No, we are not showing you a DeLorean on CineCars, today we tell the tale of Tejo and his friends, who roamed France in the eighties, looking for a nice classic.
These are the kind of stories that tickle the imagination even over thirty years later. Three friends following their guts traveling from The Netherlands to France looking for nice classics. Long before the rise of the internet, Karel, Rob and Tejo scavenge through the small ads in ‘la vie de l’AUTO’, one of France’s mayor car magazines. Karel is the entrepreneur of the gang, responsible for buying and selling. Rob and Tejo know their motorcars, looking over the cars before buying and will take on importing it for the new owner if desired.
This story takes us to Tours, where according to ‘la vie de l’AUTO’ both a Peugeot 404 SL and a Citroën DS23 Pallas Hydraulique are for sale. Without hesitation our protagonists reach for the telephone and use their best French to arrange two appointments. The Peugeot is supposed to be in really good nick, with leather upholstery and all the other goodies that come with the SL specs. The DS has a minor problem with the hydropneumatic system. Tours isn’t that far, so a trailer is arranged and using a Peugeot 505 to tow it, our threesome takes of for the South. On arrival, the Peugeot is everything it promised to be in its white with black leather livery. Besides the aforementioned flaw, the Citroën isn’t half bad either. This doesn’t take the gents long to decide, these cars are coming home. The DS23 is loaded onto the trailer, whilst the 404 will be driven home. Three drivers, two cars, no problem.
Following a night spent in a hotel our well rested adventurers head for Holland the following morning. After just 50 kilometers a strange noise appears from the 505’s engine bay, followed by a loud bang. That’s it, the 505’s gearbox has given in. The Peugeot with its trailer carrying the DS are being towed of to the local garage in a small town further down the road. Luckily Karel has excellent coverage on his travel insurance. One long phone call later they are relieved to know that the broken down combination will be returned to The Netherlands by trailer. Very nice. So, still three to drive the Peugeot 404, they decide to go for bit of lunch. The local newspaper at the restaurant has an excellent small ad section, offering a 1970 Citroën DSpecial. OK, it has 300.000 kilometers on the clock, so it’s probably not worth the look, but since they’re here anyway… An appointment is made and once again it is worth their while. A very neat DSpecial is presented by its first owner, it’s had all of its regular services, everything documented and all the bills are present. 300.000 kilometers? No way! Since there is no reason not to, the car is bought straight away.
The journey home is just as prosperous. Both the 404 and the DSpecial are functioning fine. The Peugeot is sold as is on arrival. De DSpecial is imported by Rob and Tejo. A week or so later a truck delivers both the Peugeot 505, trailer and the DS23 on their doorstep. What a service. It’s what makes this and so many other stories so special. Stories which even today have an irresistible attraction on classic car enthousiasts that aren’t afraid of a little adventure.
Tejo Wessels / Marc GF Zaan
Photos: Tejo Wessels
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