DeKeijzer is my Ami 8. I’ll explain why I have given my car this name. But first some background on how I became its owner.
In 2001 i got a job after I graduated and started to earn some money. After not owning a car for a while as a student, I bought a red Citroen 2CV Spécial from an American lady living in Amsterdam. She had bought the car in Belgium, and it had become so rusty so quickly, that the platform chassis had to be replaced —and was— under warranty by Citroën.
After I drove it for a while in and around Amsterdam, I went on a holiday to the south of France with it, and it was great. I learned to do some some repairs to get it in better shape than it already was. During that time a friend of mine started to get interested in buying a nice older car as well, and he spotted a Citroën Ami 6 Break at a new garage specialised in A-type Citroëns near Amsterdam. I joined him to take a look at it and spotted a blue shiny car in a corner.
It was an Ami 8 Berline in the color Bleu Gentiane Metallic. And it was for sale.
My friend bought the Ami 6 and really liked it. I kept thinking about the Ami 8 in this beautiful blue color. I went back to the garage, together with my friend and we asked if we could take the Ami for a test drive. We could. And i was instantly sold. The interior with the soft blue tissue was so nice and in pristeen condition. Everything original, except the shiny new paint. And it had only ran about 45000 km’s
It drove much smoother and quieter than my 2CV. More like a real car, but with all the simplicity and comfort that the little Citroëns are so famous for. Finally, to much chagrin of my girlfriend at the time, i sold my 2CV to the garage, added a fair amount of money and became the proud owner of this Ami 8.
The garage owner from which I bought it just started his company and had —in his turn— bought it from a infamous Belgian collector who was specialised in buying cars in pristine condition from older folks who weren’t allowed to drive anymore and on their way to move to a retirement home.
I learned that the car was owned by an older Belgian gentleman named DeKeijzer. He bought the car new at Garage Pigeon in Brussels, Belgium around may 1978. To honour its previous owner I decided to call the car DeKeijzer.
Since I bought the car, I have driven it for over 135.000 kilometers, and it’s still going strong. I never skipped maintenance, and kept it in as good condition as I could. I replaced the original engine and the gearbox by another one that I overhauled myself. Although I started some major rust repairs this year, about which you can read about in this section.