Page creation 21/03/2015
All rights reserved DSinAsia 2006-2016, except otherwise indicated
Already the owner of a Traction
and a 2CV, Trần Văn Tuấn loves
to drive his newly restored ID19,
he feels like "taking a girlfriend
out, like 20 years ago..."
He bought the car in 2012, and
spent almost one year restoring
it, thanks to information and parts
provided by like-minded DS
friends overseas: Europe, US,
The car previously belonged to
Nguyen Van Thanh, see
Above and left: the car before and during restoration.
I met Trần and took these photos in
October, 2014, in the park of the former
Presidential Palace in Ho Chi Minh City,
where vintage car owners usually gather
on week-ends. With its new off-white body,
the car is simply stunning against the
background of this palace build in 1966,
now called "Reunification Palace".
Above: American-spec parts have been fitted to Trần's car. Below: Trần remembers the first time he could finally
drive his ID after restoration: suddenly, a major hydraulic leak, and LHM splashed all over the engine room... "What
did you do ?", I ask. "I opened the hood and smiled", he says.
Trần, a designer, tried to restore the car as close as possible back to its original appearance, with the help of
documentation found online and the advice of social network friends. The choice of this brown fur-like material for
the interior is thus a little bit surprising; he explains that he just likes the look and feel of it. In order to hide the
modern air-conditioning evaporators, he put them under the front seats, thus lifting them up by a good 5 cm (above
right). He also hid the sound system speakers inside the front air vents (below right), rather successfully I must say.
Off we go for a little drive around old
Saigon. The ride is very smooth, and in
spite of the heavy traffic it seems that
everybody around is willing to give priority
to this beautiful car... Trần will continue to
enjoy the week-end drives, but he already
started to think about the next projects: he
would love to find a Type H, and then a
SM, to add to his collection...
The car recently
featured in a
magazine, you can
download the full