“People who run 2CVs are never bad”

Fabrice Reithofer fell into the mud, as he did not even know how to walk yet. Old cars are his hobby. To gather a maximum of enthusiasts around him, he founded the association Rétrorencard on May 5, 2002. Twenty years ago.

Look for the car. You will find Fabrice Reithofer. During the week, Fabrice is the driver of the Irish Ambassador to Strasbourg. Behind the wheel of a BMW. At the weekend, no more GPS and power steering, it’s Bugatti or Renault 4. Windy hair and dirty hands.

Fabrice Reithofer is passionate, he is warm-blooded. However, he has coolant in his veins. Meeting with the chairman of the association Rétrorencard Alsace, which this month celebrates its 20th anniversary. Crack squeak.

How many roads traveled in twenty years. Sometimes winding, in a dead end, but the result is there. You come out of the bend on a great plain .. of the future. “Retrorencard has just passed its teens, the ungrateful age, hey, the most beautiful thing awaits us now for sure.”

At the start, May 5, 2002 to be exact, RetroRendard was nothing more than a collection of sweet things for old mechanics. At the Parc du Rhin, despite the gloomy weather, thirty old cars are parked. We are not at the Ring of the Rhine, yet it has a mouthful. And on the faces precisely satisfaction is shown. Excellent.

“There were no such associations in Alsace, I told myself that it had to be remedied, we found ourselves with friends: a car, then four, then 20, and there we told ourselves that something had to be done. “I went to Paris, to Vincennes, to see how they organized their event. I copied what. I set up the association to formalize things.”

Unlike their Parisian counterparts, the Rétrorencard will be open to everyone and completely free. Only condition: own or be interested in cars before 1992. This is the age limit. “All brands together, we are not picky.”

It will be every first Sunday of the month. Mass has been said. The event does not take long to gather faithful, more and more. “From the following month, there were about 55 cars and more than 70 during the 5th edition.”

Today, the Rétrorencard has about a hundred members, including 15 volunteers, and collects nearly 400 vintage cars. “It is the meeting place for friends who want to come. As a large community that lives and stays alive around the same passion and exchange around cars. We are the largest monthly car meeting in France. In front of Vincennes.

The student has surpassed the master. “Now in Alsace alone, in addition to the Rétrorencard, there are eight monthly car meetings on Sundays. In fact, there are more meetings than weekends, it’s crazy. We sowed little seeds, I’m glad.”

For Fabrice, the story is even older. It goes back 53 years. His age. The little one did not yet realize that he was already driving a Rolls Royce. A luxury.

“My parents were big collectors of old cars. In advance. I have always traveled with them in vintage cars, we have driven 70,000 km with the Rolls Royce across Europe. Then they went apart for a convertible. My father then got taste for open cars Open cars are freedom. “

The fruit never falls far from the drive shaft. “He still has them. He has a dozen that he still maintains. They gave me the virus yes. But you see, I’m not sectarian, I like closed cars as much as open cars.”

Fabrice owns a dozen vintage cars. His companion is six. His companion, it should be clarified, as he met in 2010, at the Rétromobile in Vincennes on the corner of 2CV. “People who drive 2CVs are never bad.”

His first car, a 1959 Renault 4hp, was given to him by his grandfather. Fabrice was 13 years old. “I did not want a moped. I drove it when I was 16, officially 18. In other words, I had plenty of time to restore it until I was of age. It’s still there. It’s waiting for me. It does no, I’m not driving anymore, but I’m taking it back in my hand, it’s a little worn, it’s slightly damaged by a young driver. ”

People who drive 2CVs are never bad

From his first to his last acquisition, a 1948 Citroën tractor, Fabrice never left the road. He likes them blunt. Patinaer. “The car is alive, it’s not disinfected, it’s rustic. That’s what I like, simplicity. With a screwdriver and tape we are struggling, but we can get there, which is no longer possible with computerized cars. It is even durable, I repair them, I have some that are almost a hundred years old and that run, I am green, yes, almost. ”

Of his grandmothers who still have some under the bonnet, Fabrice especially appreciates one.“For me, they all have a story. I’m multi-brand, multi-model. Every car has gone through an era, roads, you can see. Come on, yeah, Bugatti is my favorite, it’s a bit elitist to say it, but that’s the truth. My father was one of the founding members of the Bugatti Club in 1979, it must have come from there. Again. “

This Sunday, May 1, while the lily of the valley points the end of his bells and the protesters their flag, Fabrice will gather all his cars, his treasure. “I have them all over, a single garage would not be enough. The money? I never dared to count how much it all cost me. Probably all my vacations, all those I have not had in 20 years. Maintenance, petrol, insurance .. it amounts to yes, but it is taboo. ”

For Retrorencard’s 20th anniversary, they all meet again, accompanied by their dear old lovers. In the leisure area Trèfle in Dorlisheim (67).“We even made a Rally plate for the occasion.” Only tomorrow eh. “Yes, because then we’ll take the car and drive. That’s the fun.”

Do not potiches the old. Fabrice, he will soon cut the road to the English. His next project? Repair of a four-seater convertible for its two children: “I have to bring them too sometimes”. The story that the transmission belt is well oiled. And the flame of passion lit, like the spark plugs of a Triumph.

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