Citroen in Lao
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Thread: Citroen in Lao

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    Fellow Frogger! ARCHRIVAL's Avatar
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    Default Citroen in Lao

    Travelling through Lao at the moment and came across the ex kings car collection in luang prang and sitting there was a forlorn 1954 ds in terrible condition but set up with a glass division . No photos allowed but can anyone shed any light on this car
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    Fellow Frogger! mberry's Avatar
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    I think a 54 DS may just pre-date the previously earliest known DS by one year. A shame you couldn't sneak a quick iphone shot. Certainly never heard of it.

    Amazing.
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    Was it black? Glass division in a black car is likely a DS Prestige.

    Via the aussiefrogs App

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    Really bad condition first nose left hand drive ,no headlights and rotting leather parked next to his speed boat a couple of Lincoln continentals and an Edsel all the others white and in good nick the DS may have been black but now just dirty brown . Looks like it had the torpedo fog lights and the original swoopy dash with hydraulic gear change .Does not look rusty just really unloved . The country is still a bit touchy about the king as one of his sons is still breeding ferment from his bolt hole in France . Magic country though so laid back and relaxed with that old indo chin atmosphere and every one is so gentle while taking your tourist dollar . Very easy to be millionaire here 1000000 kip = $700 give or take
    Of to see the hilux tractions in Cambodia again
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    I think this might be it perhaps?...

    Citroen DS in Laos

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    1000+ Posts daffyduck's Avatar
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    Has to be. Looks between 63 and 65. Pretty cool.

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    It is a '65 black prestige, given to the lao king by charles de gaulle on a tour of indochina (laos, vietnam and cambodia). De gaulle also gave the same models to king sihanouk in cambodia and the presidesnt of the then republic of vietnam.

    the car in luang prabang was reportedly the king's favourite. After his removal from power by the pathet lao (communist) movement in 1975 (by most accounts he died in remote "re-education" camp a couple of years later, although the regime has never acknowledged what happened to him) the car remained under lock and key in luang probang and basically just rotted. It was only a few years ago that the government decided to reopen the garage to the public. A ford continental limo has since been partially restored.

    i posted pictures and the story a few years ago on this site, but it disappeared with the crash a couple of years back. There are very few remaining citroens in laos. I know of one other DS wreck in vientiane (the capital), and there are a few partially restored tractions and perhaps half a dozen 2cv. That's about it...

    AM

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    Coincidentally I listened to this Richard Fidler "Conversations" interview as a podcast while driving to and from work today. The interviewee is Laotian royalty but has never been back to Laos since 1975. Listen if you wish before you judge.

    Philippe na Champassak - ABC Conversations with Richard Fidler
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    I have just finished listening to it. Brings back memories.

    I took the same bus trip from Bangkok to Nong Kai in February 1973. Crossed the Mekong by ferry to Vientiane (this was years before the new Freedom Bridge built by Australia). I stayed at the Vieng Villay hotel in Vientiane. Thats where the CIA pilots stayed. Most were old ex US Airforce pilots, washed up in a backwater in Asia, living a Somerset Maugham life. There was one guy with a cowboy stetson and two pearl handled colts. He could walk around Vientiane like that and nobody thought it odd. But then most Lao men were armed. There was even a compound with armed Pathet Lao. A crazy world. Next door was the White Rose with some seductive you Lao ladies. It was either a cafe where you could get a root or a brothel where you could have a feed. I got on well with the ladies there because they could see that I was a bum travelling the world and only had money for food, so I wasn't a prospect.

    I was travelling with two other Australian blokes. We had to fly everywhere as the war was in full swing. Flew into Luang Prabang in a Lockheed Electra four engined turboprop along the Mekong between the mountains. Then the shudder of a stall approaching as the pilot put it into a starboard sideslip in short finals to line up with the runway. The problem was the very steep hill with a pagoda perched on top, smack bang in line with the normal final approach to the runway, neccessitating this unusual manouvre.

