30th "Anniversaire at Aulnay Citroën Factory September 22nd

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Caffiend
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Re: 30th "Anniversaire at Aulnay Citroën Factory September 2

Post by Caffiend »

Great to get the party started on Friday night, thanks to all for a memorable day, especially Patrick from UBXM for organising the event and Xemes (Chris) for helping organising bookings and translation.

Conservatoire - just fabulous, still a bit lost for words really: looking at people's pictures, some of which resemble those in magazines and thinking "I've *been* there" is awesome. Really hope that a way is found to keep that collection accessible for viewing, rather than being stashed away with only a few examples exhibited at events (e.g. ICCCR).
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Re: 30th "Anniversaire at Aulnay Citroën Factory September 2

Post by citsncycles »

I found the Conservatoire both amazing and frustrating. While it was great to see such a collection, it's like walking round a car park, but with ropes between you and the cars! It's definitely a storage facility 1st and museum 2nd. There was also (from my point of view at least) some poorly represented models in the collection. The more I think of it though, the more I'm certain we didn't see everything. I cannot believe that the BX in the entrance way is the only cutaway car they have.

Unfortunately with the current finances of the company I can't see it happening, but it really needs bigger premises to enable everything they have to be set out better, A bit like Gaydon has been put together.
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Re: 30th "Anniversaire at Aulnay Citroën Factory September 2

Post by toddao »

Looks like a great day out! Franco-English accord. That BX coupe is marvellous. Sorry I couldn't be there.
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Re: 30th "Anniversaire at Aulnay Citroën Factory September 2

Post by Dollywobbler »

Don't forget that even Gaydon has only a small amount of its collection on show. Displaying cars takes a LOT of space. Sad that another collection is going into hiding though.

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Re: 30th "Anniversaire at Aulnay Citroën Factory September 2

Post by citsncycles »

Anyone check out their CD's yet - loads of stuff on it 8)
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Re: 30th "Anniversaire at Aulnay Citroën Factory September 2

Post by Paul296 »

I can confirm that the Citroen Conservatoire is amazing: well worth some ridiculous adventure in which you trail across France entirely without sleep for 24 hours just to get a look at it. I was hoping that we'd be shown round by a funny little man in a top hat, and when all the other children had stolen things, done things they were expressly told not to do, and generally behaved very badly the whole shooting match would be given to me. . . that didn't happen, but it was very nearly that good. Mark's observation that he was, 'like a dog with two dicks' just about sums it up. Many thanks to Sandre for being such a great host, Chris and l'Univers BX et XM for inviting us and putting on such a fabulous event and everyone else for being such great company. AND we got free stickers!! :D

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This is us just about to set off. Phil explains to me and Mark that there are two two o' clocks everyday and that this is the other one. :D

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Tim giving it the old salesman schpiel. He had actually bought a double bed catalogue incase he bumped into the Pope - just to prove a point. :D

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Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dumber - getting it the right way up . . . eventually. :D

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Chris (Xemes) - the man himself! Many thanks for inviting us =D>

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Me (with mysterious vertical tuft of hair) and my Hurricane. The car had never been on such a long trip and I was a bit apprehensive about how it would perform: it never missed a beat for the whole 900 miles of the trip. Not bad for a car that's only two or three years younger than me. :^o

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The car that seemed to be most universally admired by everybody (including me) as 'the car you'd most like to take home'; CX GTi Turbo2. Just about perfect in every way; 2000km on the clock with 'as new' black leather interior. No one took it home though - it's still there :( .

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The C6 'Airlounge' prototype. Even nicer than the production model I thought. Generally it was striking just how much design flair, genuine inspiration and innovation was often lost by the time particular (generally the most recent) models were put into production: pity.

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The two 2CV prototypes hidden from the Nazis during World War 2. Probably the most valuable and historically important vehicles in the collection - the most knackered and totally unusable as well!

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Image 8)

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Re: 30th "Anniversaire at Aulnay Citroën Factory September 2

Post by Tim Leech »

Great pics PauL (I shall ignore the sarcasm) [-X , I shall make use of a few of those if thats ok!

Also from memory you were 14 when the BX was launched :wink:
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Re: 30th "Anniversaire at Aulnay Citroën Factory September 2

Post by saintjamesy89 »

Cor, looks like a really interesting and enjoyable day! Would have liked to have come but the usual money and work situation put a stopper to that. Also a shame to miss a party-in-the-kitchen at chez Sandre's. I do rather like that C6 prototype too.
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Re: 30th "Anniversaire at Aulnay Citroën Factory September 2

Post by mat_fenwick »

I've uploaded my digital photos here; the rest will have to wait.

