ID19 history-- the french connection
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Thread: ID19 history-- the french connection

  1. #1
    Member wilrex's Avatar
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    Default ID19 history-- the french connection

    I am restoring a 1961 ID19 (now down to bare body) and it has been reliably indicated that it came from near St. Arnaud in Victoria, and belonged to Gaston Saint, maybe a descendant of a French business man who married Elisabeth Gilmore, who lived near there. I am trying to obtain the full history, and here are some facts unearthed so far. Any information would be appreciated.
    On the windscreen is a transfer "Government Aircraft Factories Car Park No.2 and has the number 505 typewritten on it". Would this ID19 "Gaston" be a son or grandson? Either way, this ID19 will be known as "Gaston" for evermore.

    Following info is from 'Trove', archival newspaper articles.(Electronic text, could be mistakes)
    THE FAMILY SAINT..The other Christmas-tide visitors to the Hotel Australia regarded with polite curiosity the debonair young French man with his daintily frocked sister, who spoke their native tongue to each other with vivacity and fluency, and easily dropped into English when addressing the rest of the party. This bi-lingual fluency was apparent also in the case of Madame la Mero and a bright boy of eight or nine, who over ran the place like a small whirlwind. It was the family Saint from Rouen, now touring Australia in a Rolls Royce of quaint and curious design, driven by a military looking chauffeur whose knowledge of English is so limited that when he asked a waitress for jam, she promptly served him a cutlet, much to Marcel's astonishment. Thirty years ago, Miss Elizabeth Gilmour, a beautiful Victorian girl, married a young Frenchman named Gaston Saint, who was visiting Melbourne. He was the partner in the well-known firm of Saint Freres, textile manufacturers, whose establishments are scattered over France, with branches in Belgium, Algeria, and the East Indies. The couple went to live in Mount Saint Aignan, in Rouen, where four children were born to them. Their hospitable chateau has always welcomed visitors, especially those from Australia. In the dark days of 1914 1918, many of the Allied soldiers quartered at Rouen had cause to be grateful for many acts of kindness shown to them by the Franco-Australian household. The husband died a few years ago, and Madame, accompanied by two of her children and a nephew, came out by the Oronsay to spend a few months in the land of her birth, and see her surviving relatives. She brought two cars with her, and has motored along the Prince's Highway from Melbourne, and extended the trip to Newcastle to visit her nephew, Dr. Wallace, the district medical officer. Included in the party are Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert Wallace, of Melbourne. The former is the editor of the publications of the Victorian Education Department, and the latter a sister of Madame Saint's, and a well-known writer of children's stories, 'Australian bush 'notes, and fairy tales.
    ----
    An Australian in France. A passenger of Australian interest who passed through Fremantle upon her return to France by the Orsova yesterday was Madame Saint, accompanied by her son and daughter, Andre and Marie. They have been for two and a half months touring Victoria, and even now but saying 'au-revoir' as Madame has discovered that she likes her native land too much to do without a glimpse of it every few years. She has expressed her affection in practical form by commissioning a cottage to be built for her among the gum trees, at Burke's Flat, her birthplace. To ensure comfort while in the city she has bought a small property in Collins-street, Melbourne, and intends turning the top floors into apartments, with something attractive in the way of big bay windows and window boxes. Through her marriage with M. Gaston Saint, 30 years ago, Miss Elizabeth Gilmore, the daughter of a St. Arnaud grazier, became one of the wealthiest women in France. M. Saint was at that time visiting Melbourne on a business trip. He took his bride to a beautiful home at Rouen, where she has been living ever since. M. Saint died three years ago. Fifteen years have elapsed since her last visit to Australia.
    A Wonderful Rolls Royce.
    During her recent motor trip to Sydney, via the Prince's Highway, Madame's car attracted much attention. It is a specially luxurious Rolls Royce with a unique hood arrangement, and is driven by her French chauffeur, whom she brought with her. France holds many attractions for Madame Saint. Twenty-three miles out of Deauville she has a lovely old home surrounded by an apple orchard, which furnishes the family with home-made cider. When she wants to be nearer the sea, she goes to the 'Manoir Normand' at Dieppe ó another family possession. Among the vistors who went to her hotel to renew acquaintance with Madame Saint during her stay in Melbourne have been a number of ex-soldiers ó men who have grateful memories of her lavish hospitality at Rouen during the war years. The cinema concerts, which she arranged at her home night after night, were famed throughout France, and she is the proud possessor of a letter from Sir George Reid, then High Commissioner for Australia, thanking her and her husband for their goodness to Australians.

