Citroën DS Convertible DIY

This site describes the process of converting my Citroën ID20 Berline (1970) into a convertible version with a fabric hood.

The car was in need of maitenance when I bought it, back in November of 2007. Since then, we have been restoring it to a state in which it is fun to drive!

My ID20 after the needed maintenance was done

After the general maintenance was done, the idea developed of converting the car into a convertible.  That finally took place in the winter of 2016/2017 at Oord Cabrio in Friesland (NL).

Making the new chassis for the ID20 cabrio at Oord DS Cabrio

At coachbuilder Oord, the floor was completely modified to be self-supporting, the rear doors were removed and a closed body was made from the front doors to the tail. And- the car was approved by the RDW and licensed as convertible.

The ready-to go ID20 cabrio as I got it from Oord DS cabrio, early 2017

At Oord, an emergency roof was supplied and the tailgate of the DS was reused.

Sideview with the roof UP at delivery from Oord early 2017

After the conversion at Oord, the tailgate of the convertible was rebuilt to the model of the very early ‘Le Caddy’ convertible as originally developed by Henri Chapron.

Original Chapron ID Le Caddy from 1961, with the original front doors of the ID

On an original ‘Le Caddy’ the tailgate fits in the full width between the original rear fenders.  

Rear view of an original Chapron Le Caddy ID

In order to keep enough space for 4 occupants, the roof is placed further back than on the original ‘le Caddy’. To make this possible new rear windows were made and placed.

Roof mechanism of a first version Audi 80 cabrio

For the roof, an Audi80 (V1.0) roof construction was used as a donor, which was extended approx. 22 cm at the front.  The locking mechanism at the windshield frame is solid and the closing bowls for the roof are mounted at the top of the windshield frame of the convertible. 

Rear view of my ID20 Cabrio

The roof is now easy to fold up and down manually, and when lowered fits neatly under the closing lid.

Rear side view at my parking garage, roof UP

The lid of the roof runs semi-circular and the trunk lid follows exactly this shape.

The trunk is fully accessible and usable, and passengers in the rear seat can sit comfortably and have normal views through the installed rear windows.

Update 3-2021: The exterior of the car is fine in shape and finish but would need another finish job by a professional painter. The inside still needs to be upholstered.  All the materials are there but it does not really happen yet.  For the upholstery of the original ID seats with hinge mechanism of the backrest and the rear seat I have approached several upholsterers but none of them has given me a suitable proposal.  So the whole set of seats, side panels and rear bench are still lying neatly in storage.  As long as it’s not ready I’m driving around with the temporary mounted (electric) front seats from an early model Volvo C70, and with the back seat that goes with the roof from a first model Audi 80 convertible.

The upholstery will be red (I have red skai lying around), for the door panels and seats/benches, the floor will be grey (I have matching new original carpet and trim lying around), the trunk black (I have matching new and trim lying around). 

Welding, fitting and measuring, sheet metal work and painting I can all do pretty well but upholstering is a whole different ballgame…  

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