André has reported in that he and his wife have been visiting Mexico’s northern colonial cities and the mining country.
Today he is in Saltillo and plans to soon cross into the USA at Laredo in his historic DS-21 “3356 TT 75”. (Read about André’s amazing so far here: https://citroenvie.com/1970-world-cup-rally-ds21-to-travel-across-the-usa/).
They have been through a bit of wet weather and had to put the DS in high position as the water was abundant in the streets of the city where they slept.
So far the only mechanical issues have been a tired carburetor float and little corrosion and the bottom of the coolant tank. … A little solder has put it back into service.
They are on track to a target date of Sept. 22, to meet Lionel Guilbert in Bradenton, Florida and a meeting of Citroën fans. That is happening at Mariposa Nursery, 5020 Lorraine Rd, Bradenton, FL 34211. Francois Brun-Wilbaux, the owner of the Nursery, will be showing his impressive French car collection, housed in a custom built air- conditioned building on the premises. We suspect though that the main attraction will be André when he pulls up in his World Cup Rally DS21!
Update – Sept 20, 2018:
We just got word that Andre Midol will not be able to attend the Citroën meeting in Florida on Sept.22. The reason for André’s unexpected cancellation are in this email from Lionel Guilbert below:
“I’m afraid I have some less than expected news. I talked to André today and they will not be able to come to our meet for the following reasons:
The car has been acting up lately on the carb side and electrical side as well, bad battery connection suspected. André does not feel that driving 5 hours to Bradenton and 5 back to Jacksonville would be wise. They are in Jacksonville where they needed to arrange transport from the area instead of the originally planned Baltimore location due to the flooding restricting roads in the Carolinas. They needed to accelerate their return to France due to André’s mother failing health. The car ships Monday. They have a previous engagement in North Central Florida that they could not change
André deeply regrets not being able to make it as he was looking forward to ending their trip on such a high note. He wanted me to say that he will be at next year’s Citroën Centenary celebration in La Ferté-Vidame and would love to meet anyone from Florida that would be there.”
Update – Oct 19, 2018:
We shortened our tour in the States. We knew my mother could die and she did. Nice for her. At 98, she was waiting for that. Back to France the 27th.
Not easy with the car the last miles… Difficult for me to write all about it. I send you the page [see below] I sent to Paul, the young man my wife and family has been writing for 3 years. He is in the deathrow (couloir de la mort) in Florida. We came partly to the States to visit him. We shared with him in the carcel a very special, rich and nice moment. Maybe we’ll write about this experience. The car stopped after our visit to him, just before joining the harbour. You’ll understand I write “hotel” for “carcel”…
Saturday the 22 we decided not to go to the event organized by Lionel Guibert in Florida. We visited Paul on Sunday 23.
The car will desembark next week and I’ll take it in Zeebruge.”
Letter to Paul:
When the hostel’s doors where you received us closed on us the other day, we didn’t really leave you.
On the one hand, M-J and myself kept the little yellow card that was given to us at the reception. The hostess told us with a great smile to hold on to it for our next visit.
On the other hand, and this is a long story to tell, our little bitch of a DS – I sometimes call the car that way on the account of the fact that she has taken so much pleasure in complicating our lives these past 13 years – couldn’t bear the thought of leaving the country which had held her against her will for 48 years, but which she had ended up by falling in love with.
Twenty-five miles away from Brunswick where she had to embark on Tuesday 25th for Europe, she went on strike and broke down on the highway. I just said to M-J that, besides our visit to meet you and our gathering, which truly overjoyed us, we didn’t have the luck of encountering a US family and being welcomed in their home. At that moment, Miss DS heard what I said.
After one hour turning in circles around her on the emergency lane of the highway, we decided to walk to join an exit which was quite near. After a 20 minute walk, a pick up stopped at our height and a nice man asked us what was it we needed… After 2 minutes, he called his wife – Babe – and asked her to prepare a meal for 4 people instead of 2. From his pretty white house between forest and meadow, he called his neighbor who accompanied us one hour later, during nighttime, to get the car with a tow truck. The DS was then brought near the house. The troubleshooting required us to stay 36 hours on site with a mechanic (gas pump, coil, button starter, battery). Two hours before the deadline on Tuesday, we entered the port and the car could embark. In all, we spent 3 nights at our new friend’s house and shared marvelous moments. It’s with them that I learnt my mother’s passing.
By the way Paul, you are only missing one piece of information… Go over what I wrote and ask me the question before getting to the end…. Ok have you found it ?
PS: Response: The guardian angel’s name was Paul.