The Citroen DS in Australia - a book in the making
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Thread: The Citroen DS in Australia - a book in the making

  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! ds21bvh's Avatar
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    Default The Citroen DS in Australia - a book in the making

    For many of us here the DS is, and always will be, an object of intense desire – there is just something about this car which just gets into your blood and it is thereafter always part of you.

    When it was released in 1955 it's bold styling and technical tour de force polarised opinion around the world and for a moment the car world stopped, and looked in disbelief at this thing from another planet.

    In Australia it was no different.

    There have been many fabulous books written on the DS over the years which document the rich history of the car and the people who created and drove it, and these books have documented many wonderful stories that we have all enjoyed.

    However up till now there has been one story which has been missing - that is the story of the DS in Australia.

    About 2 years ago three Australian DS enthusiasts came together to make a solid attempt to put this right. Geoff Webber of the Citroen Car Club of Queensland breathed life into the project initially, and was then joined by Mark Gordon and Helen Walker as a team with the goal of producing a book which captures the many stories and technical details relevant to the DS in the Australian context.

    I am happy to say that we are close to a provisional draft on the subject and now need your help…!

    In our journey so far we've spoken to many wonderful passionate and helpful individuals who have made the D an essential part of their life, and have shared their stories - but I’m sure we have missed some people.

    As Australians, this is our opportunity to tell the DS story from our perspective and make it as accurate and as complete as possible.

    If you think youcan help with some technical information or special interest stories, or your experiences related to the car’s release or it’s competition here please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

    Thank you very much to those who have already been an integral part of this collaboration, the overwhelming support we have received has really kept us going through some of the challenges we’ve faced in getting this to where it is today.

    We've developed a flyer with a little more information and contact details which I can send on request - feel free to PM me (Mark) with any questions at all...

    All the best,

    Mark, Geoff, and Helen….

    PS. We have an intense interest in the cars produced in the West Heidelberg factory in Melbourne,and will be covering these in detail, but are lacking images of the production line and details on the initial establishment of production here. Again can anyone help...?

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    Last edited by ds21bvh; 3rd November 2017 at 07:05 AM.

  2. #2
    Tadpole
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    Morning Geoff, Some years ago I asked Brian Wade to write for Avant Garde on the making of the D Citroen in Melbourne. He found that all the records had been destroyed, but said he probably knew more about it now than anyone else., because of his research. You have probably talked to him, but just in case ....... Good luck. Len.

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    Fellow Frogger! ds21bvh's Avatar
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    Hi Len,
    Many thanks for the reply.
    We've been in touch with Brian and his insight has been extremely valuable, I'm not sure what we would have done without his knowledge - as he indicated much of the information was detroyed. A large chunk of his research will feature in the book.
    At the factory they used to do tours from time to time so we were hoping to perhaps connect with someone who had been through at the time, or may have worked there or had a relationship with those who set up the factory....
    Cheers,
    Mark...

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    1000+ Posts Ken W's Avatar
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    Mark,

    I hope you are in regular contact with Greg Feinberg as I'm sure he would be a continuing source of stories.

    With regards to the assembly factory in Melbourne, the CCCV might be the best way to try to find people who used to work there.

    Cheers, Ken

    Cheers, Ken

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    Fellow Frogger! ds21bvh's Avatar
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    Hi Ken,
    Many thanks for the response - we have been in continual contact with Greg since the project started, and Greg has provided a lot of content related to some of the Australian peculiarities to the car at that time...
    Another sage font of knowledge when it comes to the DS - there is no way we could write this on our own... there is so much information to pull together...!
    Cheers,
    Mark...

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    Hi Geoff. You spoke to me not long ago about the photos I have of the "production line" inside the Heidelberg factory.
    I have been very busy but slack as far as you're concerned with getting these images to you. When I get back home I'll locate the CD and my brother Hans might be able to send the images electronically.
    The first owner of my ID, took delivery of his French RHD in September 1960. He ordered it with the unpainted fibreglass roof.
    "He wasn't short of a quid" so in 1964 he went to his Citroen dealer asking him to completely overhaul the engine and gearbox which was subsequently done. At that time he went to the Heidelberg Factory and was given a tour of the assembly plant. It was then that he took the photographs.

  7. #7
    Fellow Frogger
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    About to be released is a new book on DS in Asia:
    https://www.motors-mania.com/en/moto...s-en-asie.html
    There could be some content of interest in it. Some modified Traction and D series that have ended up on our roads have come from Vietnam.
    forumnoreason likes this.

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    Hi Geoff, Mark and Helen.
    I remember mentions of the book at Silverwater this year as you were checking out and photographing the air con in my Beige Tholonet 23. I have regretting I didn't get some contact details as I have some old family photos of our first DS (1957 slough DS19) on a sunday outing circa 1963.
    If you think they might be useful, p.m. me with an email address and Will send them and the back story.
    Best Wishes,
    David.

