Big things with little cars
Big things with little cars
Illustration for article titled French Friday: Une autre déesse?

As Edu-Petrolhead's preview of his French Friday revealed a goddess, I though: Let's add just another DS today. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a DS 19 Coach le Paris Henri Chapron. As Henri Chapron was a coachbuilder it's probably not a Citroën officially but it looks awesomely weird and beautiful. And French.

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: Une autre déesse?

Henri Chapron started coachbuilding all kind of (French) cars in the 20's. Primarily Delages and Delahayes, but also Hotchikisses, Talbots and Hispano-Suiza: as long as it's expensive Henri made something nice of it. After WWII though, there was no real need for these kinds of cars in Europe. But then Citroën introduced the DS...

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: Une autre déesse?

And Henri Chapron created a convertible of the DS, le 'décapotable'. Chapron produced 389 of these. Some with a slightly lowered windscreen, some with the normal one. Citroën was quite impressed by the décapotable, which led to a cooperation: le Citroën DS 'Usine'. This was a 'factory'-built Citroën (actual production at Chapron's of course), sold and maintained through Citroëns own dealer network. Citroën sold 1365 of these, nowadays highly sought-after models.

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: Une autre déesse?

But next to that factory-convertible, Chapron also produced small series of coupés based on the DS. And that's what this 'Coach Le Paris' is. Nine cars were produced of this four-seater. After that another coupé was produced, the Concorde (38 units). And for those only in need of two seats Chapron built the one with the best name ever: le Dandy (49 produced)! Personally I love the lines of this Le Paris best. Just look at her 'behind'.

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: Une autre déesse?

After the DS ceased production in 1975 Chapron made some special SMs and luxury CXs and Peugeot 604s. And they even built some DS décapotables, the last one in 1978. And that was the year Henri Chapron died. The company survived a few more years but was shut down in 1985.

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: Une autre déesse?

The model displayed over here is a 1/43 Atlas. As they don't come with a decent case (just some blister) you can tell I've got it for a while now: Lots of scratches. But the worst thing are these paint-bubbles on the door as you can see on the first two pictures: how did that happen?

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: Une autre déesse?

But this is what makes me love the French cars of the 50's, 60's & 70's so much. There's so many special concepts of their ordinary line-up, which is already kinda special itself. Chapron, Heuliez, Rosier, Vernet-Pairard, they're all awesome. And will eventually make an appearance on a next French Friday.

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: Une autre déesse?

C'est la fin du vendredi français pour moi. Enjoy your weekend and show me your amazing Frenchies today!

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