which took 5 years: https://www.flickr.com/photos/62790594@N03/albums/72157685938854822

With the car complete Arnold was concerned that driving it would depreciate its value, he decided to put the car up for sale. In December 2018, Arnold sold it to a collector in New York City. And now the new owner is trying to do a flip and presumably make a profit.

Isn’t it interesting that another one of Arnold’s DS cabrios has popped up for sale at Amelia Island?

Given the value of recent Cabrio sales at Retromobile in Paris this month, (a 1963 Citroën DS 19 Convertible, estimate: $170,000 – $230,000 US and no sale, a 1963 Citroën ID 19 cabriolet Palm Beach, estimate: €230,000 – €330,000 and sold for €226,480, and a 1967 Citroën DS21 Cabriolet, estimate: €160,000 – €180,000 and sold for €244,360), my feeling is that estimate of $300,000 – $400,000 US is about $75,000 to high, but then the new owner has to make his margin and factor in Gooding & Company’s commission.

However, this is the year that Citroën is being hyped with their 100 year anniversary celebrations, (see today’s article at: www.hagerty.com), if bidding gets going and with all the Citroën exposure in the media, this DS Cabrio could make the high end — and beyond. We shall see…

If you would like to bid, here is the listing: https://www.goodingco.com/vehicle/1970-citroen-ds21-decapotable/

Update – March 8, 2019: Sold for $235,000 USD + Buyers premium of 12% for a total of $263,200 USD.