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    2CV6 Special Green, Riley RMB, RX7 Rotary, Jensen Healey, 1896 Ford A replica, and last but not least 1961 Citroen ID19-P... Previous include, 27 Chev Truck, 24 Bean Truck, 27 Chev Capitol, Rover S105, Humber Hawk x 2, MGB, Ford AA Truck, Ford A, elderly motorbikes x6, and more...

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    Fellow Frogger! Trading Estate's Avatar
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    What a fascinating story. I look forward to hearing more, particularly about who owned the ID19 ( children or relatives? )
    '04 Megane
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    '71 16 TS, '72 16 TL, '74 15TS,'82 20TS Series 2, '85 25 GTX. '49 L15,

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    Fellow Frogger! Don B. Cilly's Avatar
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    Er.
    Goddess, idea and car are all feminine in French, so Gaston is a bit... well, masculine.
    The name Gastonne, for a girl, is rare but does exist... or did until the early '40s.
    So maybe...

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    Fantastic story….would be great if a link with the ID could be uncovered. Certain to be there. Great work and I hope the car is coming along.

    Tim

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    I did a metal machining course at the Government Aircraft Factories at the end of 1967.
    Our instructor drove a Citroen, highly likely to be this car!
    Sorry, no other information. You would have to ask someone who worked at GAF in that era to find out the persons name.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Don B. Cilly View Post
    Er.
    Goddess, idea and car are all feminine in French, so Gaston is a bit... well, masculine.
    The name Gastonne, for a girl, is rare but does exist... or did until the early '40s.
    So maybe...
    A good point, Gastonne does sound much more feminine, and when I looked at the car while saying it, I think there was a certain bonding taking place between her and I, although we are both a bit rusty these days.
    Last edited by wilrex; 18th May 2015 at 10:21 AM.
    2CV6 Special Green, Riley RMB, RX7 Rotary, Jensen Healey, 1896 Ford A replica, and last but not least 1961 Citroen ID19-P... Previous include, 27 Chev Truck, 24 Bean Truck, 27 Chev Capitol, Rover S105, Humber Hawk x 2, MGB, Ford AA Truck, Ford A, elderly motorbikes x6, and more...

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    Hi Rex. Could you check the rego label (sticker) for the registration number and check it against the rego plate on the car. I have the feeling that the numbers didn't correspond on that car,--- hence, a change of windscreen.
    Michael Paas

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    Quote Originally Posted by IDear View Post
    Hi Rex. Could you check the rego label (sticker) for the registration number and check it against the rego plate on the car. I have the feeling that the numbers didn't correspond on that car,--- hence, a change of windscreen.
    Michael Paas
    Hi Michael, yes, she has had a change of plates, or a change of windscreen.
    Windscreen sticker says HOA800 1979 (1962 Citroen) and the Victorian plates are HLA580.
    I wonder which is correct? The plates seem correct for the age of the car (1961)
    So the' Government Aircraft Factories' sticker is a false lead.
    I wonder when the screen was changed?

    O well, back to the drawing board....

    Rex B
    2CV6 Special Green, Riley RMB, RX7 Rotary, Jensen Healey, 1896 Ford A replica, and last but not least 1961 Citroen ID19-P... Previous include, 27 Chev Truck, 24 Bean Truck, 27 Chev Capitol, Rover S105, Humber Hawk x 2, MGB, Ford AA Truck, Ford A, elderly motorbikes x6, and more...

