Wednesday, October 28, 2009

1962 (Australian) Citroen ID19 Parisienne

JaCG reader, Simon, sent me the link to this car along with the following information...

I found this cars on CarPoint Australia and thought you might be interested. It's an early right-hand-drive, Slough-built (English) Citroen ID-19. Some of these were also assembled here in Australia. You NEVER see these any more (like so much that's good about life!). Take a look inside. You'll see this car has a different dashboard configuration to French-built models, even those with RHD. The Slough-built version has a timber veneer facing, and the instruments themselves are raked backwards at an angle. This may have been done to "convert" buyers who might otherwise have opted for a Jaguar Mark I or II of the day. Also, the brakes in these cars are operated by a conventional foot pedal, i.e. NOT the hydraulically-pressurized "mushroom" of French-built models.

Bit of trivia for you there!
Regards, Simon.

These were very advanced cars that, to most non-French eyes, looked like they came from another planet.

This car is listed as a "1D-19 Parisienne". I'm going to assume that's a typo and it's actually a ID19 Parisienne. To the best of my knowledge, the Parisienne name was only used on Australian-market ID19s, making this a a very rare car.

The French ID19 was a basic, cheaper version of the DS19. As Simon wrote, the ID Series did not have power brakes, but it also did without the the hydraulic clutch and gearchange and power steering. The interior was cheap and simple.

The Australian-market ID19 Parisienne did without the extra hydraulics (it, like all Citroen 19s, retained the hydraulic suspension), but had a luxurious interior and some features not found (or only available as options) on the European ID19 as standard equipment.

This car is being offered at just over $15,000.00 (US). I can't imagine that there are many other cars out there that would attract as much attention as a RHD Citroen ID19.

Click here
to see the listing.

Thanks, Simon!


Simon said...

Interesting to see the fruits of one's own labours on your great blogsite!

Actually, the name Parisienne also applies to those ID19's that were assembled in Melbourne, Australia. I think at one point these were also (without the Parisienne moniker) assembled in another country besides. Those were the days...

Speaking of RHD and LHD, you may care to know that Sweden's populace used to drive on the left - with LHD cars. This was the case until the late sixties, when the Swedish government of the day (perhaps under pressure from her landbound neighbours) changed the rule of the road. I was reminded of this while observing the opening scenes of a Swedish film the other night, set in the fifties, where a convoy of Swedish-registered Volvo PV544's were observed in the act of crossing the border dividing Sweden and Norway.

What happened? Well, there was a roadblock hoarding on the left-hand-side of the road (on the Swedish approach), or the right-hand-side (on the Norwegian approach), a small pre-fab structure to the side of the road, a solitary customs officer or somesuch who simply waved the vehicles through as they approached; this without baggage checks, passports, etc. Like to see that one take place today...! So the cars approach on one side of the road, and, in order to pass the roadblock hoarding, they simply switched over to the other side of the road - and kept going, on the other side of the same road. It was almost surreal to observe. On entry to Sweden, Norwegian motorists faced a sign in English, German and Swedish/Norwegian reminded them of their obligation to drive upon the left! With suitable exclamation marks! Bet they must have encountered more than their fair share of accidents...!

Simon said...

Also, did you know that Burma has RHD - and drives on the right? I understand Afghanistan has a similar rule, although, in news footage I've seen with respect to the war there, I've observed many LHD vehicles as well. Kinda strange, don't you think?

Anyway, as regards Burma, how they came to drive on the right with RHD to boot came about through the military junta who remain firmly in charge there, despite worldwide condemnation, and the somewhat half-hearted attempts to get the military to accept the need for fresh elections, the rule of democracy, etc. But this is not about human rights per se, sensitive though the issue remains.

You see, Burma, until fairly recently, actually drove on the left (no doubt in line with the former British colonial administration of its day). Then, one day - out of the blue - the military junta decided in a heartbeat, on the somewhat spurious basis of the stars - I kid you not! - to change the rule of the road. So one weekday morning, as everyone's getting ready for their ordinary working day, that as from today onwards, traffic in Rangoon and elsewhere in the nation will drive on the right-hand-side of the road until further notice. Just like that. You can imagine the pandemonium. Street markings for driving on the left were all still in place, and no prior arrangements had been made in respect of the changes forthcoming. And imagine trying to do a diamond turn at a major traffic junction in the centre of the city!

At least Sweden, when she chose to make the change, as a sovereign, democratic nation, did her citizens (and neighbours) the honour of informing all concerned well ahead of the event, and then only to tie in more responsibly with all of her landbound neighbours (and Iceland). So, one evening back in 1967, the entire population was formally grounded as every single road-marking and traffic management sign in the nation was updated for the event. In the morning, everything had been done, and all was well.

And so it was that the Swedish pop-group, Abba, got their leg-up - as they had a slot arranged on a Swedish television talent-scouting show on the very night that the country changed it's road-rules; because everyone was grounded, they all sat up to watch the show! And Abba became famous - and rich... What a way to go!

Then there is Indonesia, whose populace drives on the left, in accordance with the Dutch colonial rule of its day. Back then, the Dutch, too, drove on the left. Not sure when they changed over, however; perhaps some of your readers may know the answer to this one. Furthermore, East Timor also drives on the left (pursuant, no doubt, to the Indonesian invasion of 1975). Bearing in mind that Timor Leste was until then a Portuguese colony, did they start out driving on the right, as per the "motherland"? Any ideas?

Simon said...

And last, but not least: Samoa. The latter nation recently (and barely a month before the tragic tsunami which ripped through the joint), reversed her position by changing over to driving on the left. This despite her neighbour American Samoa obviously still driving on the right, in accordance with US law. The idea behind it came, apparently, from the government's assertion that Samoa herself would be better off by changing over, so that cars could be privately imported from countries such as Australia and New Zealand, these being much nearer (and therefore cheaper to purchase from) than the USA. Also, it was stated that Somoa would thus fall into line with all the other nations of the region (the honourable exception of course being her next-door neighbour, American Samoa).

What Samoa's government failed to take into account however, was the large number of yellow, US-style school buses, whose entrance doors now face directly into the traffic-flow. And this with all the little kiddies on-board! The government's solution to the outcry? Simply move the doors (and possibly driving controls) to opposite sides of the vehicle. As if... The structure of these vehicles simply could not cope with the change, without major "surgery". Might be easier and cheaper to get a new bus with RHD. What a mess! And of course, there was to be no compensation from the government for anyone concerned.

So there you go... More trivia, as ever!

Have a great day!

Regards, Simon.