Out of Africa.....
My Citroen DS is right hand drive model, originally from Kenya, I have a wealth of documentation from the previous owner which has enabled me to trace its ownership and eventual journey to the UK.
The picture on the right shows the original exterior colour described as "bronze" in the log book with white roof.
The original car registration (KNE 986) was etched onto the windscreen.
The K series registration codes were first introduced in Kenya in 1950 due to increased number of vehicles being registered. The second letter, in my case "N" indicated the region of Kenya and year the car was first registered, in this case Nairobi and 1970 respectively
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From what I can make of the documentation /log book I believe the Car was orginally registered on 14th December 1970 by a Mr Ram Das Joshi from Nakura, Kenya.
At some point I believe the car was purchased by a Shalini Sankey of Nakura and subsequently sold onto the third owner (still researching this)
Some 28 years later (6th February 1998) the car was purchased by a Mr Peter Wijnsma, a Civil Engineer who was employed by the SNV Netherlands Development Organisation at that time.
Mr James Dyson a UK Ex Pat who was serving as a teacher in Kenya came into ownership of the vehicle
Prior to purchasing the car I carried out a quick search on the internet for the original registration which led me to the VCCCK (Vintage & Classic Car Club of Kenya) magazine article dated January 2011, (click here to view) , where the previous owner was (and I believe still is) the editor of the clubs magazine, Mr James Dyson.
The car was initially put up for sale via an Ex-Pat magazine which is also online (www.xpatlink.info)
Welcome !! My name is Hazi Mistry and along with my friend Mark Gibson, undertook the restoration of a classic 1970 Right Hand Drive Citroen DS, imported from South Africa.
You will see the car has undergone a full 'nut and bolt' restoration with every part restored, cleaned or replaced. Below you will find a breif history of the car and the subsequent trials and tribulations of an iconic and one of the most advanced cars of its time which set the standard for ride , comfort and technology....
I believe the previous owner then decided to restore the car with a view to importing it into the UK, at this point the car exterior was changed to a grey metallic finish and interior roof lining and interior refitted accordingly. This was not a ground up restoration but more of a cosmetic restoration. The car was then imported and arrived in the UK around September 2010 and registered as HGU 543J.
Some additional work was undertaken by Andrew Brodie Engineering (a Citroen DS Specialist).
Eventually the decision was taken to sell the car.....
II had been searching for a DS for some time and had searching ebay, Classic car websites and happened upon the listing and auction for the car at Anglia Car Auctions, which I missed out on. I rang to be informed it had gone through the auction and failed to meet its reserve.
Pictures below show the pictures shown on the auction site...note the interior had turned pink due to bleaching from the sun and the upside down chevrons (incorrectly refitted !!)
It then turned up at a garage (KC2000) in Hunstanton, which specialised in Mercedes. So under the false premise of a trip to the coast I took the family across to Hunstanton to see the car.
Prior to purchasing I noted the registration etched on the windows and carried out a quick search on the internet which led me to the VCCCK (Vintage & Classic Car Club of Kenya) magazine article dated January 2011(click here), in which the previous owner writes on page 5 "on a personal note my Kenyan Citroen DS is finally UK registered and ready to go on the road, KNE 986 is now HGU 543J and is getting a few looks following it's restoration by Monte". Monte Singh incidentally is the Chairman of the VCCCK at the time.
I contacted the previous owner who was kind enough to give me some background to the vehicle.
Mechanically the car was not in great condition and it was difficult ot get it to tick over but I got it up on the ramps and using a useful article from Andy Todd ( inspected the car.
Fortunately as the car had been in a dry climate for the majority of it's life so the bodywork, chassis and box section were all dry and rust free, as was verified by tapping the relevant sections with a rubber mallet. I purchased it but it was in storage for some time (12 months) whilst I made enough space in my garage to fit it in ! (bad planning on my part).
I joined the Citroen Car Club and made some useful contacts (big thank you to Geoff for the free parts - I did need the speedo cable and carburettor in the end !)
Barry from Bourne Citroen serviced it and got it running (needed a new carb , Radiator had to be re-cored) - highly recommended !
I then drove it around for 6 months and then decided to undertake restoration....