CUSTOM-BODIED BEAUTIES, Chapter I.
At Artcurial’s Retromobile sale- one of the five Chapron-bodied Citroën SM convertibles ‘Mylord’. Fabulous. And a mere $772,800 with buyer’s premium. These have to be quite the coolest version of a very cool GT. Some thought the price insane, I say- wait for the next one? I think not!
The work done by Parisian coachbuilder Henri Chapron on Citroens in the 1950s and 60s was the last gasp of the long and storied history of French custom coachwork. While certainly not as flamboyant as the designs of Saoutchik or Figoni et Falaschi on Delahaye and Delage chassis, Chapron’s work at its best has a reductionist elegance which actually seems to fit the French character a bit better than those of his ‘competitors’.
With wonderful names such as ‘Le Dandy’, ‘Majesty’, ‘Palm Beach’ and so on, the Chapron Citroens set themselves further apart from the everyday crowd. They make you want to dress in your best Balmain, Dior, Balenciaga or Chanel just to go to the corner bistro.
Photos above of Le Dandy, Majesty and Palm Beach courtesy Bonhams auctions.