5 Aug 2014

French beauties

A contrast to the the corrugated oddity in the previous post- some superb French bodybuilding and the wonderful Citoen SM all seen at the recent Le Mans Classic
Firstly the 1938 Peugeot 402 Super Sports Darl'mat Convertible.What an elegant car and I just love all the little details.An absolute classic.A few years ago I would have walked past this with just a passing glance but recently I have really come to appreciate the superb bodies built by French coachbuilders on Bugatti,Peugeot,Delage and particularly Delahaye chassis between the wars.They are so elegant.Last year a 402 Super Sport Darl'mat convertible sold at auction for $0.75m in the US.

Next the beautiful Citroen DS21 Decapotable by Henri Chapron.I remember going to the London Motor Show at Earls Court in London with my father in 1956 and seeing the Citroen DS19 for the first time.In those days the London Motor Show was a really big deal and it was packed with people and the biggest crowd was around the Citroen stand to see the amazing DS19.It looked like something from outer space compared to all the dull upright British cars all around it.I already had a Dinky Toys DS19-yellow with a red  roof and plastic windows and I was just entranced by the DS19.The DS21 Decapotable was the summit of the DS line.I remember seeing TV news footage of President De Gaulle travelling up the Champs Elysees sitting in the back of a special one off presidential car -waving regally to the huge crowds.Very CDG.

And finally another wonderful car -the Citroen SM.For just a few years Citroen owned Maserati-and what could be more natural than putting a Maserati engine into a Citroen body.The result was a stunning high performance luxury car packed with advanced features.The Citroen/Maserati marriage inevitably unravelled and this wonderful project finished.
I would love to own a Citroen SM-I did see one on the road locally a few years ago but they are as rare as hen's teeth here in Australia as they were only ever produced in LHD form and so were not imported new.

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