Laos
The DS Prestige of the last King of Laos, Savang Vatthana, overthrown by the Communists
in 1975, is still resting peacefully in the sealed-off garage of the former royal palace of the
old capital of Luang-Prabang...
Savang Vatthana, last
King of Laos. He was said
to prefer the DS to the
other official vehicles.
Can't have been a bad
man.
The former royal palace is now a must-see
for tourists in Luang-Prabang. Its garage
(upper right corner on the photo above), is
not normally visited, but we could manage to
get the keys and have a look inside... What
a nice surprise ! Along with a boat and a
couple of Ford (Edsel and Lincoln), a DS,
and a Prestige at that ! This version,
delivered in very limited numbers, for head
of states and other VIPs, featured a glass
separation between the front and rear seats.
Having not been able to get access to the
chassis number, I can only assume it dates
back to between 1964 and 1967. The
general condition is quite bad, and the
dashboard is unfortunately in an advanced
state of cannibalization.Our self-appointed
guide told us it was dating back to "about
1950", which just can't be true, and that the
King preferred the DS to the other royal
cars; that, I will believe !
Page creation 20/05/2006, revision 23/02/2014
All rights reserved DSinAsia 2006-2016, except otherwise indicated
Update ! (Feb 2010) A summer 2009 issue
of French classic car restoration magazine
"Gazoline" shows a picture of our royal DS
still in its garage. The text says a local
Frenchman by the name of Thierry firmly
intends to restore it one day. (Info Didier B.)
Update ! (Feb 2014) Nagaya-san, on a trip
to Luang-Prabang, dropped by to check
on the car, still there, along with the other
Royal machines. But it still now prohibited
to "touch" and to take photos.