Perhaps it was an aftermath of the Citroën prices commanded at the Pebble Beach auction in August.  Whatever the reason, the pricing frenzy appears to have migrated to Europe.  On October 5, at the Bonhams auction of “The Zoute Sale” at Knokke-Heist, Place Albert de Knokke Le Zoute in Belgium, another world record was set with the sale of a 1973 Citroën DS23 IE Décapotable.  It sold for € 425,500 ($487,945 USD or 640,547 CA) inc. premium. 

      

And the car didn’t have a convertible canvas top, only the frame for the roof was installed.  Though it was stated in the ad that the vendor will contribute € 5,000 towards the manufacturing of a new canvas top which, according to the Chapron build sheets, should be finished in black. 

The car received a detailed mechanical overhaul by UK-based Citroën specialist, Olivier Houiller of French Classics Ltd. with recent receipts totalling over £15,000.  

          

As you can see in the photos, it is is not what we would refer to as pristine.  Door panel trim, sills, overall engine bay condition and a few blemishes on the rear bumper stops make it a 9 out 10 cabriolet.  Nevertheless it was promoted by its pedigree:

• The first of a mere three DS23 IE cars built by Chapron for 1973
• One of only four such examples with the top of the range 2.3-litre IE (fuel injected) engine
• Known ownership history from new
• Mechanically overhauled by Olivier Houiller of French Classics Ltd in 2018
 

Last publicly offered for sale in 2006 at Rétromobile, it was purchased by the car collector and fashion entrepreneur, Mr Kevin Stanford, who registered it in the UK with his personal registration plate, ’56 KS’. For the next 12 years the car was enjoyed by Mr Stanford and his family before being purchased by a UK car collector.   

      

Even with the extensive Chapron build documentation that accompanied the sale (provided by Noëlle-Eleonore Chapron, Henri Chapron’s daughter) the price for this cabriolet was clearly in the stratosphere while setting new valuations for current owners of original DS and ID Chapron cabriolets.