Take time out to enjoy..

Take time out to enjoy..
Relax, renew, regain, regrow, reflect

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Aah..Do you have a thing for a shiny old cars, like I do?..


Mr Bean?... nah.. 1969 Fiat Abarth 595..

Merc 1963 - 230sl

A brief history of Cars in Vietnam. 

1900's through 1950's.

 During the time of the French rule in Vietnam,many thousands of cars, trucks, buses and machines were imported to Vietnam.Some of the earliest photos of Saigon which wehave found show some interesting predominantly European cars. Some dating back to the early 1900's!Few of the very early cars survive- at least to our knowledge. However we have unearthed a 1920's Amilcar (strangely rhd) and a 1920's Citroen bebe.

  After world war II, when France had the time to refocus its Attentions on ‘IndoChine' more vehicles were imported. In the 1950's most Cities used Renault, Peugeot and Citroens for taxis. These were imported by the thousands. Many still survive.

Saigon in the 1950's was known as the pearl of Indochine. French was the second spoken language. Many foreigners and locals made their fortunes here at that time, as such quite a few sports cars (eg. Renault Dauphine, Simca aronde) and Luxury cars (eg, Citroen ID19/DS and Mercedes Ponton) were imported. Less expensive cars such as Citroen 2cv, Renault 4cv etc were common also. Again, a suprising amount still survive.
For more remote areas and for military use, many American jeeps that had been abandoned in France at the end of WW2 were subsequently imported to Vietnam. Although some survive, they have generally had a very hard life- and were superseded by the later Jeeps left behind from the American/Vietnam war.

 1960 through 1975

  Though perhaps the darkest days in the recent history of Vietnam, and not wishing to make light of these painful times, for the car enthusiast the war years yielded the largest amount of imported (and home grown) cars in Vietnams history.

At the start of the 1960's, many Vietnamese car owners were looking to replace their first cars that were bought in the late 1950's. At this time there was still a loyalty to known brands, particular French built, but also German and British cars were imported in great numbers. There was for the first time a healthy used car market also.

The LaDalat company was formed, using Citroen 2cv chassis, and all mechanicals- Vietnams first cars were produced from1962-1978.

In the later years of the 1960's many American (and Allies) took advantage of the zero rated import duty for vehicles in South Vietnam. Serving members of the military and affiliated companies were able to not only import new and used vehicles duty free but in many cases were able to ship their cars for free.

Lincolns, Cadillacs, Chevrolets, Oldsmobiles, Plymouths, Fords, Dodges etc were very common sights in the South by the late 1960's. Also sports cars of US, European and Japanese origin were imported in healthy numbers.

After the fall of Saigon on April 30th 1975, South Vietnam was literally littered with multiple thousands of abandoned cars.

http://www.classiccars.vn/classiccar/ - great service this company provides.. contact them for further info.. thanks for the contact and the permission to use your lovely motor vehicles..  I look forward to a shopping trip in one of these soon!
Think somehow a gin and tonic go perfectly in hand, with these ol' beauties?.. cheers...

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