by George Dyke….
East Coast Rendezvous has always been held on Fathers’ Day weekend but this year, because The Grateful Dead were playing that same weekend in Saratoga Springs, the Chauffers (our beloved Rendezvous organizers) were forced to postpone the event two weeks due to virtually every means of accommodation in the area being booked — and at grossly inflated prices.
Consequently, it was decided to hold Rendezvous from June 29 to July 2, and since the “home-base hotel” of last year was booked that weekend, the choice was made to move up the main street of Saratoga Springs to the Marriott Hotel.
It was brilliant decision as not only was far better parking available for our precious Citroëns, but the rooms were nicer, the welcome buffet on Friday night was a delicious feast, and on Sunday morning we were just a few steps away to High Rock Park for a breakfast and farewell gathering in a pavilion that covered us from the only rain we experienced during the entire weekend.
While many arrived in town on Thursday afternoon, festivities began in earnest at 2:00 PM on Friday with the Ice Cream Social held once again at the Kaleidoscope Cafe just east of Saratoga Springs.
Folks then went to Marriott for formal registration and the buffet, with those still having some energy making their way a few steps to the charming downtown to partake in the night life.
Saturday was the main show field — again staged at Lakeside Farms. The weather co-operated and other than some smoke that permeated the country air with residue from Canadian wildfires, the day was sunny and warm. Actually, the smoke provided a slight overcast making the sum less intense for those that wanted to linger and take photos of the amazing assortment of Citroëns and other interesting cars that gathered on the show field.
Overall there were about 120 cars and 240 attendees.
View a full photo gallery of the Rendezvous weekend here: https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjALwxj
Of course, an assortment of spare parts, T-shirts and other items were readily available in the vendors’ tent.
Jeff Lane and his girlfriend Christine managed to make the trip from Nashville.
Notably Dave Burnham was present again as a vendor with an announcement that Trinity Paint, Based in Williston VT, is in discussion about an acquisition of Dave Burnham Citroën. (Based in Williston VT, Trinity plans to have bodywork and painting on Citroëns be done in Williston, along with staff to be added for mechanical repairs that will continue to be done at Dave’s shop in Delanson NY.)
There were more than just Citroëns present. A Maserati Bora and Khamsin made brief appearances. There was an assortment of Peugeots from their club along with a dedicated tent and picnic. A newly restored Renault Alpine (by Trinity) was on display. And there were some other very interesting European marques; a couple of lovely Saab models including a Saab 96, a Reliant Scimitar GTE, a late model Fiat 124, and an immaculate first generation green Honda Insight Hybrid.
Mark Gluck organized what has become an annual tour around Saratoga Lake in the afternoon with the Traction Avants.
We had a young enthusiastic new participant, Craig Pest, scrutinizing all the DS in the show field as he purchased for $450 an “all-it-needs-is-a-clutch” project DS21 that he has been working on. It’s a far cry from being put back on the road with the back-end pretty much rusted away. You can find his optimistic tour of the acquisition here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLrSxHzX7bU and some of his welding effort here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ld61vEh8FRA
Among the event’s highlights there were 2 DS at the extreme end of the spectrum — A pristine 1965 DS Cabriolet owned by Glenn Rudner graced the show field and Ken Nelson managed to bring his 1956 “barn find in Montana” DS19 (#650) all the way from Michigan.
Amazingly the DS19 ran, though Ken did use a tow-trailer to get it there, firing up the engine every 150 miles or so along the way to keep the rear end hydraulically suspended! It was fascinating to see such an early example as it had unique features that included;
- a self-cancelling turn signal (roller driven off the steering column),
- bolts that adjust the tilt angle of the door windows
- front fender mount posts on rubber pads
- a hood hinge that was bolted from underneath
- the main suspension suspension accumulator mounted up-front beside the gearbox
- door rubbers that have embossments
- rear fender embellishments with a recessed pattern
- and chevron patterned seat covering.
We will be featuring a more detailed article soon about these and other unique aspects of Ken’s 1956 DS19.
After answering questions about it all day on Saturday, Ken gave a talk about it as part of a social gathering of Citroënvie zoom meeting members just before dinner. That meeting was recorded by Craig and you can view it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOsowO_FbK0
We all enjoyed a hearty BBQ dinner on Saturday night while bidding on an array of silent auction item donations and eagerly anticipating the announcement of this year’s Rendezvous winners;
- 2CV/Truckette: 1956 Truckette – Manny Bierrieros
- Ami/Dyane/Méhari: 1973 Méhari – Edward Holden
- ID/DS: 1965 DS Chapron convertible – Glenn Rudner
- Traction Avant: 1950 Traction – Andy Pickett
- GS/GSA/XM/C6/H-Van: 1976 H-Van – Paul Stockman
- CX/CXA/BX: CX Ambulance – Jeff Brown
- SM: 1972 SM – Gabriel Bandy
- Other French: Renault R5 – Nick Dimopoulos
- Non French: 1974 Reliant Scimitar – John Rigby
- Farthest (by popular vote): 1955 DS – Ken Nelson
- Favorite: 1965 DS Chapron convertible – Glenn Rudner
On Sunday morning’s breakfast we bid farewell to friends until next year when Rendezvous will most likely return to Saratoga Springs on the traditional Fathers’ Day weekend.
Thanks go to the Chauffeurs; Tim Kinnel, Chris Westfall, Lawrence Wood, David Cossitt-Levy, Daniela Cossitt-Levy, Sophia Cossitt-Levy and all the volunteers who made it such a great event!
For me, Rendezvous lasted a bit longer than anticipated. Marijke and I decided to relax and stay in Saratoga Springs Sunday night and drive back to Toronto on Monday. The rain and humidity affected my GS and I was unable to get it going Monday morning. The starter motor would turn the engine and fuel was going to the carb, and there current going to the spark plugs. After an hour of trying to clean and dry out the distributor cap, making sure electrical connections were secure and dry, even spraying in a bit Quick Start, nothing would get the engine to catch. I managed to contact Dave Burnham and ended calling up AAA to get the GS towed towed over Dave’s shop in Delanson NY. One crimp of a connector to the coil by Dave (the same procedure I tried 4 hours earlier) and the car started up. I did a 10 minute test drive and then we headed home with no further problems once the GS was seemingly “blessed” by Dave.