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    1000+ Posts dogboy's Avatar
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    HAVE YOU LOOKED AT THIS?
    Longstroke ds/id census
    Rev. Dogboy


    1969 DS21 Pallas BVH with leather
    1970 Renault 16TS
    1967 Honda S800 cabrio
    Citroen 1966 ID Safari (with 23 running gear)
    1975 VW Kombi poptop
    Porsche Boxster S manual
    1988 Vespa PX200E

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    Where is Burkes Flat? In the late seventies / early eighties I would frequent Maldon a couple of times a week and can remember meeting a Gaston Saint, for what that's worth. It is embarrasing how little I can recall of that time, but french cars were almost certainly the common ground ... he was nowhere near as young as my cohort but quite approachable IIRC. I don't think there was an ID around there then but maybe a TA ... will try checking one remaining contact.
    ... Maldon then was notable for the regular appearance of a very rough ute-version vintage Rolls-Royce, but that is another story, unless it is where the one referred to ended up.
    Last edited by fnqvmuch; 20th May 2015 at 10:16 AM.

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    Burkes Flat is between Bendigo and St Arnaud, just east of Logan. About a 45 minute drive from Maldon.

    For many years it was the site of a prominent landcare and salinity control project.

    Roger

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Wilkinson View Post
    Burkes Flat is between Bendigo and St Arnaud, just east of Logan. About a 45 minute drive from Maldon.

    For many years it was the site of a prominent landcare and salinity control project.

    Roger
    and UFO sightings...

    RexB
    2CV6 Special Green, Riley RMB, RX7 Rotary, Jensen Healey, 1896 Ford A replica, and last but not least 1961 Citroen ID19-P... Previous include, 27 Chev Truck, 24 Bean Truck, 27 Chev Capitol, Rover S105, Humber Hawk x 2, MGB, Ford AA Truck, Ford A, elderly motorbikes x6, and more...

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    1000+ Posts dogboy's Avatar
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    Previous general issue plates series and colours...VICTORIA

    Year Plate Year Plate Year Plate
    1960 HCK 620 1979 AJL 467 1998 OUU 000
    1961 HHK 501 1980 ARN 000 1999 PLH 000
    1962 HMG 525 1981 AZL 000 2000 QAU 000
    1963 HSH 114 1982 BGS 000 2001 QSA 000
    1964 HXU 733 1983 BPY 000 2002 RLA 000
    1965 JDS 007 1984 BYM 000 2003 SCZ 999
    1966 JKH 768 1985 CBX 931 2004 SRR 989
    1967 JRD 884 1986 CSG 007 2005 TIM 959
    1968 JXE 287 1987 DAV 000 2006 TZH 877
    1969 KEB 500 1988 DGE 555 2007 UPG 951
    1970 KMD 422 1989 DRS 002 2008 WFK 999
    1971 KUC 214 1990 ECT 525 2009 WYA 000
    1972 LBD 967 1991 EMH 000 2010 XRA 000
    1973 LKC 042 1992 EUB 000 2011 YIA 000
    1974 LTE 459 1993 FCJ 400 2012 ZAA 000
    1975 IBU 000 1994 FLR 000 01/2013 ZSA 000
    1976 IJD 445 1995 NEI 000 08/2013 1AA 1AA
    1977 ITA 643 1996 NRA 000 2014 1BO 1AA
    1978 ABF 325 1997 OET 650
    1960 - 1977: Black background, white characters
    1978 - 1994: White background, green characters
    1995 - current: White background, blue characters

    Note: The number plate series of RAA.000 to RBZ.999 was issued out of sequence and were green characters on a white background.
    Rev. Dogboy


    1969 DS21 Pallas BVH with leather
    1970 Renault 16TS
    1967 Honda S800 cabrio
    Citroen 1966 ID Safari (with 23 running gear)
    1975 VW Kombi poptop
    Porsche Boxster S manual
    1988 Vespa PX200E

  14. #14
    Fellow Frogger!
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    A memorable sight to see the big vintage Rolls cutdown ute - - driven by an old bloke - - with a load of firewood, going up the main street of Maldon. Not a Citroen but a grand vehicle - - just the way it was.
    John Paas.


    Quote Originally Posted by fnqvmuch View Post
    Where is Burkes Flat? In the late seventies / early eighties I would frequent Maldon a couple of times a week and can remember meeting a Gaston Saint, for what that's worth. It is embarrasing how little I can recall of that time, but french cars were almost certainly the common ground ... he was nowhere near as young as my cohort but quite approachable IIRC. I don't think there was an ID around there then but maybe a TA ... will try checking one remaining contact.
    ... Maldon then was notable for the regular appearance of a very rough ute-version vintage Rolls-Royce, but that is another story, unless it is where the one referred to ended up.