    We flew on to Ban Hue Sai, again on the Mekong not so far from Chang Rei in Thailand. Had to circle while some Royal Air Lao T38 aircraft took off to bomb the Pathet Lao. There were a couple of Pilatus Porter CIA aircraft parked on the strip. The Air America lettering was about 6" high and virtually unreadable from a distance. We crossed the river and travelled up along the Thai side. There were explosions from bombs and artillery throughout most of the day. A week later in Kathmandu, I read that Ban Hue Sai had fallen to the Pathet Lao.

    I have always had a good sense of when to leave.

    John

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    JBN
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    During the Vietnam War, US F4 Phantom aircraft would fly from Udorn in Thailand on bombing sorties to Laos or North Vietnam. They would carry fuel canisters to increase their range.

    Citroen in Lao-f4-phantom.jpg

    These were jetisoned after the fuel was used. A whole new recycling industry has been spawned in Laos retrieving these and turning them into boats.

    Citroen in Lao-f4-fuel-canister-1.jpg
    Citroen in Lao-f4-fuel-canister-2.jpg

    John

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    Quote Originally Posted by daffyduck View Post
    Has to be. Looks between 63 and 65. Pretty cool.

    Via the aussiefrogs App
    It's hard to believe its a 65 sure the dash was the early first series not like my 62 all plastic and swoopy but I could be wrong sad to it sitting there all meek and mild next to the American monsters
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBN View Post
    During the Vietnam War, US F4 Phantom aircraft would fly from Udorn in Thailand on bombing sorties to Laos or North Vietnam. They would carry fuel canisters to increase their range.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    These were jetisoned after the fuel was used. A whole new recycling industry has been spawned in Laos retrieving these and turning them into boats.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	F4 Fuel Canister 1.jpg 
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    John
    During the interview I linked, it is stated that more tonnage of bombs was dropped on Laos than was dropped in Europe during WW2. It still affects daily life there with unexploded bombs and resultant injury.
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    JBN
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    Yes, that is correct. I heard that statement many years ago. Most of the bombs were dropped on the Ho Chi Minh trail. The tonnage dropped in support of the Royal Laotian army against the Pathet Lao would have been miniscule in comparison. Mainly tactical airstrikes using one or two aircraft.

    A B52 strike would normally be 6 aircraft, 6 miles up at 600 knots each with about 80 ton of bombs, flying out of Guam. Flying in two V's, they would drop their bombs simultaneously and in one mad minute destroy a square kilometre of jungle. I was the most feared weapon from the VCs perspective as if you were out of the tunnel when you heard the first bomb, you wouldn't have time to get into the tunnel to shelter.

    Laos suffers from unexploded bombs. Cambodia suffers from unexploded mines. Two paradises trashed.

    John

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    Appalling
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    Shameful
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBN View Post
    Yes, that is correct. I heard that statement many years ago. Most of the bombs were dropped on the Ho Chi Minh trail. The tonnage dropped in support of the Royal Laotian army against the Pathet Lao would have been miniscule in comparison. Mainly tactical airstrikes using one or two aircraft.

    A B52 strike would normally be 6 aircraft, 6 miles up at 600 knots each with about 80 ton of bombs, flying out of Guam. Flying in two V's, they would drop their bombs simultaneously and in one mad minute destroy a square kilometre of jungle. I was the most feared weapon from the VCs perspective as if you were out of the tunnel when you heard the first bomb, you wouldn't have time to get into the tunnel to shelter.

    Laos suffers from unexploded bombs. Cambodia suffers from unexploded mines. Two paradises trashed.

    John
    The two books you need about the clandestine part of the US activities in the air are "The Ravens" and "Air America". Bit hard to find on line but they must be there somewhere.

    I saw a good looking Peugeot 203 in military green in Vientiane a few years ago. Nice place, now. The bomb craters around the surroundings tell the other story.
    JohnW

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