by George Dyke…..
Rendezvous this year was joie de vivre! It started for me the moment I left Toronto on Wednesday night and drove my 1959 2CV over 800 kms on the back-roads of Ontario and New York state, arriving an hour before dinner at Chez Sophie Thursday night. Perfect weather all the way and a big warm welcome from Kim Walter and Robert Monteleone when I arrived.
Friday was equally perfect. A warm sunny day deserved some cold beer and we had that in spades! It started with a tour of the Olde Saratoga Brewing Company just before noon. While Doug Pengelly talked shop with their brewmaster, Deborah Gerber, their PR person, suggested that we sample a few brews in the tasting room. A few little samples were poured and then the conversation turned to Citroëns. We went out to look at my 2CV. I took her for a little drive through downtown Saratoga. She was thrilled with her jaunt in the 2CV and when we got back to the tasting room, the samples got considerably bigger! From there we went to the welcome party at the The Parting Glass. Fortunately I had the presence of mind to park my car back at the Springs Motel and walk over. A few more beers there and driving back would have been a very foolish thing to do! We walked back to the motel arriving as the “official” registration event got into full swing. And with that we welcomed old friends and partied the night away.
Saturday was the main show field event. Hotter than hell, but packed with Citroëns, Peugeots, a Rolls Royce and a Maserati Bora!. John Rich give a very useful seminar on fitting air conditioning to a D. Then Nebo Djurdjevic and I gave a seminar on the Citroën GS outlining how its technical achievement, packaging and styling defined a new direction for Citroën in the 1970s.
Dinner was the best baked beans and the largest BBQ’d half-chicken I have ever eaten! A little rain in the evening allowed those that stayed through it to have all the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream they could eat! I only had seconds but I know of a few people that went back a few more times than that. Once again we retired to the “Canadian party” on the balcony of the Royce and a Maserati Bora!. John Rich gave a very useful seminar on fitting air conditioning to a D. Then Nebo Djurdjevic and I gave a seminar on the Citroën GS outlining how its technical achievement, packaging and styling defined a new direction for Citroën in the 1970s.
A little rain in the evening allowed those that stayed through it to have all the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream they could eat! I only had seconds but I know of a few people that went back a few more times than that. Once again we retired to the “Canadian party” on the balcony of the balcony of the Springs Motel for a few cool brews.
On Sunday the breakfast was a fantastic affair. It was so nice to see that Cherise Cox was able to attend Rendezvous this year and for her and Michael be recognized for their contribution to our community. And I was particularly touched to be awarded best early 2CV!
I experienced life in a Jacques Tati movie, embarking on a drive south of Saratoga Springs on Route 9 to the village of Round Lake and then taking on the “roundabouts” in the road to Ballston Spa. Bemused residents of Round Lake watched in awe as Citroëns crisscrossed its charming streets. Even driving one, you looked ahead to see a 2CV coming at you. Glance the other way and see a DS serenely glide by. Everywhere you look, a Citroën appears for moment and then slips out of sight! Surreal. Then we traveled back up Route 9 and left onto Route 67 heading toward Ballston Spa. Trip organizers Peter and Cheryl Dobo said there were 5 roundabouts in a row, but what they didn’t predict was that folks would go round and round the roundabouts. (See our CITROENVIE Magazine cover shot with Gary Shelton testing his DS’s cornering abilities on one). Normal traffic had to merge with dozens of Citroëns that seemed to be in a trance going from loops in one roundabout and then shooting off to another. It was a Citroën experience that is now locked into my grey matter, right along with the first time I ever drove in one.
Sincere thanks to all the Rendezvous organizers for another fantastic event and experiences like this!
Peoples’ Choice Ballot Awards:
Favorite Deux Chevaux (early):
Owner: George Dyke Model: 2CV Year: 1959
Favorite Deux Chevaux (late-602cc):
Owner: John Fabrizio Model: 2CV6 Year: 1975/84
Favorite A-Series Derivative (AMI, Dyane, Méhari, Truckette, Burton):
Owner: Pauline Hamel Model: Burton Year: 1968
Favorite Traction Avant:
Owner: Dale Martin Model: Light 15 Year: 1951
Favorite Early ID/DS (single headlight):
Owner: Lloyd McBride Model: ID19 Year: 1960
Favorite Late ID/DS (double headlight):
Owner: Brian & Shannon Peters Model: DS21ie Year: 1972
Owner: David MacLean Model: SM Year: 1972
Favorite CX (Series I):
Owner: Maurice Bourgeois III Model: Athena Year: 1976
Favorite CX (Series II):
Owner: Ed Grant Model: Prestige Year: 1986
Favorite European Auto (Non-Citroën):
Owner: Christian Noel Model: Peugeot 403 Year: 1960
Personal Favorite of Show:
Owner: Dale Martin Model: Light 15 Year: 1951