People in the 2CV Movement talk about the special spirit that unites us. I recently had a chance to experience it (again) first hand.
As many of you know, Terry H and I have been working on a 2CV Sports Coupé project (see Terry’s Blog). We have been keeping a list of parts we need, and I took advantage of a recent trip to France to try to track down a few very specific bits.
For many years, I have been friends with Jean-Claude S, a very dedicated deuchiste in a small village that now is a suburb of Orléans France. Whenever I visit France, I make a point of dropping in on Jean-Claude, to catch up on the activities of the Club des 2CV de l’Orléanais (the oldest 2CV club in the world). This year, over a glass excellent rosé, I mentioned that I was looking for a few used parts, and asked if Jean-Claude knew anyone who could help me find them. No sooner had that conversation begun than Serge, a deuchiste buddy of Jean-Claude’s dropped in. Once Serge learned that it was a case of a Canadian deuchiste in need, there were rapid assurances that my list would be filled.
Good to their word, a week later Serge had delivered the parts to Jean-Claude’s home, and I was invited back to pick them up. In fact, Serge had provided more parts than I had requested (“Oh, if you needed the left caliper now, you probably will need the other one soon”). Jean-Claude also gave me access to his massive stock of recovered cars and parts, and lent me tools to complete my “shopping”. In the final gesture of 2CV Solidarity, Jean-Claude and Serge refused any payment! It was enough for them to know that their parts would help put another 2CV back on the road, even if that road was 5,000 km away.
It is wonderful to realize that we are part of a community where doors are always open, and help is there for the asking. Vive la Deuche!
Here is a gallery of photos during the pick up and the treasure hunt:
Of course, to finish the story, I had to get this stuff back home. As previously mentioned, I had wound up with more parts than I originally had planned, so the challenge was figuring out the best way to get them back to Terry. Since airlines are very strict on baggage allowances these days, it did not make sense to try to put 5 kg of steel into my suitcase. The logical choice seemed to be “La Poste”, the French mail service.
The first step was packaging these heavy, sharp-edged objects in a compact way, that might survive the trip.
Now, where to find a box? Oh wait, there’s one…. and it already has a Citroën connection!
Feeling pretty chuffed, the next morning I popped over to the Bureau de la Poste with my hopefully bullet-proof package. To my stupefaction, the lowest-cost shipping estimate was nearly $100 ! What the heck?! It wound up being cheaper to risk the over-weight charge at the airline than to use the mail. No wonder postal services around the world are losing business.
A little bit if juggling between checked and carry-on bags, and several weigh-ins with the bathroom scale eventually got me to a workable (and free) solution. And so it was that the package breezed through Airport Security and Canadian Customs, and arrived safely. It was delivered to a beaming Terry H a few days later: