by George Dyke…..
With Citroën Autoclub Canada’s recent scavenging of 2 barn find D model Citroëns in Gravenhurst Ontario, (which you can read about here), I began to wonder about the whereabouts of a 1957 DS19 that I last saw in 2006. At the time it was resting outside in Woodstock Ontario alongside a 59 DS that was in a bit rougher shape. Citroën Autoclub Canada member Lloyd McBride put me onto them back in the late 1990’s when he was living and working in Woodstock. They belonged to Sandor Kovacs who owned an auto repair shop in Woodstock and occasionally worked on Lloyd’s 1960 ID19. We stopped in that year on our way to the MeadowBrook Concours show (now called Concours of America) that we make a point of attending every summer in the Detroit area.
Here are some photos I took of the DS at the time: https://www.flickr.com/gp/62790594@N03/65jk84
Note the unique details such as; the broad reflectors on the rear fenders that are ‘cut in’ at the back, the shape of the turn signal “trompettes de Jericho”, the inside roof mount for the rear view mirror and the full length side pillar interior light.
Since those photos were taken the cars have been moved; – noted because we passed by the place about 5 years ago and there was no sign of them. Lloyd moved to the Brantford area and lost contact with Sandor.
Other than the 1956 DS19 owned by Louis Grenier in Montreal, this 1957 DS is most likely the second oldest DS in Canada. And there would only be a couple that are older in the USA.
I recalled that Lloyd said the owner knew the rarity of the cars, so I didn’t think he would be scrapping them or giving them away. However 9 years have passed and I was curious to know their whereabouts and condition. It took a little digging but after few phone calls on the Woodstock area I managed to connect with Sandor. He informed me that he still has the cars, having transferred them about eight years ago to indoors storage at a warehouse he owns. He has a house repair project on the go at the moment, but as soon as that is finished he plans to tackle restoration on the 1957 DS.
Sandor also gave me a bit of history about the cars. He purchased them from a shoe salesman in Pennsylvania in the 1980’s who had both cars up for sale because we was getting too old to restore them and his only son had no interest in them. Sandor made a trip to see them, made the purchase and ended up hauling them back to Woodstock with the intent of restoring them – eventually…
In my conversation with Sandor I mentioned their rarity and how I hoped we would make the effort to do get them running again. With DS models increasing in value these days the cars, particularly the 1957 DS19 being so rare, they are certainly worth preserving.
There are so few that price is really hard to determine. Greg Long sold his 1956 DS19, a running barn find rare US spec car that he sent to Bonham’s auction in Paris in January 2015 for $27,566. US. I know of a 1959 DS19 – US spec that is being “refreshed” here in Toronto at the moment. When completed I think the owner will be asking $40K. I have very nice 1960 ID19 that I think is worth about $20-25K. A very early DS, like 56 or 57 if well restored or in nice original condition could well be worth $50K or more. The sky could be the limit in a few years when they come up in auctions!!
We will see how Sandor progresses with his two DS. At least I’m now connected with him and we can report on their progress when he starts to work on them!