Cheers to Vanny for putting up with my company for 36 hours, especially when I insisted on visiting some friends on the way back to Coventry which resulted in us getting stuck in roadworks!
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Re: 30th "Anniversaire at Aulnay Citroën Factory September 2

Post by Paul296 »

Tim Leech wrote: Also from memory you were 14 when the BX was launched :wink:
Yeah - something like that! :D

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Re: 30th "Anniversaire at Aulnay Citroën Factory September 2

Post by Caffiend »

So, now I'm slightly less brain dead :D - some more words to match the pictures:

Despite the best efforts of rain and traffic, half* the BXC had collected in my kitchen by about 6 pm, where we discovered that - despite the size of the kitchen - Tim had the unexpected talent of being in the way of whichever cupboard or drawer I needed to access. Vast quantities of fusilli bolognese, tea, satnav programming and sparkling and witty conversation later, we all sensibly crashed out at 10.30-ish to try to get some sleep, with varying levels of success: I'd set my alarm for 1.30 am and promised the guys that I'd come and tip cold water on 'em all, but we were all awake by about 1.15 am and making ready to depart. The Highways agency had closed the A1(M) *specifically* to annoy me (the sign said so), nevertheless, we were checked in by 4 am and happily greeting the other cool kids.

We agreed on the Chunnel train that trying to convoy over the best part of 300 km would be madness, so "see you at Aulnay". Hilary and Mike disappeared at a rate of knots never to be seen for the next 2.5 hours, the rest of us caught up with each other at some service station or other, where pastries and coffee were consumed. Gorgeous sunrise made even more beautiful by it stopping raining after it got light, and staying dry and sunny for the rest of the day. After minor trauma caused by exits on both sides of the carriageway and Mat and Vanny not following us off the exit, arrived at Aulnay at 10 without, in fact, getting lost. The design of the parking was clever (and effing difficult to comply with in a RHD car!)- but the chevrons effect was lovely! Coffee and continental breakfast went down a treat at this point. Really good to meet Chris (Xemes) and our other French friends, less good to discover that although my written and read French is not too bad, my spoken and listened is really chronic, but telling everyone that they had a "jolie voiture" seemed to work OK. Interesting to see special editions that weren't available here in the UK. Of the UK cars, the ones retaining their stickers from the Challenge, Paul's Hurricane and Mike's estate seemed to attract the most attention, although as there were so few estates there I think Mat's came in for a fair bit of scrutiny as well?

More chat and photo opportunities after a very short drive to the Conservatoire car park, then the magic doors opened and we were allowed in to Mecca. There was a very interesting 20 minute lecture from the curator. It was definitely about the history of Citroen. He mentioned 'voitures' a number of times. The photos speak for themselves ... what a fabulous experience: as Mike has said, the layout was more warehouse than museum, but it was amazing just being *there* and having the opportunity to see in the metal what had only previously been seen in photos.

'Quick' bit of supermarché shopping, then back to Calais via Phil's alternative route, which made a nice change of scenery. Slightly better organisation on our part meant that we got all the UK cars into two train carriages rather than split up as previously. Parting of the ways on exiting at Folkestone, and the road trip was over.

If anyone couldn't make this trip but has the opportunity to go 23 November, I would strongly recommend you take it!
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Re: 30th "Anniversaire at Aulnay Citroën Factory September 2

Post by Tim Leech »

You forgot to mention the very new expensive Bentley Convertable, with some well healed people in it (who never got out of the car) looking rather bemused being the middle of some old french cars!
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Re: 30th "Anniversaire at Aulnay Citroën Factory September 2

Post by Caffiend »

^ Served 'em right for being rude and pushing in, no sympathy.

Just checked in on UBXM and got the final scores on the doors of those present :D:

42 BX
2 GSA - although someone later said that there were 3 (a Club as well if I've understood the French correctly)
2 Visa
2 C5
3 XM
1 SM

and the rest - 1 Fabia (whut, don't remember seeing that one!)
1 106
et une très belle Galant break.
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Re: 30th "Anniversaire at Aulnay Citroën Factory September 2

Post by Paul296 »

Caffiend wrote:
There was a very interesting 20 minute lecture from the curator. It was definitely about the history of Citroën. He mentioned 'voitures' a number of times.
Mmm . . . 'interesting'? I heard; 'blong blong blong blong blong Citroen blong blong blong blong blong Citroen blong blong blong blong blong Citroen blong blong blong blong blong Citroen blong blong blong blong blong (for 20 minutes :shock: ) :D Here's the man himself one more time . . .


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Caffiend
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Re: 30th "Anniversaire at Aulnay Citroën Factory September 2

Post by Caffiend »

Paul296 wrote:Mmm . . . 'interesting'? I heard; 'blong blong blong blong blong Citroën blong blong blong blong blong Citroën blong blong blong blong blong Citroën blong blong blong blong blong Citroën blong blong blong blong blong (for 20 minutes :shock: ) :D Here's the man himself one more time (youtube link)
mode=helpful: Let me translate that for you to English: "blah-blah-blah Citroen,blah-blah-blah-blah Citroen (contd p94)" - that's all you hear anyway innit? *ducks and runs* /helpful

There's more here: (scroll up the menu and select Conservatoire) - *EDITED (twice): Citroen website, spelling autocorrect made link not work

Also in French but most appear to be sub-titled :D
Last edited by Caffiend on Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
Diagonally parked in a parallel universe
1991 TZD hatch (Triton Green)
1992 Hurricane