Japan
Page creation 25/10/2014
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In 1969, Aoi-san in Higashiosaka stopped
driving his ID19, which he had bought six
years earlier, due to high tax and other
maintenance costs. It is still there, in his
garage. The kind of "first owner" car you
don't get to see everyday.

Aoi-san's first encounter with a DS was at
the 1963 Osaka Foreign Car Show. There
it was in a corner, a blue DS19, nobody
really seeming interested. He said: "what
a strange car", to which Hatsuya-san,
Citroen's importer Nichifutsu's top
salesman, quickly replied "not strange,
unique !". He waited until the end of the
show to be given a chance to try and drive
the car, and ordered one soon after. He
chose an ID instead of a DS, as he thought
the hydraulic semi-automatic gear system
was too complex. He received the car
three months later.  
Above: Aoi-san and his son on the way to the "England
Exhibition" held in Harumi, Tokyo, in 1965. The body
paint has already been changed to dark blue.

Right and below: Aoi-san also upgraded the seats
and the inner panels, judging the original ones looking
and feeling too "cheap". Apart from that, and the body
paint, the rest of the car is entirely original: from the
engine, never repaired or modified, to the Michelin
tyres, never changed ! The Veglia odometer shows
the mileage: 28,885 km. Yes.
The original "French blue" (Bleu
Provence ?) body colour, judged
too "flashy" by Aoi-san, was
changed to dark blue, then to this
mint cream tint. The original white
roof has been painted in dark
green, thus giving a nice, very
"'sixties" combination to this
unique car.   
Aoi-san never experienced real problems
with the car, but the running costs were
high: first, due to its long wheel base, it fell
into the highest bracket for the yearly motor
tax, with the Rolls-Royce, Cadillac and
Lincoln ! He did try to shorten the said
wheel base by bringing forward the rear
axle by a few centimeters before the
inspection, but it proved too complex.
Also, he felt so comfortable driving the ID
on the newly built motorways that he did
not realize he was speeding, resulting in
repetitive fines and driving licence
suspensions... Eventually, in 1969, he
decided to temporarily de-register the car.
Years passed.... He drove several other
Citroens, including, in 1977 and during five
years, a dark purple second-hand DS21,
a GS, a SM, and more recently, two
Tractions: 7CV and 11CV, which he
regularly drives to classic car meetings.

With only 28,885 km, perfectly preserved
during the last 45 years, almost entirely in
its original condition, this car is without
doubt a very unique one in Japan, and
even in the world. Aoi-san, who now owns
a collection of about 10 classic cars, has
always been thinking he would restart and
register his ID again. But the sleeping
beauty is still there, waiting for its prince...

Aoi-san's story and this ID19 have been
featured in a 2005, December issue of
"Car Magazine", you can download the
article by clicking on this pdf icon
(Japanese):


Warm thanks to Komo-san (SM Club of
Japan) for arranging this memorable visit
to Aoi-san.