  9. #9
    Fellow Frogger! ds21bvh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IDear View Post
    I have been very busy but slack as far as you're concerned with getting these images to you. When I get back home I'll locate the CD and my brother Hans might be able to send the images electronically.
    Many thanks Michael - much appreciated. Those pics are all we have of the factory at the moment...!
    Cheers,
    Mark...

  10. #10
    Fellow Frogger! ds21bvh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David S View Post
    About to be released is a new book on DS in Asia:
    https://www.motors-mania.com/en/moto...s-en-asie.html
    There could be some content of interest in it. Some modified Traction and D series that have ended up on our roads have come from Vietnam.
    Many thanks for the heads up David - it does look interesting. I'm going to invest in a copy when it becomes available...!
    Like Australia, not much has been written about the DS in that part of the world either..
    Cheers,
    Mark...

  11. #11
    Fellow Frogger! ds21bvh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caisson View Post
    Hi Geoff, Mark and Helen.
    I remember mentions of the book at Silverwater this year as you were checking out and photographing the air con in my Beige Tholonet 23. I have regretting I didn't get some contact details as I have some old family photos of our first DS (1957 slough DS19) on a sunday outing circa 1963.
    If you think they might be useful, p.m. me with an email address and Will send them and the back story.
    Best Wishes,
    David.
    Hi David,
    It was great to meet you at the Silverwater display (what a great day that was) - thanks very much for reaching out.
    We'd love to see the pictures and accompanying story - they would be very useful..! Thank you very much.
    I've sent you a pm with my contact details...
    All the best,
    Mark...

  12. #12
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    if your after personal stories... Send aussiefrogger "middlemoon" a PM. He has driven an aussie ID extensively for many years. I'm sure you have also talked to the Ferdi Saliba (gee's I hope I have that spelling right) that has owned that extremelly nice ID19 for many decades in Victoria (his car is featured in "The original DS").

    I'm itching to get my hands on a copy of this book when it's complete

    seeya
    Shane L.
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    Citroen Workshop
    Proper cars--
    '85 Series II CX2500 GTi Turbo I
    '63 ID19 http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/citro%EBn-forum/90325-best-project-car-you-have-ever-seen.html
    '72 DS21 ie 5spd pallas (last looked at ... about 15years ago)
    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


    Modern Junk:
    '07 Poogoe 407 HDi 6spd manual

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    Mark, Perhaps a chapter on myths and misconceptions could be included. There are many myths out there....like the many who believe they own "last D sold in Australia" or "put the spare wheel in upside down and it will overheat "..... the traction engine 3 main bearing design ( well that one is partly true ). I can add a story of John Luscombe who ran a mobile field repair business in Tully ( NQ) in the early 70s towing a mammoth 4 wheeled trailer mobile workshop across ploughed cane fields, to get to broken cane harvesters, with a white ID 19.The trailer had leading and trailing arm suspension like the ID.
    Or a young lady who broke a D windscreen midway between Rockhampton and Mackay ( back in the days of the "horror stretch" ) She rang Maxims in Brisbane and a new screen was waiting in Mackay before she was able to complete the road journey.
    M.Reddiex has a great story about the first DS19 delivered in QLD with the wooden transport wedges left in place at delivery....Or the DS 19 ( no distributor and twin points and 2CV style double ended coils that suffered heat problems even in period ) fitted with a magneto through the interior bulkhead. Or somebody wondering if dead spheres could be recharged with ping pong balls.

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    1000+ Posts Ken W's Avatar
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    I remember Jim Reddiex telling us at a club meeting about owners taking delivery of their DS19 from the first shipment and then failing to even get as far as Toowoomba due to high pressure pump failure.

    Jim said they didn't know much about the cars when they first arrived, but they sure learned quickly. I'm sure you already have all of Jim's other stories.

    Cheers, Ken

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    Fellow Frogger! ds21bvh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron View Post
    if your after personal stories... Send aussiefrogger "middlemoon" a PM.
    Many thanks Shane - will do...
    How about you - I'm sure you have a few D related stories or even some great pictures to share?
    Cheers,
    Mark...

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    Quote Originally Posted by fritzelhund View Post
    Mark, Perhaps a chapter on myths and misconceptions could be included. .....I can add a story of John Luscombe who ran a mobile field repair business in Tully ...somebody wondering if dead spheres could be recharged with ping pong balls.
    Thank you for the idea related to 'misconceptions' (we've chatted about this also and I think it's a good one) - and the offer to write up John's story - pics of his rig would be great too...!

    Jim's shared quite a few good stories for us to include, including the wooden blocks in the suspension...!

    Ken - I went to a Maxims reunion some time back and there were some good stories floating about.

    Cheers,

    Mark.....

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    I will certainly want to buy a copy;my parents bought one of the first DS19 from Buckle Motors in Sydney and mum and i sat in the back lane behind the dealership waiting for all the traffic to clear. Arrived home at Castle Hill,quick cuppa then a run down to the Hawkesbury Bridge.. On the way home got pulled over by a police motorcycle;we had been wafting along Pennant Hills Rd at 75m.p.h. I couldn't afford a goddess but bought my first car,a light fifteen,ah,memories.

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