by George Dyke…..

A gathering of Citroëns each May in Carlisle has been a tradition for over 30 years, but this year was something extra-special. Brad Nauss celebrated 25 years of his Citroën parts supply business Brad Nauss Automotive, and though Brad has taken the helm to organize the meeting for two decades, two years ago Brad made it his goal to put together a special Citroën event for the marque’s 100th Anniversary.

Reaching out to the organizers of the Carlisle Import Show and members of the Citroën community, Brad was able to stage an impressive event that had over 50 Citroëns in attendance, and made an indelible impression on the thousands of car enthusiasts that attended.

View a full photo gallery of the event here:

Brad organized a special 100th anniversary exhibit of select Citroëns that were displayed in a dedicated building in addition to a giant tent that was erected by the Carlisle Show folks that gave cover to a show-field display of Citroëns, a seminar area where three fantastic presentations were delivered. (More about them below).

Jim Sciberas, Larry Lewis and I drove from Toronto in my 2 Citroën GSs. (One to show in the exhibit and one to drive around in for the weekend). The beautiful scenery on the way there set the stage for a visual bevy of Citroëns that were to come…

Those of us arriving on Thursday met at Gilligan’s West restaurant in Mechanicsburg for dinner. Owned by Citroën enthusiast George Lois, it provided not only fabulous food but a perfect atmosphere for 50 folks to catch up with old friends as to what has transpired since last meeting.

Activities officially kicked off at 4 pm on Friday, May 17 with a welcome speech by Brad that included the history of Citroëns at Carlisle. That was followed by a seminar by Peter Yasigian on “Visiting the Citroën Conservatoire” and then a pizza party in the show-field tent.

On Saturday, Citroëns were the star of the show starting with a parade of them driving around the Carlisle grounds to get the interest of all attendees! Paul Anderson led the procession in his DS21 driving on 3 wheels, Dave Agar followed in a DS with the fenders and doors removed from the driver’s side. The balance of the parade were Citroëns sorted by model year, (thanks to the corralling efforts of the Bandy brothers). The parade alone was a show stopper! You can check out a video of it here (albeit shot by a guy who was fascinated but somewhat confused about the models): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADAIMdI2Ngs&fbclid=IwAR0b3Oxj5AqKyHBt4IAkuhGHTEbvY9X68_d-cFgiXuzCRHaft4sEeASidYQ

The museum display drew crowds all day. On display were 14 Citroëns (one with vintage trailer attached) and 1 Panhard . Here is a list by age showing the owner and state:

  • 1950 Traction Avant 11BL, Brad Nauss, PA (on display as having been at every Import Show)
  • 1952 Traction Avant 15/6, Carl Erb, PA
  • 1955 1952 Traction 11B (with trailer), Alain Daumas, NJ
  • 1960 Panhard, Paul Brown, SC
  • 1961 DS19, Gabrielle Isenbrand, NY
  • 1966 DS21, (left side removed for display), David Agar , OH
  • 1967 2CV Truckette, Serge Rousselle, MD
  • 1967 DS21, George Lois, PA
  • 1969 DS21, Paul Anderson, PA
  • 1971 GS, George Dyke, ON, Canada
  • 1972 SM, Peter Bandy, MI
  • 1972 SM, Gordon Sauer, TX
  • 1976 2CV Spot, Kim Barnes, MD
  • 1981 CX Pallas, Brian Peters, DC
  • 1987 2CV Sausss Ente, Kim Barnes, MD

Throughout the day, and additional 37 Citroëns were parked under the huge tent and in overflow parking outside the tent. The seminar area was packed with folks enjoying presentations from Per Ahlstrom on ‘Andre Citroën’s admiration and interaction with American Automotive Industry and his cooperation with Budd Company’, ‘The History of Panhard and how it relates to Citroëns’ by Paul Brown, and a technical seminar about the Citroën hydraulic system by Dave Burnham.

Capping off the day on show-field was a Citroën 100th anniversary celebration with 2 giant cakes, but that was just the teaser for what was to be a great dining experience that evening for 91 people with a special dinner hosted by George Lois at the Mayapple Golf Course Fiddlers Restaurant in their brand new indoor banquet room. Two more large cakes (one denoting 100 years of Citroën and the other 25 years of Brad Nauss Automotive, were consumed for dessert! After dinner, awards were handed out for “Peoples Choice” Citroëns, and all who attended walked away with a cool Citroën themed door prize. Peoples Choice winners were:

  • Best Early D series, with single headlights – Dave Bernstein
  • Best Late D series, with double headlights – Paul Anderson
  • Best 2CV sedan – Danny O’Malley
  • Best A Series Truckette – Manny Barrieros
  • Best Dyane – Martin Gambony
  • Best Series One CX 74-85 – Brian Peters
  • Best Series Two CX 86-91 – Stanley Feigenbaum
  • Best SM – Peter Bandy
  • Best XM – Steve Curlee
  • Best GS/GSA – George Dyke
  • Best Traction Avant 11CV – Alain Daumas
  • Best Traction Avant 15CV – Carl Erb
  • Best Citroën: Special Category – Mik Beetham (H Van)
  • Best Panhard – Paul Brown
  • Best of Show – Alain Daumas (11B TAV with vintage trailer)

Also announced were the winners of the Citroën History Quiz at Carlisle. It was a tie between David Bernstein and Gert Bue Larsen, (they both achieved a 94% score getting 35 of 37 questions correct), but since there could only one winner for the prize, (a die cast Citroën model 2CV), Brad Nauss did a coin toss that resulted in David Bernstein taking it home.

Brad was very pleased pleased with how the celebration turned out.  In fact, he made a point of thanking everyone for coming and being a part of the weekend – from those who had display cars, those who did seminars, those who volunteered to help, those who brought a car for the show field and those who just came to join in the fun – without the support from everyone, the weekend could not have happened.  And without the help and support of Carlisle Events, he could not have made it happen.

Many stayed on to celebrate further on Sunday with 53 attending a breakfast at the Middlesex Diner and then congregating on the show-field for more Citroën discussion.

Planning for next year is already underway.  Pencil in May 15-17, 2020 and plan to join in the fun!