by George Dyke
Living in central Kentucky and owning, repairing and restoring Citroëns there, particularly SMs, David Hume of Excelsior Motors has organized a few events in the past few decades that have been weekend driving tours of the local region. They have included a trip southwest to Nashville to take in the smorgasbord of eclectic cars at the Lane Motor museum.
Once again this year Dave and his wife Shelby put together a lovely weekend event. The weather couldn’t have been nicer for our gathering that started on Friday afternoon September 14. We met at Dave’s shop and saw some of his SM and DS projects in various stages of completion. Dave had just finished work on a customer’s car from New York, a blue SM with a beautiful tobacco colored leather interior. It was a fuel injection model. The engine bay was pristine. And what really capped it off were 4 rare and perfect resin wheels that sported new Michelin 205 x 15 XWX radials.
Those attending included; John Maddock, Dave and Jamie Burnham, Russ Theus and his friend Debbie, Pierre Quenneville, George Klein, Karen Tuerk, Steve Curlee, Til Stürmer and Renata, Jeff Teerlinck, Angus MacDougald and Kay McInnes, Ed Grant and his friend Cliff, Alex Schuren and his son Eric, Walter Chem, Erik Langman, Ronny Kienhuis, Lloyd McBride, Shannon Arnold, my wife Marijke and me.
That evening we all went down the road from Dave’s on Old Frankfort Pike to Wallace Station Restaurant for a casual dinner and to relax on their outdoor deck. The entire area is a picture postcard of horse farms. Old Frankfort Pike, like many roads in the region is a challenge to drive! It’s narrow and tree lined. Often the edge of the road gives way to a ditch or a stone wall. In the SM in particular this keeps you on your toes, putting you in sync with Citroën’s amazing engineering, while driving for the purpose it was intended.
We returned to Dave’s for more conversation about cars and a little wine tasting before returning to our hotel for the night.
On Saturday morning we met back at Dave’s, took a group picture and then departed for a trek along more winding roads to our first stop, the Wild Turkey Distillery. There we took a tour to see how annual production of 12.8 million gallons of Bourbon and Rye Wiskey is achieved. We toured the vats, the tasting lab, and storage buildings where the oak casks, charred on the inside are left to sit for years to add the flavor and colour that gives distinction to the brands they offer. It is an awesome operation. Of course we managed a tasting at the end of our tour. Nothing like a shot of fine Kentucky bourbon at 11 am when you only had a glass of orange juice for breakfast!
From there we made a concerted effort to stay on the twisty roads as we headed over toward Harrodsburg. We had a lunch reservation at the Beaumont Inn, but since we were ahead of schedule by about 45 minutes, we stopped at a car show just outside Harrodsburg. Driving 8 SMs, 2 DS and 1 2CV into the show that had mostly North American classics on display, we were the show stoppers! Many people came over to find out what they were and we were happy to explain how different Citroëns are.
We then had a fabulous lunch at the Beaumont Inn, then took a short drive to Fort Harrodsburg, a full-scale replica of the fort, built by James Harrod in 1774. There we saw how those first settling the region lived almost 250 years ago.
From the Fort we departed on an other scenic drive that took us through more of the Kentucky countryside and river valleys ending up at David’s in time for a Crêpe dinner served on site! We had a lovely relaxing time dining at the tables and enjoying the magnificent Citroëns that were parked about.
Sunday morning a few of us headed southwest to Nashville to visit the Lane Motor Museum. We got to see the whole collection, including all that was in storage downstairs, not just the 150 or so cars that they rotate for display on the upper level. Lloyd McBride and Jeff Teerlinck were like kids in a candy store. Their enthusiasm quickly became contagious! We stayed until the museum closed and then headed towards home stopping just east of Louisville KY for the night. On Monday we travelled the rest of the way to Toronto. The ride back was kind of long because I travelled with Jeff and Lloyd who were in a 2CV. I had to throttle off power on the SM to allow the 2CV to stay in sight. But, that was a good excuse to ensure I didn’t get a speeding ticket on I75!