A series of videos have been released on YouTube featuring Cedric Fréour and Renaud Roubaudi, two French Citroën enthusiasts, who take a Citroën C3 Aircross on a road trip in Canada. (They claim Canada but the videos show they are just in the province of Quebec.)
The most interesting video is the one titled “POA au Canada 5/8 : Les Enfants D’André Citroën”.
In it, on the fifth episode of their venture, they paid visits to three Citroën collectors, restorers and mechanics of the Saint Lawrence South Shore area of Monteregie. They embarked with Olivier Charue from Beloeil, an antique car enthusiast and a SM’s owner, who took them on a tour of the region’s Citroen mechanics, restorers and collectors.
They paid their first visit to Serge who owns two 2CVs. One of them is painted in yellow and white and the other, in classic blue 2CVcolour. Serge is a former Renault mechanic who developed a passion for 2CVs over the years. He also owns a DS.
Serge explained to his visitors how he came to develop love of 2CVs thanks to his uncle, a Swiss expatriate, who owned one in the 1960s. As the visitors wanted to know whether brand new 2CVs were imported in Canada, Serge told them that his blue 2CV was originally purchased from a Citroën dealer in Rivière du Loup, Northern Quebec.
On a second stop, they explored a vast Citroën compound owned by Anatole, a Monteregie mechanic and restorer of DSs and SMs. Anatole may be considered as the Citroën restorer who detains the biggest stock of Citroën parts (used and new) in Quebec.
In addition to his personal stock, he inherited a rich collection from the late Jean-Pierre Durand, a deceased Citroën dealer, mechanic and restorer and an old friend of Anatole’s. It is under his guidance that Anatole learned the basics of Citroën. Anatole had some DSs and SMs in his backyard which Cedric and Renauld marveled on. They had a crush on a red SM that Anatole bought two weeks ago from a seller in Sainte Adèle. That car was stored in an underground parking garage for years and is to undergo restoration in the near future.
Thirdly, they took a tour of André Ménard’s part and car collection. They were impressed by the number of Citroëns resting in Ménard’s backyard and open sheds. More impressive were the quantity and variety of parts stored all over those sheds; piled on shelves, on floors and inside parked cars. They wondered how he acquired so many cars and whether he could retrieve parts from his junk hole when he needs them.
In a reassuring voice, he replied that he knows where all and each single part are located. As for acquiring his numerous cars, he explained that whenever an owner decided to discard his vehicle, he preferred to offer it to someone who could restore it rather than selling it to a scrapper who would surely wreck it. The question followed as to the possibility for him to restore them all. He replied that over the last two years, he has not been able to undertake restoration work on his cars, but he still hopes to restore some of them.
During conversations between those French visitors and their Quebec hosts, two questions came up more often than not. The first one related to whether they were professional Citroën mechanics. In all three instances, the answer was that they learned over the years thanks to their passion for Citroën automobiles, by playing with Citroën cars’mechanical specificities and solving problems that arose from those cars’ particularities. All three of those Quebec Citroën mechanics have forty years or more of experience with maintaining and restoring DSs, SMs, CXs and 2CVs but none underwent Citroen sanctioned training.
The second question revolved around the lasting interest in Citroën antique cars in Canada and the possibility that Citroën returns to North America in the future. Although both guests and hosts shared a common admiration for older Citroën’s features, performance and popularity, they were somehow skeptical about Citroën’s claim of an eventual return to North America. After recalling circumstances that led the company to abandon the North American automobile market, they commented how, over the last decades, Citroën had many times promised to make a North American comeback, but in every instances last minute difficulties prevented that return from happening.
The things about the C3 Aircross that did impress the Quebec folks were its roomy, airy and luxurious interior, the spacious legroom, its spongy seats and its twin-glass panelled sunroof.
Watch “POA au Canada 5/8 : Les Enfants D’André Citroën” here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=56FKXo5vrXc
To view the other videos of the series check out the following links:
POA au Canada 1/8 : Prologue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwflIfj1cfA
POA au Canada 2/8 : Road Trip Exclusif en Citroën C3 Aircross: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xiMmCX-Ji3M
POA au Canada 3/8 : Design, Vous Avez Dit Design?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EWHIg1IfEk
POA au Canada 4/8 : C3 Aircross, L’Avis du Pro: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YgLHKqJzjU
POA au Canada 6/8 : Les Carres Ronds!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TA8-O1bZX4
POA au Canada 7/8 : Epilogue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDfnm2OJQeI
POA au Canada 8/8 : Le Off: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PQIvDRdxMo