by George Dyke…..

We had quite a scramble in the Southern Ontario region at the end of December.  John Mazmanian passed away five years ago, (read his death notice here) and his property in Ft. Erie Ontario had been left to his his girlfriend to occupy for 5 years.  “Maz”, as he was known as in our Citroën community, had a stash of old Citroën D models, SMs and literally hundreds of parts scattered in various ramshackle buildings and about his 4 acre lot.  We were told by his sons that in the spring of 2016, after they took possession of the property and the weather was warmer, the Club would be given access to come and get all things Citroën related.   But given the current real estate market values, Maz’s sons decided to put the property up for sale in early December, just after his girlfriend moved out, and it sold in just a few days!  The closing date was Dec 30 and if anything was to be had, we were told just days before that it must be off the property by then!  Fortunately the weather stayed mild and we were able to move quickly…

Club members George Klein and Bernard Laborde made a couple of treks from Toronto before Christmas.

The Maz Collection - near the end 11

Though most of the cars were in dismal shape, George managed to strip a SM with front end damage that had been stashed in a barn while Bernard prepped a DS Safari for transport that had sat outside in the field for probably 30 years!

Maz's Safari at Bernard's - pre restoration  the DS Safari back at Bernard’s in Toronto.  A restoration project for this winter… and the next!

Amazingly, Bernard is intent on restoring it despite extensive rust.  A few other parts were harvested off the remaining cars, but most were simply too far gone to save.  Arguably most were too far gone when Maz put them there!

The Maz Collection - near the end 7  The Maz Collection - last days 7 

We were thrilled to see that Maz’s old Citroën Visa had survived.  I had driven it to Rendezvous in 2011, with permission from his sons, as a tribute to Maz and parked it in a special spot where it sat, just like Maz would have stepped out of it (with all the clutter inside).  I placed a large memorial card on it that everyone 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 a very touching moment.

After driving the Visa back to Ft. Erie from Rendezvous I parked it Maz’s barn as his sons weren’t sure what they wanted to do with it.  Fortunately it remained there, untouched and no worse off than when it was dropped off.

The Maz Collection - near the end 13  The Maz Collection - near the end 15

George Klein agreed to take it and try the preserve it the way Maz had left it; decals, clutter and all…

View a photo gallery of the “Maz collection” in it’s final days here.