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30 Years of "Der Franzose" in Vechta

Ansgar Olberding RebellEnd of February 2018. Since few days, it is an amazing winterwonderland in the north of Germany. It is pretty cold, even in the middle of the day, temperature remains under 0 degree. Thereby, it is sunny and no cloud darkening, neither the sky nor the state of mind. That's the perfect weather condition to check the heating capacity of the 2CV and also to test if an integrated winter protection does make a difference or not!

After few kilometers of drive, I decided to put on the winter protection – one gets older and thus much sensitive! I can finally enjoy this cozy, unhurried pace of the 2CV, reminding me of the early days, over 30 years ago, while I was still a young guy and had my first 2CV. It was a cheap one, mostly in a very bad condition at that time, but it was my freedom, the contrast to those conventional Mercedes, Opel or Ford, which were very common here in the region. And, very important, it was my taxi to the night club, bars, girlfriend's place.

I did my apprenticeship as a car mechanic at Mercedes and I was not even allowed to park the 2CV on the premises. At work, I had to wear a cap, because of my massive, upswept hairstyle with coloured black hair. All my friends drove old French vehicles or also some Mercedes funeral cars. This was the expression for rebellion against the traditional 1980's. Thus, a wonderful idea came into my mind. I decided to establish my own company, handling with spare parts for the 2CV, together with my former girlfriend. One can surely earn his living like this! We were young, dynamic and fully enthusiasts, though unexperienced but wanted to do whatever we like to. Well, it's been now 30 years ago! Full of enthusiasm and motivation, we started our little business in our flat, situated on the farmyard. It was a great feeling as far as business was running pretty good; however not for a long time! The friends switched from old to modern vehicles, built a house and became parents. And we? We were still driving our 2CV or an old Peugeot and Alfa. No house, no child, no money. Though working 65 hrs per week and a bunch of trouble.

„Falling down is part of life. Getting back up is living!“ We have chosen to stand up and go ahead. Today, business is running good and it's a pleasure working with the nice people here. Surely, there are moments, where one is slightly annoyed, but at the end of the day, we all laugh together and that's what matters. Maybe the school times in the 80's, the fact of being different, being rebellious, helped me facing particular circumstances in life and facilitated things as, one takes things easier and much relaxed. Nowadays, I take my time, driving the 2CV (ok, there are indeed, amongst others, DS, R4 or Peugeot and Alfa also on the waiting list). Moreover, I avoid as far as possible, all those digital technology and doing things for which I'm really interested in.
Umzug Ansgar Olberding
Back to the present times: In my memory, the heater of the 2CV was more efficient. It's pretty cold here. Or am I really too old? I therefore decided to drive back to the garage, while listening to „The Cure“. What a nice evening, though a bit cold.
Thanks to many people, I have been able to experience many situations, permitting me narrating today. That is also the positive aspect of getting old; the high esteem does not only rise, but one is also keen to express it in words. I'd also like to express my sincere thanks to my employees, as without their involved coorperation, this would not have been possible.

A big thank goes to my former girlfriend, actually my beloved wife, who allowed me doing what I wanted to. I thank her also for her precious advice, support and also for slowing me down occasionally, when necessary. And last but not least, I thank my parents for having letting me doing what I assumed being necessary to be done. Even though, it sounds like blowing my own trumpet, I'm proud of myself and my achievements. I'm glad that I have managed doing things according to my philosophy to life, without being conquered by all those obligations or digital world. Things can remain thus.

Let's look ahead all together, what is expecting us in the next 30 years.
Ansgar Olberding
Boss
30 Years Der Franzose