Seen in a Taranaki Workshop 2

Classic Driver - - OVERSTEER -

Ear­lier the same day I was in New Ply­mouth, on the same NZTO­DAY quest and called in on well known Citroen fa­natic De­nis Ad­lam.

This seems to be a ge­netic thing; it was De­nis’ late fa­ther who started the fam­ily Citroen af­flic­tion and made a busi­ness from it, with sons De­nis in New Ply­mouth and An­drew in Wellington car­ry­ing on the tra­di­tion of work­ing on th­ese most in­di­vid­u­al­is­tic and of­ten mis­un­der­stood cars.

As the Citroen agent for the city, his workshop has all the high-tech gear and com­puter bits you would ex­pect for ser­vic­ing the lat­est mod­els, but in the cor­ner un­der a cover lurked a black DS. This was his own car, or at least one of them, as be­side this was the en­gine and trans­mis­sion from his 1939 Light 12 trac­tion avant which, due to be­ing sav­aged by the neigh­bour’s teenage son, is cur­rently at a panel shop in Nel­son be­ing slowly put back into the shape it was prior to its ac­ci­dent.

I al­ways think that cer­tain cars suit cer­tain colours. Orange on a BMW 2002, red on a 1970s Ca­maro, lime green on an early Porsche 911 all are a per­fect match. And noth­ing beats black on a Citroen DS. De­nis’ car has had an in­ter­est­ing his­tory. Sold new in Lon­don to the Catholic Church, it was the of­fi­cial trans­port, chauf­feur driven, for one of the main ac­coun­tants for the church (the hy­draulic sus­pen­sion would have been use­ful for car­ry­ing all the coins from the col­lec­tion plate) be­fore mak­ing its way to New Zealand where it is near­ing the end of a re­fur­bish­ment rather than a restora­tion and it is not too far away from be­ing back on the road again. This was one of the cars for­merly sold by the coun­try’s most fa­mous Citroen fa­nat­ics, “Mad” Max McKay from Manaia and now in Ad­lam hands, it is guar­an­teed a spoilt life in the hands of a gen­uine en­thu­si­ast.

De­nis Ad­lam’s al­most com­pleted 1966 Citroen DS. For­merly a chauf­feur driven car for the Catholic Church’s ac­coun­tant in Lon­don

The af­ter­math of a meet­ing with an out of con­trol neigh­bour. The dam­aged Miche­lin Pi­lot wheel from De­nis’ pre-war Citroen light 12

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