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Without passion life is pretty boring

The passion of Hans Dijkstra from Roden has been restoring and driving classic cars for over 30 years, especially Peugeots. Hans looks back on a long history full of adventures with his old Peugeots. Life goes on, time is ticking by and before you know it a new phase in life is on the way. A move with less storage space means saying goodbye to your beloved cars. That’s part of it. You build up a collection and then you pass it on to someone who will continue with it. We look back with Hans on thirty years of Peugeot adventures in which he found old-timers in old barns, restored them with passion and preserved them for the future.

Hans: “I have been interested in classic cars since I was 18 and in possession of a driver’s license. My first classic was also not the least. It was a Jaguar MK VII from 1946. At the time it was for sale for a few hundred guilders. As a young man I was naturally as proud as a peacock of such a fat car. I drove it with great pleasure and sold it again for a few years via a newspaper advertisement with even more pleasure and profit.”

“In my younger years I had little time and money for classic cars. Family life, my recently acquired business, and other interests consumed all of my time. But suddenly there was the magical moment. A Peugeot 203 presented itself. A beautiful car with some work. I had often been on holiday in a French barn next to a restoration project, but now the moment had come to be willing and able. The car came to the Netherlands and together with a few buddies we started restoring it. That happened in the back of my company. I had a billiard factory for years, where we could tinker after work. All furniture makers worked in the shop and they knew what to do with sheet metal and technology. We also dressed ourselves. What a fun we had there. More projects followed in the years that followed. I found them in France, Germany and Spain. I liked the restoration more than driving a car. For me, finding a good restoration project is the crown on every new quest.”

“That’s how I got somewhere. For the billiard factory I traveled all over Europe and during my travels I sometimes came across something beautiful. A remarkable find was once a 202 Pick-Up, but also a flawless 203 Break Commerciale. I used the latter as an advertising object for the factory. With such a car you really stand out and attract people and stories. I still remember a trade fair in the Martinihal. We had a setup with a nice billiard table, which was what it was all about, and some classic Peugeots for decoration. Everyone was talking about the cars, we almost surpassed our goal. But it didn’t spoil the fun.”

“My collection has now been reduced to my three favorite Peugeots. A 301 D from 1934, a 203 from 1953 and a 304 Cabriolet from 1975. All restored by myself. Only, times are changing: the farm has been sold and I’m going to live smaller. A person has to make choices in life. I look back with great pleasure on many years of finding, restoring and hunting for parts. I hope I can pass on the joy of classic Peugeots to people who will discover it too. Classic Peugeots have really given color to my life with their smell of oil and petrol. I am grateful for that, because without passion life is pretty boring.”

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