1962 Citroen ID19 - Reader Ride

By: Ferdinand Saliba with Guy Allen, Photography by: Ferdinand Saliba, Guy Allen, Citroen

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Ferdinand Saliba's Citroen ID19 cost $500 back in the seventies and had been round the clock - twice!

This car was assembled in West Heidelberg, Melbourne, by Continental & General. It’s a 1962 ID19, which means it’s running a 1911cc four-cylinder engine with aluminium cross-flow head, three-bearing crank and a four-speed manual transmission, with top as an overdrive.

It was sold by Commonwealth Motors in A’Beckett Street for 1500 pounds – a fair bit of money back then.

| Watch the video: Ferdinand's Citroen at Motorclassica 2019


What got me into Citroens? My boss at the time had owned the car for 14 years, in 1976 decided he wanted to sell it. But he didn’t want it to go to just anybody, because he loved this car.

His previous Citroen, a Traction Avant, got trashed by whoever bought it from him. He knew I wanted a car and was living in a new house, and he said I could have it for $500 and could pay him whenever I had the money. Two years later I paid it off.

| 2019 Market Review: Citroen 1957-2006


So I’m just the second owner and have had it for 43 years. My son came home from hospital in it when he was born, we went to Queensland for a holiday in it, we went camping with it, this was the family hack. I worked in Footscray in those days and it took me there and back every day.

It’s even been to Perth. There was a Citroen run over there in 1993, so I and a couple of other Citroen guys drove across and had a ball. It cruised like you wouldn’t believe and was doing 10lt/100km. Perfect.


It’s comfortable, with lots of room in the back seat, a really great car. This one is an unusual colour and trim combination. Black had fallen out of favour as a car colour by this time and I haven’t seen another like it.

These engines have a long life, in part because of the massive air filter under the bonnet – they were designed to survive some harsh conditions in what were then the African colonies. This engine has been twice around the clock – that’s in miles. I rebuilt the engine in 1977 and fitted new wet sleeve cylinders. It hasn’t been apart since then.


To the very end, my former boss and I kept in touch, I took the car to his funeral. I guess I got my $500-worth…

Ferdi joined us as part of Citroen’s 100th anniversary celebrations. 


Valuation guide: Solid DS Citroens start at $30k+

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