Mais Oui – Méchoui!
– by George Dyke
For the past few years CAC/Citroënvie members have been invited to an incredible Méchoui (whole roast sheep) BBQ at the most spectacular Citroën collection in Canada: that of Louis Grenier. Known affectionately as Louis XIV, for his numerous Traction 15/6 H’s that comprise a portion of his collection, Louis hosts the Citroën Méchoui under a ‘big top’ tent at his three aircraft hangers at Beloeil Airport (near Montreal). The event is part of an annual outing of the VEA (Vintage European Automobiles) club in Quebec.
Claude Guillot, Louis’ full-time restoration mechanic, who was head of Citroën service in Canada in the 1960’s, gave us an in-depth look at his latest project, a very rare 1940 Traction Normale Cabriolet restoration. He has remade anything that was not able to be brought back to concours condition and along the way added a 4 speed gear box! He also pointed out some of the finer things about Louis’ facility, such as an extensively stocked Traction parts room, an “at speed” early DS and Traction tire balancing unit and a Snap-on tool kit the size of a 2CV that houses every wrench you can image, both metric and imperial.
While drooling over the collection we were informed that lunch was ready. We went into the large tent, where servers came around with hors d’oeuvres prior to our feasting on the sumptuous buffet of lamb and beef spread before the 300 or so guests! In the background french music was played by a live band. This year (2009) We had a wonderful time in every way! Special thanks go to Quebec CAC members Richard Boudrias and Daniel Noiseux for their wonderful hospitality. As well as overseeing the organization of the event, they made a concerted effort to ensure that us Toronto folks were made to feel right at home. Everyone was so welcoming, the food was delicious and the tour of Louis’ collection was fascinating (to say the least)! Richard Boudrias was also smiling because the Méchoui gave him a chance to premiere his newly acquired Traction 15/6H (from who else but Louis)! Meanwhile Daniel Noiseux demonstrated the symphony sound quality of the stereo system he installed in his immaculate DS23. You would be hard pressed to find the speakers, but turn up the sound and the combination of perfect sound and legendary DS ride make for a totally serene driving experience. Couple the Méchoui with a Saturday afternoon tour of Montreal, plus a night on the town and you can begin to see why we rate Méchoui as an absolutely fantastic weekend!