by George Dyke

Celebrating its 35 anniversary, for the past 8 years Rendezvous has been held at Saratoga Springs, NY and organized by ‘drive she said’. While the location and organizers remained the same this year, there was a change of venue for both the meeting and the Saturday dinner. Both proved to be very successful.

Greg Long has masterfully captured the essence of Rendezvous 2011 at Saratoga Springs, NY in this beautiful picture gallery.  See it here.

The show field itself was moved to the Saratoga Racecourse; more specifically the park within the racetrack complex. It allowed more shade than the outdoor locations of previous years in the Saratoga State Park. And it also permitted use of the washroom facilities at the race track. The location felt a bit more intimate and vendor tables seemed easier to browse. And it was replete with the usual nice touches such as the dueling accordions of Norma and Peggy and afternoon entertainment and juggling with Susan & Joe, the Airborne Jugglers. 150 Citroëns registered for the event.

Featured anniversary celebration Citroëns this year included the AMI (50 years) the 2CV Truckette (60 years) and the D-series Cabriolet (50 years).

Two tech sessions dealt with the quirky AMI-6, given by yours truly, while Axel Kaliske gave a thorough talk on understanding the 2CV electrical system; particularly the coil and what you can do to ensure that your 2CV starts every time. (The subject of an upcoming article in CITROËNVIE).

The main banquet dinner Saturday night was also a change of venue this year. It required a drive of about 20 minutes south to Panza’s, located on Route 9P at Saratoga Lake. Over 200 people enjoyed a Happy Hour cocktail party, the dinner itself, a Silent Auction, Raffle, an amusing performance by John Long and Greg Long giving Pecka-Kucha presentations on John’s Classic Bowlus Trailer and Greg’s 1956 ID-19 and the reasons it should be preserved “as-is”. The evening was capped with the presentation of the People’s Choice Awards. (Full results
are listed at the end of this article).

Rendezvous has become a 4-day event that those with the time try to take in. It commenced on Thursday June 16th with dinner at Lake Ridge Restaurant. After dinner many checked out The Great Race, a vintage car rallye that was overnighting in Saratoga.

Friday afternoon was an Ice Cream Social staged at Mister Ed’s Drive-In on Lake Road. That was followed Friday evening by the poolside registration (and pizza tailgate party) at the Springs Motel.

Sunday, Fathers Day, many revisited the show field location for a lite-breakfast snack and to have a final last tour of the R-11 Peoples Choice Award Winners.

There was also a touching moment where everyone paid tribute to John Mazmanian who passed away earlier this year. The Citroën Autoclub Canada drove Maz’s 1973 Visa to Rendezvous and parked it in a special spot. Maz was both an icon and a legend at Rendezvous since he had attended every Rendezvous and one year went down one weekend ahead of the event only to discover his error. He drove all the way home then returned the next weekend. We wanted this year to be a salute to Maz with an “extra year credit” so to speak. We parked the Visa just like Maz would have stepped out of it, (with all the clutter inside), and we placed a large picture of Maz on it and had big memorial card that folks could sign. Maz’s longtime friend Peter Fyfe travelled from Nova Scotia with his bagpipes and on Sunday morning he played a composition that he wrote specifically for Maz. Then there was a minute of silence and then he played the traditional “Scotland the Brave” Scottish march… It was dignified and impressive beyond words.

At that point I had to leave to begin the trek back home, but many stayed for a few more hours to enjoy the final Rendezvous event, a regional drive, before everyone dispersed for another year.

Once again, Robert Monteleone, Kim Walter and the entire drive-she-said group did an outstanding job organizing a weekend that brings all Citroën enthusiasts together. When they began organizing Rendezvous, they had a vision of a collaborative effort, to work together and create a fun event for everyone in attendance. We say mission accomplished! And thank you!


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