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Leaving Pau the day before the meeting I was rather anxious to complete the 435 miles to Bourges, where I would meet most of the participants. The anxiety was because this year I had my own restored car, and up to now it had covered no more than 155 miles in one day. In fact, this trip would double the total mileage on the car’s (new) odometer! Since the end of restoration work in September 2001, the Imperial had done only 932 miles, and I was about to do that much again in just 3 days. After joining up with F. Mendez in his ’59 Dodge at Tarbes, 25 miles from Pau, I still had 410 miles to go

.the castle keep at Jouy

For the first few miles on the Autoroute I held it to 60 mph, but let the speed creep up to an average 70 mph. It wasn’t the quiet ride of a sedan, and I turned up the music to cover the wind rush. What would you expect from a ragtop?'34 Chrysler leaves the cathedral of Bourges

We left Tarbes at 11 a.m. and reached Mehun, 6 miles from Bourges, at 7 p.m. A good car wash was needed here, for the front surfaces were black with splattered bugs. My windshield wipers suddenly refuse to work, then start up properly – something to check out later. We meet other arrivals: J. C. Petitpré and Tony & Jackie Vickers with their ’61 Imperials, and H. André's ’57 Town and Country, but driven by R. L. Brézout and Guy Equille. About 9 p.m. the André families arrive with their Imperials – Hubert, Nathalie and Juliette in their ’55, then Bernard, Pascale and their children in a ’62.

Ian and Peter Rubrey hadn’t come in yet but they hadn’t expected to get in before midnight after their long trip from England. The hotel garage had never seen so many Chryslers! It wasn’t till about 4 a.m. that Ian and Peter came in, much delayed by the Channel ferry, and they were hard put to meet the scheduled 9 a.m. departure for Bourges. No wonder, with little sleep, a lot of miles, and the strain of shifting to right-lane circulation.

At our meeting place in Bourges, the cathedral, we find other participants waiting: Zara and Michèle Raïsse with their ’55 DeSoto, and the ’34 Chrysler of Daniel and Micheline Rouffet. Soon more turn up: Raphaël and Laurent in their ’58 New Yorker, Hervé Houal with his superb ’60 New Yorker wagon, and finally a Viper.

Everyone is happy to be together, and this time it isn’t raining, as it did last year – but the dry weather wasn’t going to last. By now it’s 11:30 and we set off, led by the oldest car, roadbook in each copilot’s hand, to lunch at the chateau of Jouy. Departures tick off smoothly at one per minute, and 30 miles later we’re at our lunchtime destination, half an hour early. Now the rain begins to pour, and my wipers fail.

Not quite everybody is on time at the chateau. Two cars with copilots who hadn’t read the roadbook carefully got lost, but they arrived in time for lunch, and good humor prevailed. 

'57 Chrysler NY, '59 Dodge

'61 Imperial leBaron



car from .. (department or country)
ANDRE Hubert & Nathalie IMPERIAL Newport 1955 78
ANDRE Bernard & Pascale (+ kids) IMPERIAL LeBaron 1962 92
BREZOUT R. Louis, EQUILLE Guy CHRYSLER NewYorker T&C 1957 78
BRUNET Raphaël, SALLES Laurent CHRYSLER NewYorker 1958 94
COURANT Philippe & Sylvie IMPERIAL Crown convertible 1957 64
HOUAL Hervé CHRYSLER NewYorker wagon 1960 35
MENDEZ François & Reine DODGE Coronet coupé 1959 65
PETITPRE Jean Claude IMPERIAL LeBaron 1961 78
RAISSE Zara & Michelle, ARNAUD Rémy DESOTO Fireflite 1955 94
ROUFFET Daniel & Micheline CHRYSLER PE (Plymouth export) 1934 23
RUBREY Ian & Peter PLYMOUTH Sport Suburban 1959 U.K
VICKERS Tony & Jackie IMPERIAL LeBaron 1961 U.K

TTP Organisation:
Christian GRESLE, Emmanuel GARGOT: CHRYSLER PT Cruiser
Mechanics: Jean paul PICOT, Sébastien PERRIN: Mercédès VITO (Nobody had car trouble with their reliable Chryslers.)
Here we should note that these 3  cars were courteously lent by Chrysler France. Many thanks!


'60 Chrysler NY wagon


OTHER PICS (click to enlarge)

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In front of the cathedral my '57 Imperial convertible '58 Chrysler NY '34 Chrysler / '55  Imperial '59 Plymouth
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rear of the '59 Pymouth '57 Chrysler T&C '60 Chrysler T&C cars of the organization (lent by   Chrysler France) '55 DeSoto  in front Jouy castle keep '55 Imperial / '59 Dodge
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Before going to Bourges, the garage of the hotel is full of Chryslers and we make the last checks.. '55 DeSoto Fireflite / '54 Imperial 1961 Imperial LeBaron dreaming .. Leaving the cathedral


.. Next ..>

Pics: Philippe Courant , Bernard André (B.A), Jean Claude Petitpré (JCP)


Thanks to Frank Peters for the translation !

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