by George Dyke….
Unquestionably the largest Citroën event in North America is Rendezvous, an annual meeting held at Saratoga Springs, NY each Father’s Day Weekend. This year marked its 36th anniversary. Over the years it’s evolved to a multi-day Citroën-fest that runs from Thursday through all day Sunday! While the main show-field event is on the Saturday, there are a dozen other planned activities that make the time fly by so quickly that before you know it, you’re back on the road driving home.
View a full gallery of Rendezvous 2012 images here.
For me, Rendezvous starts each year with Canadian CITROËNVIE folks coming from the Toronto area meeting at my house. This year we had 8 cars in our convoy. The trip usually takes about 10 hours as we aren’t in a rush and we tend to make a few pit stops along the way. The weather was perfect for the entire trip! Some very nice cars showed up at the Rendezvous. We counted 108 Citroëns. There were also a few Peugeots, and an Alfa Romeo.
The Saturday show-field venue changed locations. This year it and and dinner were at Lakeside Farms, about 20 minutes southwest of Saratoga Springs. Nice facility. A little more basic than the Saratoga Springs Race Track last year but we all managed to fit and the dinner served inside at the Lakeside was delicious.
We set up our CITROËNVIE booth on the show field selling shirts, subscriptions and a new electronic coil for the 2CV that we have been testing and sold dozens of with fantastic results! It fits discretely on the headlight bar in place of the original. And it works like a charm, starting the 2CV instantly even on those super hot days when you stop for gas, and used to have a real hassle turning the key and getting it going again. Dave Burnham gave a tech talk Saturday on the show-field about the restoration of Lance and Michaela Hellman’s DS Cabriolet. In fact they brought the car! Still in the restoration process and at the stage of dealing with rust discovered during disassembly. The car was on a rotisserie that enabled you to see all the areas that needed to be addressed.
Awards were announced at the Saturday dinner and on Sunday morning during breakfast back at the Springs Motel (the home base for Rendezvous) the winning cars were put on display. Then it was off on an expanded driving event to take in more of the glorious scenery that this Adirondack region of New York State has to offer. First stop was the historic Parabolic Bridge in Hadley, NY and then on to the Gazebo on Lake Luzerne where a casual picnic lunch was provided.
This year a BBQ dinner was added on the Sunday, that a lot of people stayed for, back at the Springs Motel. Most of the Canadians had to depart just after the Sunday breakfast as we needed to be back home Sunday night.
Another reason for going to Rendezvous is to stock-up on parts! In our case, 2CV tires were the order of the day. Proactive planning by Steve Loria enabled us to make a bulk purchase of 16 Michelin 125 x 15 radials from Coker Tire at a really great rate and get them shipped to Paul Riccardi who graciously agreed to receive them at his house and bring them in his Sprinter van that was towing his famous Mehari to Rendezvous. I drove my 1989 2CV to Rendezvous and it still had its original tires. The tread was getting to a point where they needed to be replaced and I detected a bit of sidewall cracking. While in Saratoga Springs I found a local garage down the street to do the install so I could drive back home on new rubber!
Robert Monteleone, Kim Walter and the Drive-she-said group once again made a phenomenal effort to organize Rendezvous venues and ensure that people were content and well fed the entire time! It’s become a pilgrimage that we look forward to from the moment we get home and summer starts. We know that once again next spring, there will be a get-together of our Citroën friends that will once again let us get caught up on old times, and meet some new enthusiasts that will hopefully ensure its future.
Rendezvous People’s Choice Winners – ‘12:
- Dyane Acadiane: Rob & Sharon Brainard, CT – ‘79 Acadiane
- 2CV & Fourgonette: Bob & Henrietta Lachmann, CT – ‘79 2CV
- Ami 6, Burton, Mehari, H-Van, Visa: Ryan Rutherford & Tamara Petrosino, NJ – ‘67 Ami6
- Traction Avant: Jean-Claude Taqust, QUE – ‘46 BL
- Early ID/DS: Bill & Judy Huff, NY – ‘59 ID19
- Late ID/DS: John Maddock, NY – ‘72 DS Break
- GS: Ron Straub, NJ – ‘73 GS 1220
- CX/CXA: Dan McCarville, NY – ‘89 CXA Prestige
- SM: Stephane Palumbo, QC – ‘74 SM ie
- XM: Jerome Pettinga, VT – ‘98 XM
- Rear Drive Citroën: Marc Desrosiers & Josee Theriault, QC – “28 AC4
- French (non-Citroën): Michael Gou, QC – 74 Alpine 110
- European (non-French): John deBruin, VT – ‘70 DAF Coupé
- Fav of Show: Marc Desrosiers & Josee Theriault, QC – ‘28 AC4