With all this talk about Citröens around here, it's sad that I hardly ever get to see them in real life. That's why it was great to discover that there's a shop specializing in Citröen repair in downtown Oakland, just a few miles from Alameda. Commenter VWMiniSpeedster's great-grandfather opened the shop in 1918, and the family also owned a dealership selling Citröens, Panhards, Morgans, and Lloyds during the 1950s. Nowadays they still fix the old French machinery and have quite the collection on the premises. Make the jump for more photos, a description of the shop's history, and (for you wannabe 24 Hours of LeMons contestants) a chance to get a deal on a potential race car!
You can see VWMiniSpeedster's complete set of photos here. Here's what he has to say about his family's ancestral shop:
May 1, 1918 "Manny & Hanzel" @ 20th & Broadway started by my great-grandfather Sigmund Hanzel
1926 Manny & Hanzel sever ties and now its just my great-grandfather running the show - location @ Broadway & McArthur Freeway
Moved to 23rd & Valdez sometime between '26 and '46.
May 1, 1946 - present - current location @ 456 23rd Street. Grandfather Ed Hanzel had the building at the current location constructed. Within the body shop he had his side lines of HanzLift (tow truck fabrication), Hanzel Air Conditioning and Hanzel Battery. His 1952 Ford F-3 tow truck is still in use today.
1955 - 1959 "Hanzel Motors" was established as well. The wide range of "big sellers": Citroen, Panhard, Morgan and Lloyd. The location is where the current Kia dealership is at on Broadway across from the VW dealership.
Current owner Henry Hanzel took over ownership on June 1, 1984 and has continued the Hanzel legacy to the present day. Henry's daily driver is a 1972 Citroen DS21 wagon with Citromatic shifting and 290,000 miles. When the wagon is presenting troubles he has a spare daily driver in the form of a 1970 DS21 Sedan with a manual 4 speed. This PLUSH ride has also seen thousands of miles, 280,000 to be precise; some in the form of SCCA rallies in the 1970's. Henry drove to the race, raced, often didn't finish last, and drove home with the AC still blowing cool air after an exciting weekend.
Not only that, he's got a nice solid Volvo 740 sedan that's just begging to be made into a 24 Hours of LeMons car. Don't be put off by the $500 price, because I've already learned that Volvo parts are easy to sell!