The year 2019 is imminent, and with it a most important anniversary – it will be one hundred years since Andre Citroen produced the first car bearing his name, in an unbroken lineage that continues to the present day. Few manufacturers have had such an impact on the world of motoring as Citroen, and few anniversaries are more significant.
All over the world – wherever there are Citroens - celebrations will be taking place to commemorate the centenary, and we are pleased to announce the creation of a British event to stand with the best of them. Every Citroen owner is part of the Citroen heritage – you and your car will create this event, and we invite you to be part of it!
Following many months of planning, the Citroen Centenary will take place over the long weekend of Friday 31 May to Sunday 2 June, in the historic surroundings of Coombe Park in Warwickshire, CV3 2AB. This will be the largest and most diverse gathering of Citroens since 2012, and we are looking to show the complete history of the marque with examples from every year since 1919, to form a unique display of 100 years of Citroen manufacture.
With arrivals welcomed from Thursday 30 May, there will be two full days of events on-site, featuring everything you would expect of a major rally. The programme and facilities will include live entertainment during two evenings, a range of catering and bars, trade stands and an autojumble, together with full camping facilities – stay from Thursday until Monday morning!
Coombe Park itself comprises 500 acres of woodlands, formal gardens, arboretum, open grasslands and lake, this diverse landscape having been created in the 18th century by Lancelot “Capability “ Brown. In addition to the events field, we have exclusive use of the entire formal drive, flanked by an historic avenue of trees which is over a third of a mile long. The park forms the grounds of Coombe Abbey, which is now a superb hotel – right next to the rally: www.coombeabbey.com
But there is much more - our Citroen Centenary will be far more than just a 'conventional' rally involving Citroen clubs; as the national UK celebration of a major marque's centenary, we believe that the event has to be strongly outward-looking to attract and involve the public.
Accordingly, on the Sunday the whole event will move up a gear, as everyone is invited to take part in a mass drive into the city of Coventry, with over a thousand Citroens on the move! On our arrival in the city, the Centenary parade will become a major feature within MotoFest Coventry:www.coventrymotofest.com
MotoFest itself is well-established as an event celebrating all aspects of motoring, and takes over the whole of the UK’s ‘motor city’ centre each year. Half of the central ring road is closed to traffic to become a sprint and display circuit, whilst over a thousand vehicles are on display throughout the city, and there is a wide range of activities and displays to appeal to all family members.
Centenary in Coventry
Following close liaison with the MotoFest director, the entire eastern third of the city centre will be reserved for the exclusive use of the1,000 Citroens forming our Centenary display. Extending from the frontage of the Transport Museum to fill the whole of the Cathedral and University precincts, there will be a third of a mile of Citroens! More than this, four seminal examples of the marque will be displayed within the Cathedral itself...
Although the festival is an independent venture, it is strongly supported by Coventry Council, and attracted over 150,000 visitors in 2018. The Citroen Centenary will represent a major addition to MotoFest, doubling the total number of cars on display; this should attract major media attention through its unique contribution to the festival.
Raising the profile
What better way could there be to put the Citroen Centenary -and the clubs - before the widest possible public? As the British iteration of a series of major events taking place worldwide during 1919, we only have one opportunity to celebrate this important anniversary, and we must do it justice!
Such a Centenary transcends individual club events and anniversaries, and as Citroen UK itself is now based in Coventry, there is a direct link between the marque and the city which makes the venue even more appropriate for us. Citroen UK are naturally fully involved, and have promised significant support for the event.
What it all means
The Centenary is of vital importance: it is both a unique anniversary, and an opportunity for every enthusiast to promote the marque by raising its profile before the general public. The Citroen heritage is second to none, and this is our time to celebrate it; as a marque centenary this transcends club and individual interests, and should - must - be celebrated together.
The Centenary organisation
Representatives from all three major clubs have come together to lead the creation of this event, and they are names that you will know: Phil Chidlow, Philip Clark, Richard Harrison, Julian Pratt, and Nigel Wild. The Centenary will be run by a limited company, to avoid any possible liability falling on any individual club or member. We are working in close co-operation with Citroen UK and MotoFest.
How you can help
Equally, if you would like to help please let us know, and join the number of volunteers that is already starting to grow. You can volunteer at any time, but the earlier the better. Be part of a unique event – there will only be one Centenary!
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