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The CitroŽn Car Club Annual Rally 1997

The 1997 Rally was held on the weekend of the 13th - 15th June 1997 at the East Of England Showground near Peterborough.

Family commitments meant that I was only able to attend the Rally on the Sunday which was also Father's Day. I left home in Hampshire in glorious sunshine with the thermometer in the XM indicating 24 C. I headed north towards Peterborough and as soon as I left the M25 and got on to the A1, it clouded over and started to rain. The temperature dropped the further north I went. The 150 miles/240 km was covered in just under two hours; the XM proving to be an indefatigable high speed cruiser. I passed a number of CitroŽns en route - none of them displaying the Club sticker - until, about 10 miles/16 km south of Peterborough I espied Roy Renshaw, leading light of the GS Section in his GSA, followed by a CX 22 TRS and another GSA. I then entered the East Of England Showground and followed the signs to the Rally. By this time, the temperature was down to 9 C and it was tipping it down with rain. Oh! the joys of an English summer... I parked in the XM parking area and the chap in the XM in front told me that most of the XMs were parked elsewhere - I followed him and parked next to him. Imagine my surprise when he turned out to be Brian Faulkner with whom I have been corresponding by e-mail for quite some time. A brave man is Brian - driving around in one of the earliest XMs to be imported into Britain.

My light cotton, short sleeved shirt was inappropriate attire so out came the Barbour and cap, on went the Hunters and off I squelched to meet old friends and acquaintances, make new friends, marvel at the machinery on display, examine the stands, etc. First port of call was the Information Centre to say hello to Brian Drummond and Derek Pearson and then I trotted off to see David Conway's stand where I splashed out on a copy of Olivier de Serre's `Tous les modŤles CitroŽn' and Fabien SabatŤs `Les Prestigieuses CitroŽn'. Back to the car to put them in the boot and then off, camera around neck to take some pictures. One advantage of the rain was that all the cars looked lovely - even those with faded paintwork - which is why second hand car dealers love such climatic conditions.
En route to the SeMantics display I bumped into the Rally Co-ordinator, Nigel Wild. `Oltcit' said I, speaking in Romanian. `Come with me' said he, speaking in English.

We climbed into his GSA-powered 4 round headlight equipped Ami 6 and drove to his camper where he dug out a whole clutch of photographs of Oltcits - or rather Axels .
Back to the car to put the photos safely away and once more, I set out in the direction of the SeMantics stand where I met Graham Lane and Tony Stokoe and took some photos of Graham's SM.
No sign of the SeMantics bistro however - `rained off' muttered Graham darkly.

Then I took some photos of the sole Dyna Panhard to be seen and trudged off to look at the D Series cars. Only oneSlough built ID which already features on my site but I took some more photos of this car - interior shots, tail lights - things that are quite different from their Paris built contemporaries - and spoke to the owner whose name escapes me. My old friendClaude Westbrook 's car was there but no sign of him.

Also there, was the hideous fluorescent green and gold Safari (D Break) that features in theChamber of Horrors on my site so I took another couple of photos to hopefully prove the point to the doubters that this car is grotesque. 

While talking of such hideous things, there was a CX, badged DX with a ghastly modified front end, converting the car into something that looked as if a Mazda 626 had been tail-ended by a CX.

If I upset the owners of these two cars with these comments, please feel free to vent your ire and justify your lack of good taste - I will happily publish your comments in my column or on this site - provided that they are not too offensive.

I took some more photos of Joe Judt's Cabriolet and numerous other D Series.

Then I went off to look at theBX Sport that I had been told was there and took some pictures of this car.

© 1997 Julian Marsh