Citroën’s palatial DS has become a sought-after classic, but auction house Bonhams is preparing to sell one that makes the regular sedan look a little mundane. Up for grabs with no reserve is a rare 1969 DS 21 that was rebodied into a stately limousine by coachbuilder Chapron.
Assigned chassis number 4637101, the DS 21 scheduled to cross the auction block is one of 27 Majesty models built by Paris-based Chapron and one of three equipped with directional headlights, which were a real novelty in the late 1960s. While the DS was positioned as Citroën’s range-topping sedan from 1955 to 1975, the coachbuilder took luxury to the next level by giving the Majesty a more upright C-pillar that cleared up additional space for the passengers riding in the back, a more angular-looking rear end, and a more upmarket interior.
Majesty models also featured specific trim inside and out (the chrome strips on the fenders and on the front doors were notably not fitted to the regular-production DS) and a handful of subtle Chapron emblems. Pricing varied from car to car, but the Majesty wasn’t cheap. It was created largely for heads of state and other money-no-object dignitaries, it was built almost entirely by hand, and it was priced accordingly.
Finished in Midnight Blue, the example offered by Bonhams was fully restored in the 2000s. But it has been stored since the current owner purchased it at Retromobile in 2009, so it needs a full tune-up — at the very least. Like every DS built, the Majesty was fitted with a hydropneumatic suspension system that (we say this from experience) doesn’t like to sit for an extended period of time. Parts are readily available, and the system isn’t nearly as daunting to work on as it sounds, so getting it back on the road should be easier than it sounds.
Bonhams is offering this Majesty with no reserve, meaning the highest bidder will take it home. It expects the sedan to sell for anywhere between 50,000 and 100,000 Swiss francs, excluding auction-related fees, figures that represent about $50,200 and $100,300, respectively. If this looks like the project that you’ve been waiting for, mark your calendar for July 3 — that’s when this car will cross the block in Gstaad, Switzerland. Collectors who would rather enjoy a bidding war from the comfort of their couch can register to bid online.