A man in Hanoi has been recognized by the Vietnam Record Association for owning the country’s largest collection of Peugeot bicycles, a renowned French bike brand.
Dao Xuan Tinh celebrated his new record by showcasing his collection in the Vietnamese capital on November 18.
The collection includes 100 authentic Peugeot bicycles made in France, all in excellent condition with genuine parts.
His oldest Peugeot bicycle was manufactured in 1918, but remains functional.
Part of what makes Tinh’s collection so special is that all of his bicycles come in pairs – with one male and one female bike for each model. The bikes are also arranged by year and color.
Tinh’s journey to build his two-wheel collection stems from the great affection of the old Vietnamese generations towards the road bikes of yesterday.
In the intricate social context of Vietnam 70 years ago, when the ‘closed door’ policies overshadowed the whole nation and everything was purchased with coupons, not money, a road bike became the dream vehicle of many families.
Born in such hard time, the image of a French bicycle, a Peugeot or Mercie, was deeply engraved in the minds of the old Hanoi people and craving for one was the social norm.
In the same spirit, Tinh has spent the last 20 years traveling across Europe looking to purchase and bid on the bikes he dreamed of as a kid.
Aside from appealing to his deep nostalgia, each two-wheeler must also be vintage, authentic, and functional.
Several owners of the bikes, after realizing Tinh’s motive of preserving their history, chose to let him take their pricy Peugoet’s for free.
At home, Tinh goes to great lengths to hire a crew of bike specialists who give regular check-ups to every bike in his collection, retaining each one’s fresh look and mint condition.
One member of the team, now 80 years old, has devoted most of his life to fixing Peugeot bicycles and is just as dedicated as Tinh to maintaining the integrity of the collection.
Besides Peugoet bicycles, Tinh also bears great affection for vintage motorcycles and other classic items, such as his four electric scooters, four Peugeot mopeds, a Motobécane bicycle manufactured in 1970, and several wall clocks and tabletops.
At his showcase, Tinh donated a pair of Peugeot bikes made before 1954 to the National Museum of Vietnamese History so the precious bikes can continued to be admired by the public.
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