  15. #15
    Member wilrex's Avatar
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    Another link to the puzzle....
    "Gaston Saint passed on a few years ago. He was a great source of information on Citroens and French cars in general. He had spent much of his youth with family in France and had learned to drive in a 202 convertible. The last time I saw him he had restored a Humber gun carrier."

    Rex B
    2CV6 Special Green, Riley RMB, RX7 Rotary, Jensen Healey, 1896 Ford A replica, and last but not least 1961 Citroen ID19-P... Previous include, 27 Chev Truck, 24 Bean Truck, 27 Chev Capitol, Rover S105, Humber Hawk x 2, MGB, Ford AA Truck, Ford A, elderly motorbikes x6, and more...

  16. #16
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    Hi all,
    Thanks for the continuing interest.
    Does anyone know if this statue is still in the gardens?
    Robert Delandere
    Marble statue
    1933
    Conservatory, Fitzroy Gardens
    This statue once divided the critics. Brought to Australia by Madame Gaston-Saint, an Australian who married a wealthy Frenchman, the statue's intended destination was the Victorian town of Rheole, where it would memorialise her father. When this failed to transpire, it was erected in Fitzroy Gardens. Just prior to its unveiling, acclaimed sculptor Paul Montford complained in a letter to the mayor: 'In my opinion its artistic value is far below any other statuary in Fitzroy Gardens, and it is probably the worst figure in any public place in Melbourne.'

    The resurrection of the ID19 is well underway, now waiting for parts from Germany for the engine, which I will run on a 'test bed' before re-installing.
    Rex B
    2CV6 Special Green, Riley RMB, RX7 Rotary, Jensen Healey, 1896 Ford A replica, and last but not least 1961 Citroen ID19-P... Previous include, 27 Chev Truck, 24 Bean Truck, 27 Chev Capitol, Rover S105, Humber Hawk x 2, MGB, Ford AA Truck, Ford A, elderly motorbikes x6, and more...

  17. #17
    Tadpole
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    hello there,

    I am Gaston's Granddaughter if you have any questions I am happy to try and find out some information for you. Pa died in 2007 but Nan is still alive and knows a lot about the cars.
    fnqvmuch likes this.

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    1000+ Posts fnqvmuch's Avatar
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    I for one am delighted you found us and lemme be first to say welcome, and thanks for your offer.
    Best regards to your Nan, and we would love to hear any stories ...
    reanasaint likes this.
    grandC4picasso RHB, DW10CTED4@112kw , EGS6Sp, B58, MY 2012-2013 (?)

  19. #19
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Welcome to aussiefrogs. Is it Rena? I feels good speaking to a relative of Gaston Saint.
    I first met Gaston on a car club run to Maldon. A display of cars in the grounds of the Primary School.
    A lot of people "milling" around a large Humber that had just been driven in. Looked like a typical BARN FIND. A 1949 Humber Imperial. Looked absolutely fantastic! Gaston was great Fun that day .... a real character. Some beautifully restored Humbers in the same line-up but; "this was something else".
    I was saddened to hear of the sudden death of Gaston.
    A couple of Citroen IDees were baking in the sun ... so I rescued them from the elements. One of those cars is what this site is all about. I sold the ID to Rex and as you go back in this thread, you'll see that Gaston would be very pleased with the events that followed.
    An engineless French Traction has been a good donor car .... another Citroen that Gaston had rescued years before and now resides in Castlemaine.
    I purchased that wonderful Barn Find from the family. Paid a fair bit for it but it was part of Gaston and I know he'd like it left, just the way it is. To restore that car ... would "take away it's soul".
    This is what it is all about isn't it?
    People and their cars ......................Michael

  20. #20
    Tadpole
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    Quote Originally Posted by fnqvmuch View Post
    I for one am delighted you found us and lemme be first to say welcome, and thanks for your offer.
    Best regards to your Nan, and we would love to hear any stories ...
    Thank you
    I am heading to see my nan in a few weeks so I will let her know and get some stories from her.

  21. #21
    Tadpole
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    Yes the statue is still in the Gardens. How is the car coming along?

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