Vietnam
Page creation 13/04/2008
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Do Van Chanh does not have one DS, he
has three of them. He got them about ten
years ago, when nobody knew what to do
with them. If you ask him why he did that,
he'll tell you "why, because they deserve it".
Chanh, here taking the pose with Madame
in front of his house in Ho Chi Minh City, is
an architect. His father had a DS in the late
'60, which was eventually confiscated by
the new rulers in 1975. He explains that all
such high-end cars were at once given to
high-rank officials of the new regime, but
after a while, due to the lack of spare parts
and maintenance knowledge, they were
gradually abandoned.  
The three DS he has now were more or
less abandoned when he took them over,
about ten years ago.
Nothing is known of the cars' history. To
make things worse (or even more fun to
sort out), in many cases in Vietnam, the
chassis number found on the car (when
the steel plates are still there) does not
correspond to the car's characteristics ! It
seems that restoration has been done
over the years by putting together parts
from different cars. Chanh's opinion about
it ? "Of course that's the way we did ! How
else could we do ?"
According to the chassis number (below left ; unsual
type of plate by the way), Chanh's first DS should be a
Belgium-made DS21. With this type of headlights ???

In fact, Chanh explains that he exchanged some body
parts with his second DS, which according to the
number (below right) should be an ID19 built in 1960.
But then again, the post-1964 design of the front
(pictures above) does not match... Aarghh ! Whatever.
Top: Chanh's second DS, used mostly for parts. Below: the third DS, quietly lying in its own room in the house. No
indication of date or model.
Interesting stainless mouldings above the
wheels. Absolutely not original of course, but
I've seen worse.
And by the way, Chanh is also the happy owner of a "La Dalat", a local Citroen production
on Mehari base, started in Saigon in 1970. Chanh was expecting my question about the
"chevrons" (the Citroen symbol mark), upside down on the front grille: "I did it on purpose,
in order to make a "V" sign". Aarghh ! Whatever.