Thailand
Page creation 04/04/2012, revision 14/09/2013
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It had to be done: a DS-only rally in
Thailand ! Perhaps even the first of its kind
in Asia, it took place in January 2012 and
gathered 12 cars and more than 40
participants for a return trip from Bangkok to
Ayutthaya, the former capital. Not a very long
trip, but everyone was so happy to meet, for
the first time, so many other DS fellows.

I organized it in cooperation with Nagaya-
san, a DS owner in Bangkok and a
professional event organizer, and with the
precious help of Khun Sayam and Khun
Prasop, to name but a few.

The general idea was simple: give an
opportunity to the few DS owners in Thailand
to meet, get to know each other, exchange
information, and spend time together by way
of a short drive to and from Ayutthaya, the
ancient capital of Thailand, situated only 70
km North of Bangkok, over one week-end.
Not a long nor a difficult drive, nothing close
to a competition; but we purposedly chose a
relatively easy route for the old-timers, and
Ayutthaya could provide many scenic spots
for memorable photos.

The departure was given on January 28th,
2012, 9:00 am, on the parking area of a
restaurant in downtown Bangkok. A couple
more cars rejoined us later on the way.
So here we go, first with a little bit of motorway...
... and a short while later, we arrived in
Ayutthaya, home to many typical
chedi (Thai
for stupa, the main tower-like structure of a
buddhist temple), like on the photo on the
right. We were also greeted by large
portraits of King Bhumipol. Beside the Thai
flags, the yellow ones are those of the Thai
monarchy, a very important and respected
element of today's Thai society.
All cars made it to Ayutthaya, without any
major problem. Only the weather was a
cause of worry: we did have rain, but only
for a short time.
First stop at one of the many temple and
palace ruins disseminated in the city: Wat
Poo Khao Thong.
And off we go for the next location, slowly driving in line through the traffic, and towards the
suburbs of this small and sleepy city.
There, a nice surprise, organized by
Nagaya-san, awaited us: an elephant came
from the nearby village and took the pose
for a few pictures. My car even got a very
special car-wash !
Let's now introduce the participants. Above:
Khun Vat and his son, with their 1973
DSuper5; left: Khun Joe and his 1973 DS21
Pallas; below: Nagaya-san (Khun Ryosuke)
and his 1974 DSuper5.  
Above (standing): Khun Apichat (Khun A)
and his 1972 DSuper5; right: Khun Skulwat
and his 1970 DS21; below: Khun Teema
(Khun Mai) and his 1971 DS21.
Above: Khun Sayam and his 1969 DS21;
below: Khun Prasop and family and their
1972 DSuper5; left: the Chuchat brothers,
Khun Wichaiyot and Khun Wirasat (Khun
Pod and Khun Pood), our dedicated
mechanics, without whom the rally would
not have been possible, and their 1971
DS21 filled with tools and parts.
Left: Ishitaka-san (Khun Shingo) and his
1973 DSuper5; below: Kees, who often
takes his wife and daugther for short trips in
his 1973 DSuper5.  
And left, last but not least, my own car, my
Italian 1974 DSuper5, with the little
indicators on the side, here at the hands of
Khun Pod. It is interesting to note the
predominance of DSuper5 models: late-
year cars, equivalent to the ID version of
the DS (less costly, and most importantly,
without the hydraulic gearbox), which
represent the bunch of the DS remaining in
Thailand today, together with the DS21,
Pallas or not.     
The Chuchat brothers, professional mechanics, did a great job. The plan was to have them
rush whenever a car was stalled, to put the car back on the road, and join later the rest of
the group. That's exactly what they did, for a couple of cars whose gasolin or hydraulic
systems created problems.
There is a page about their garage, see    
On the photo below right, the bonnets of the cars are opened during a stop along the way
back, in order to let the heat evacuate .
here
All the cars are lined up in front of the
restaurant, where we had a great time for
dinner. There was a festival in town, and a
few French tourists who happened to walk
by could not believe it when they saw more
DS than they would ever see in their home
country ! The locals were not so surprised,
very few waved to us or looked when we
drove. A DS probably means not much to
them. If only they knew.
The next morning, a
last visit to a
wat, a
last photo, and it's time
to say good-bye.
Everyone made it
safely back to Bangkok
and promised to do it
again. Next time, a little
farther, maybe ?  
Images of the rally were aired on local TV, and the major Thai car
magazine "Grand Prix" also made a report in its March 2012 issue
(above);
the full article can be downloaded in pdf format here:

Thanks to all participants for sharing your great photos: Nagaya-
san, Khun Vat, Khun Teema, Khun Prasop, Ishitaka-san, Pascal,
Kees, Jean-François who came especially from France, and David
Smith who came (almost) especially from Japan.