A global phenomenon held once every four years recently returned to the UK, for the first time in decades. And while the eyes of the world focused on London and the Olympics, lovers of fine cars were drawn instead to Harrogate, for the 15th International Citroën Car Club Rally (ICCCR), which took place over four days in August.
Founded in Britain in 1973, and last held here in 1984, the ICCCR is now a growing, globe-trotting success. The 2008 rally was held in Rome, while this year, more than 7,500 Citroën enthusiasts converged on Harrogate from all around the globe.
Almost 2,000 Citroën vehicles of widely varying provenance also came to the show, including 38 museum exhibits and 11 priceless prototypes and concept cars, brought from our Conservatoire heritage centre near Paris.
Almost every vehicle we’ve ever built was represented at the rally.
Landmark models from our history included the 1934 Traction Avant – the world's first front-wheel drive car built using a steel monocoque instead of a separate body and chassis. While it looks old-fashioned to modern eyes, with its swooping wheel arches and running boards, the Traction Avant set the template for the vast majority of today’s family cars.
Since our founding in 1919 we’ve also produced a wide variety of other vehicles, including trucks, buses, half-tracks, ambulances and fire-engines. Our H-Van, for example, is famous for its corrugated-steel body, which gave strength and rigidity to its flat panels without adding weight.
Many examples of the unmistakeable Citroën2CV also made their slow-but-steady way to the rally, in various vintages from the car’s 42-year production run. The ever-popular and elegant DS also drew many admiring glances, still looking breathtakingly beautiful almost 57 years after its debut.
The DS of course provided the inspiration for our current range of premium cars, DS3, DS4 and DS5. We think our three modern DS cars share many of the same qualities that have defined Citroën over the generations, from their cutting-edge technology and confident, stylish flair, to their distinctive streak of individuality.
We look forward to the next gathering of the ICCCR, in 2016. For more information about the event, visit www.icccr2012.org.uk.