Those who found themselves at the Veluwe in the midst of August couldn’t have missed it, the International Citroën Car Club Rally, the ICCCR2016, flooded the area around Arnhem with a tsunami of classic and modern examples of the renown French car maker. From all over the globe almost a hundred years of history found its way to the picturesque Middachten Estate in De Steeg to enjoy a packed weekend of typical Citroën culture. Yours truly has been contaminated with the virus years ago, so we sent CineCars photographer and self declared Volvo-adept Robbert Moree to drown in a warm bath of Citrophilia.
Only few car brands manage to bring afoot so many enthousiasts as the French make Citroën. It just seems as if every model they stuck one of those ‘double chevrons’ on in the past has gained its own loyal fan base. Why the Netherlands are playing such a big role in the world wide adoration of this quirky car manufacturer does know its own share of explanations. Founder André Citroëns ancestors being simply called Citroen (lemon) and being known for having their own fruit business in the Amsterdam area, is a story well known and appreciated. Citroën having simply launched a lot of cars that were very well fitted to the sober national character of the Dutch, has been long forgotten due to the popularity of exotic models like the DS and SM. Cars that started taking their part on the Dutch roads long after their active career ended.
When you realise that this extraordinary world meeting has been organised by no less than 34 Dutch Citroën Clubs all working together, you start to imagine the impact of Citroën on the Dutch classic scene. In a country of little Opels and Volkswagens, the lovers of Citroën are the ones that stick together. Over the limits of different models, but clearly crossing borders as well. 6.000 cars and 14.000 registered visitors from 36 countries, of which 11 non EU-countries, that is a lot, just assuming most of these enthousiasts prefer to visit an event like this in their own vehicle. 96 Percent of those cars originating of 16 different models (still counting everything 2CV-derived as one), accentuates the closeness of the Citroën community.
All those cars and all these people on a medieval estate, it sounds like a recipe for chaos in beauty. A festival of diversity and solidarity. That is exactly what the organisers were striving for; full scale cosiness. With static shows, tours, a concours d’élégance, agility games, car boot sales, musea, a large parts exchange, a true large scale music and theatre program, a food court and so on. To much to mention, to much to take it all in, but nowhere on this ICCCR2016 you get the feeling that someone isn’t enjoying themselves. A festival for the young and the old, proof that profound car nuttery doesn’t have to stand in the way of a nice long weekend out with the family. Stating that even our Volvo-man got lost for words would be a little lie, since words are one thing he is never short of. Looking at his pictures you will agree that the Citroën community has left an impression that will never fade…
Text: Marc GF Zaan
Pictures: Robbert Moree