Page creation 04/04/2012
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In the '60s and '70s, Vithaya
Chuchat, a mechanic
specialized in Citroen, loved to
take his family for trips
upcountry in his DS "break"
station wagon (estate). His
sons Wichaiyot and Wirasat
kindly opened the family album
for me. They kept not only the
photos, but also... Surprise,
Khun Vithaya used to work for Air France in Bangkok, but he eventually started his own
garage on Rama 9 avenue in downtown Bangkok. His sons Wichaiyot (Kun Pod) and
Wirasat (Khun Pood), who inherited the garage, remember seeing many European brands
in their father's workshop: Citroen, and also Austin Mini, Lancia, BMW... Early on, Vithaya
enjoyed taking wife and children for trips around the country during week-ends, and
sometimes for a whole week or more.
Khun Vithaya's taste for the "break", or
station wagon version of the DS, quite a
rarity in Thailand in those days, is obvious in
these pictures; no less than four of them can
be counted ! Khun Pood recalls that his
father had as many as five of them, and that
it was definitively the best way to carry the
whole family with luggage and all: after all,
they were four girls (Wiphaphon, Taeng, Li
and Peed) and two boys.
Above left: preparation for a trip to Phrae in Northern Thailand, with another family, also in a DS.
Above right: The Chuchat family's car had to cut across the forest due to a fallen tree lying across the road. Khun
Vithaya must have been proud of his car, and his boys proud of their father...
Below left: Vithaya's wife Am-Pha and daughter Li.
Below right: the family's cherished DS is covered with talc, obviously during the Songkran festival, held in mid-April
and during which Thais roam the street and pour the cars and passers-by with water and talc.
Above left: a lovely picture of wife Am-Pha and younger daughter Peed, near home in Ramkhanhaeng.
Above right: another photo of a station wagon, with the old styleThai plate simply stuck above another plate, perhaps
with a "TT" French number reserved for exported cars. Station wagons were not sold in big numbers in Thailand.
Probably less than 10 remain to this day, and very few if any in good, running condition.
And now the surprise: the
Chuchat brothers kept their
father's beloved blue "break"
station wagon ! Not quite ready
for an upcountry trip anymore,
but complete and in a good
condition overall. This is a 1964
model, made on an ID19 basis.
Khun Pood is in charge; he
lacks time and parts to
complete the job, but let's hope
that we'll see the car running
again one day.
Thanks to the Chuchat brothers for their kindness, and to Vat Lenbury and Pascal for the
translation and the photos.