– by George Dyke

 

This year’s has Carlisle trip was one to remember forever!

The weather was magnificent, with mild temperatures and not a drop of rain!  As usual, an impressive Canadian trio of Citroen owners attended the event.  What was supposed to be collective trip down together, went bit awry when I found myself sitting in a massive traffic jam on the 401 near Pearson airport at 8:00AM.  We were supposed to meet Victor & Maria in their Ami, and Larry Lewis in his proverbial Traction at the Fort Erie duty free in an hour!   As I was taking the SM for the Carlisle trip, when traffic cleared I managed to  make Fort Erie in a an hour and fifteen minutes!  One thing we didn’t factor on was that the Duty Free at Fort Erie has changed.  We flew by the exit but in taking a quick glance by my daughter Elizabeth and my friend Ann Maywell, we didn’t spot them!  We were fifteen minutes late and figured they had moved on.   Oh well, we’ll pass them on the Thruway before Batavia, we thought.

As it turned out, Larry Victor & Maria had taken the wrong exit at the duty free themselves.  By exiting on the truck ramp they had positioned themselves on the other side of the duty free where they couldn’t be seen from the road.  Indeed they were waiting there, but we missed them.  This was all brought to light when we saw each other at the Motel 6 in Carlisle.  Larry and Victor took different route more directly south of Buffalo while we were well on our way the on the regular route.   Being in the SM we were well ahead of schedule by the time we neared Corning.  That, and the fact I had two females on board, it was decided that we’d make a stop at the glass museum there.  Pretty impressive stuff!!   The glassworks exhibit had crystal sculptures that  were truly amazing.  If you ever have the time, it’s definitely worth checking out.  Once we all arrived at Carlisle, we all managed to have leisurely dinner together at the British pub on Main St.

The Saturday “show” event was a great success.  A massive selection of cars and parts!  I managed to find the original European Brochure for SM, the very rare one with the fashion statement layout!   At 1:00 PM Dave Allen and Erik deWidt did a 2CV lecture that can only be described as “The Complete History and Inner Working of the 2CV”.   Equipped with extensive photographs of virtually every 2CV model ever built, and a complete rolling chassis with engine, Dave and Erik did a great one hour presentation.  BTW, we recorded most of it on tape, – something maybe we can screen at an indoor meeting event later this year?

Saturday evening we attended the Citroen Club of North America annual dinner where yours truly graciously accepted the award for best SM!   “Ah there’s something about a Red SM” said Erik deWidt, as he announced we’d won.  Micheal Cox also took a few minutes to speak about the ICCCR event that is shaping up for August of 2002.  They are expecting over 1000 Citroen to ship from Europe to New England.  Highlight of the event will be a Raid to Montreal!  This will definitely be an event we all should plan for!!
After dinner, it was a off to the track with Victor, Liz,  Dave Burnham and company, for a grinding night of sprint car racing.  Except for Larry, who decided to capitalize on the female company at hand, taking both Ann & Maria to a drive-in movie in the Traction.  Larry was all smiles that night!

With Saturday behind us, we assembled Sunday morning in the Motel 6 parking lot for a collective drive home.  We packed a few “extra parts” that we snagged during the flea market as well as some mysteriously appeared goods, including one pricey black bikini from Victoria’s Secrets Catalogue that was drop-shipped to the Motel 6 .  (Rumor has it that the Prez personally took this matter into his own hands!)

For the drive back we decided to cruise through Watkins Glenn NY, on the shores of Lake Geneva, – a truly lovely place.  Though you might want to beware of the hill into town.   It’s a straight 1/2 mile steep grade down a canyon with a blind right hand curve leading directly to a stop sign an intersection that puts you right in the town.  It was about the hardest I’ve ever nailed the brakes in the SM, and Victor & Maria who were behind me in the AMI, got to experience the fine aroma of their brake pads too.  And the Traction was just behind the AMI.   Fortunately Larry left our rear ends in tact.

After a little browsing and lunch we headed back home zip-zagging along some lovely back roads and eventually ending up on the NY State Thruway.  I just have to say that if there ever was a car perfectly suited for Maria and Victor, it’s that AMI.  Following behind them, the slant-back rear winow frames them so nicely, it’s really a rolling portrait.

From there it was home to Toronto and the sad waves good-bye as went our own ways.  We can all be thankful for great trips like this one, and look forward to the many other upcoming events of the 1999 season.

 

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