Na­tional Citroën Rally 2015

New Zealand Classic Car - - Nationwide News - Words and Pho­tos: Gor­don Camp­bell 2. 3. 4. 5.

The Greater Welling­ton Citroën Car Club struck weather gold when they hosted the Na­tional Citroën Rally at Ta­tum Park, near Levin, on Jan­uary 23–25, 2015. In a sum­mer ide­ally suited to town­ies and hol­i­day mak­ers, bril­liant sun­shine was easy, but the light­est of winds wasn’t so eas­ily achieved.

Nearly 70 cars were reg­is­tered, and most were lined up for the Pride of Own­er­ship dis­play on the Satur­day morn­ing. Rally go­ers had to pick what they con­sid­ered was the best car in each of the many classes. The range and qual­ity of cars made this an un­en­vi­able task. Even so, it was a very re­laxed af­fair with a break for a gen­er­ous morn­ing tea.

This year marks the 60th birth­day of the DS, or ‘God­dess’, and this model, in its var­i­ous in­car­na­tions, was well rep­re­sented. Thir­teen D-se­ries’ made an im­pres­sive line-up, rang­ing from David Jones’ barn-find Sa­fari to Al­lan Inch’s amazingly orig­i­nal low–mileage DS21 Pal­las.

As one would ex­pect, there was also a good at­ten­dance of Trac­tion Avants, all shiny paint and gleam­ing chrome in the Horowhenua sun. Ian Moore brought his Big Fif­teen 6 all the way from Ash­bur­ton, and Terry Falkner, a re­tired Citroën spe­cial­ist from Master­ton, was able to con­firm to Ian’s de­light that the 22,000 miles (35,400km) show­ing on his Six’s odome­ter is the first time around. This 1951 model is amazingly orig­i­nal, and now we know why.

The af­ter­noon was given over to a gymkhana, with a mix of driv­ing skills and hu­man dex­ter­ity/team­work tests. Some treat th­ese events and their cars cau­tiously; oth­ers seize the chance to give their cars a good work­out. The lit­tle 2CVS are al­ways spec­tac­u­lar, and none more so than Paul and Me­lean Ab­solum’s bright yel­low vet­eran of the Shadow of the An­des Tour, which was just about cor­ner­ing on its door han­dles.

Din­ner was a bar­be­cue by a bon­fire with a uni­form theme. Sun­day was road trial day, where par­tic­i­pants got to see some of the lo­cal coun­try­side, and not al­ways from the planned di­rec­tion.


There were the usual sto­ries to tell at the af­ter-trial lunch at Otaki Beach. Sun­day evening’s din­ner was a more for­mal oc­ca­sion, fol­lowed by the ea­gerly–an­tic­i­pated prize-giv­ing. From an al­most be­wil­der­ing ar­ray of awards, some of the win­ners were: Ian Moore (Trac­tion Avant Post–war small boot), Kevin Beeby (Trac­tion Avant Big Boot), Alma Clague (A Se­ries 2CV), Ian Coul­ing (D se­ries, sin­gle head­light), Robin Tervit (D se­ries, twin head­light), Ed­ward Mcdon­ald (Cur­rent Pro­duc­tion), Ru­fus Scott (Gymkhana), Dick and Liz Megchelse (Road Trial) and Paul Ab­solum (Over­all Rally Win­ner).

Dave and Jo­ce­lyn Cromp­ton’s sole SM was an easy win­ner of the SM cat­e­gory, but they were stunned and hum­bled to learn it had been voted ‘Car of the Rally’.

On Mon­day morn­ing it was time for break­fast, farewells and the trip back home, which was a lengthy one for some of the South Is­land en­trants. The Greater Welling­ton Club had done a su­perb job of or­ga­niz­ing a mem­o­rable rally.

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