Nice and nervous. That's me today in a day that has never been the same since 2001. Today photographer Bart and I are going to report with the brothers André and Chris and them Citroën Making GS Pallas. Within cycling distance, a short kilometer from my house, is the Citroën ready. I am looking forward to the day for several reasons. Because childhood memories are shared today. And very tangible in several ways.
Anyone who has read my writings in recent years knows that the Citroën GS played a big part in my childhood. Twice my parents signed the purchase contract of a GS. Especially the second, a GSX (or GS X) if you will, was something special. I was in that car countless times, teaching my sister and me, for example, that the Pyrenees existed. Ended in November 1982 L'Aventure GS. The good memories remained. Also for my father, despite all the necessary key experience.
André and Chris talk a lot about the efforts their father made for ten years to keep the GS going. There are hilarious and also very recognizable stories in between. So there were more fathers who cursed the GS technique and at the same time embraced it. Naturally, the brothers also share their experiences with the Citroën. And their unquestioning loyalty to the GS. It's a Pallas. Bought new in 1979 at De Vrij in Leeuwarden, still in the Tramstraat. The buyers were the parents of the de Vries brothers. It's precise can car that is central today. Forty years after the parents were handed the keys, the GS is still in the family. That history is beautiful, and it originated thirty years ago. I will not reveal more now.
De Citroën GS Pallas from André and Chris does reveal something. He does not hide his forty year old in anything anniversary. For the ravages of time made of this Citroën GS Pallas a visible survivor, even when the dust has been removed from the car. The historic Pallas chic is mixed with fantastic patina. This is how, and not otherwise, a new GS delivered in the Netherlands should be. A GS, to which nothing was used before. And today, it is still the case today. André and Chris think so too. “You have to check. It used to be after five or six years with such a car ready. Could you take him to the scrapyard, and it was over. But you did share love, sorrow and joy with a GS for five years. ”
Unusual. That certainly applies to this one Citroën GS Pallas. Becoming over forty years old is special for a GS. Especially during the first ten years, the Citroën often used. The brothers were still young, the family came everywhere with the Pallas. The five of us across Europe, brothers and sister on the blue fabric backseat, you can still see the historical family fun when the story machine gets going. Today the GS sporadically does its comfortable work. The brothers drive it three or four hundred kilometers a year. A block around the neighborhood.
There are common ground between the brothers' experiences and mine. Recognition. But where my parents said goodbye to the GS in 1982, André and Chris don't worry about getting rid of the GS Pallas. For understandable reasons. The life experience is dripping from it. The family history too, and it still makes me happy. It also makes others happy. “You see more and more people looking back and the Citroën staring after. Certainly those from our generation, they all still remember it ”, says André. Chris can only agree.
It makes sense, today you hardly see your GS anymore. It has become rare, in a completely classic individuality, which still moves very comfortably through the traffic image. A little later Bart Spijker captures the charms of the GS for the magazine report. And as he does that I smile, it's the smile that's impossible to get off my face. André sees it. His wife Jellie sees it too. "You really enjoy it, don't you?" Absolutely.
We all enjoy the Citroën GS Pallas who lost his hair, and because of that became even more engaging. The stainless steel Pallas wheel covers may still be somewhere in the attic. Should we just ask Mom. And there is a piece loose, a strip here, a piece of fabric on the rear door there. It is life experience up to and including. And make no mistake: the brothers provide good technical maintenance. Still, this wouldn't be GS if there were none thingies arrived. The exhaust, an oil seal and possibly a vapor lock are on the to do list of the brothers who are their Citroën loyalty to specialist Otter in the Frisian capital. "Maybe we should put some money together and get the GS repainted." Don't have to, he's fine.
It is September 11, 2020, a beautiful day on which more things stayed the same. The GS's charm lasts forever. And childhood memories become tangible, literally and figuratively. The sound of a closing door, the buttons, the seat, the sound, countless details. Today I touch my own memories. Thanks to the sympathetic brothers André and Chris and their wives, who provide an atmospheric reportage day. And will keep their parent's GS Pallas alive for years to come.
With many thanks to André and Chris de Vries