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Wally Finally Arrives

Updated: Aug 15, 2021

After several false starts, Wally comes to Savannah via truck.

Over the years I've bought and sold a variety of cars and motorcycles but Wally was the first that I've ever had shipped cross country and let me tell you, for a worry-wort like me it is not for the feint of heart.

As mentioned in the previous post, I found Wally listed online with a collector in Chicago and worked out a sale agreement over the phone before booking a flight and politely asking to borrow the couch of a good friend who lived in a nearby neighborhood. I'd talked at length with the seller and had seen photos and videos of the car but of course one never knows what they're getting into until you're there turning the key and pretending you've shifted with your left hand for years.

Luckily everything was as described and while the seller was quite the character, Wally was just as advertised, fired right up, and drove exactly as expected aside from my repeatedly attempting to start from third gear while I attempted to rewire my brain to sitting on the wrong side of a car. I contacted a shipper, traded paperwork, brought one of the two keys home with me as a memento and after only two nights in Chicago I was back on an airplane headed home as the proud owner of TWO vintage Citroëns!

But then the shipper called a few days later to tell me that Wally will not be arriving when planned. The truck driver who'd taken the commission arrived for pick up to find that the wheelbase of the Dyane was so narrow that it couldn't be loaded on the carriers ramps.

Two weeks and many phone calls later a truck finally is able to pick up Wally and a day later I meet him in a parking lot here in Savannah only to be told by the truck driver that the car is "inoperable." Because of a language barrier I'm not able to gain much more information from the driver but he kindly helped me push the car from the truck and went on his way, leaving me scratching my head with a car that I'd driven two weeks before that suddenly now would not start.

I quickly figure out that the engine isn't getting any fuel but will start with starter fluid so I immediately feel better but am still stuck with an inoperable Wally until... I realize the gas tank is empty. When the seller gave me a set of keys to take home the specific key to the gas cap (a common feature on cars of that age) had been on the key ring he'd given me and so when they were moving it around to get ready for loading and it ran out of gas they'd had no way to put more in!

And so, after a few little sidelines and adventures, Wally is finally home and I look forward to sharing him with all of you.


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