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La restauration de Bébé
BBM 200C - a history.
Owner Tony Stokoe

First registered in May 1965 in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, England, Chassis no. 4424017.

O ne of 1365 factory D Series drophead coupes or 'decapotables' bodied by the French coachbuilder Henri Chapron. About 50 of these 'decaps' were right hand drive. There are probably less than 10 remaining.

This car - 'Bé-Bé' is a DS19M (for Mécanique, indicating a manual gearbox). This was a particular specification for the British Market, promoted as the DW with a slightly uprated engine.

The car had 6 owners up until 1976, when she was taken off the road with a view to some bodywork restoration. It appears this was started but then aborted.

She spent most of the 1980s and 1990s languishing in the Citroën dealers in Llandudno in North Wales, in the ownership of the parts manager, Mr. David Williams. In 1997 the dealership closed and Mr. Williams let it be known he wanted to sell the car as he had no intention of carrying out a restoration himself

I n April ’97 I viewed her and a deal was struck. She was rusty, battered but complete and running. The odometer reading at 48,221miles (77150 km) was obviously genuine and mechanically she was very sound. The bodywork and hood were in a poor way and Citroen specialists ‘Installation Services’ in Oswestry, Shrops, began a full restoration in August 1997.

Andrew Brodie of Brodie Engineering in London worked as a consultant on the project and sourced and supplied many Chapron parts and specialist trim pieces. Likewise Graham Lange at the Oxford French Car Co. provided many early D parts to help complete the re-build. 

Headed by David and Andrew Myers, the car was stripped, repaired and welded with new and correct panels fitted as appropriate, all mechanical parts were overhauled. The rear underside of the car needed a lot of careful work to correct damage which must have been caused by a minor rear end shunt. Now the underside is as beautiful as the top half!

I sought specialists to recover the front seats in the correct leather and the rear seat and interior panels were restored. The stainless steel trim was re-polished, the other brightwork re-chromed.

Finally hood makers 'All Wheel Trim' in Witney, Oxon, made up a new mohair hood in June 1998 and the DVLC confirmed BeBe could regain her original registration mark and they supplied an appropriate 'historic' licence disc.

BéBé's on the road again!