Welcome to a new adventure!

DSC7011-2.jpegwww.cnnty.nl) of Mick and Anty have split up to create two new teams to compete against each other in the Trans America Challenge 2015. Anty has decided to enter the Trans America with his wife of 32 years, Sonja. Grace my wife of 32 years has offered to help out with the navigation on this particular rally and to celebrate this we have also prepared a new ‘old’ car.

Grace is used to open top driving and would not navigate in the closed confines of the ‘Lady in Red’ so I found her ‘George’ a 1966 Mercedes Pagode.For this rally it will have a soft top fitted and for comfort a wind defector. This latest item of luxury did not exist in 1966 but it keeps the hair in place in 2015. And now for something a bit more serious. After finishing the 2013 Peking to Paris rally, Anty and I did not say ‘never again’. It was a great event and adventure and particularly the ERA organisation made a tough rally really worthwhile. However after three long distance rallies with Anty in the Lady in Red I thought it would be a good idea if Grace would get some experience of the type of adventures that Anty and myself have experienced since 2008. 

ERA, the rally organisation of the Peking to Paris rally annually organises classic endurance rallies in different parts of the world.One such rally is the Trans-America Challenge that was held for the first time in 2012.The next Trans America Challenge was planned for 2015 and would go from Halifax (Nova Scotia) to San Francisco.The rally takes about three weeks and crosses right through the hart of the USA. In the pre-Mick era, Grace once travelled with a group (y)) of friends through the USA so I thought she might like this rally and go back in time.

Well when I asked her the question it was like the marriage proposal all over again. Grace said yes before I finished speaking. Well actually the answer to the wedding proposal took a bit longer….

I started to make some enquiries with ERA and made the entry about one year ago. A few weeks later I mentioned this to Anty when we were discussing the ‘ ideal endurance rally car’. More of that later. A few days after that conversation Anty called me and said if we would mind if Sonja and he would also enter Trans America with his treasured MGB GT V8. Silly question. Of course we did not mind as long as he brings his blue overalls….

We expect this rally to be a mild version of Peking to Paris with a Tulip route book, some speed tests and sections and some Jogularities but first and foremost a very beautiful tour of Canada and the US of A. The ‘Jogularity’ sections however are going to be interesting and I will be reporting about these special test sessions during the rally. Anty as a navigator can do this type of navigational tests sitting on his hands, but now he’s behind the wheel of his treasured B V8 the priorities are different. 

The Trans America Challenge has about 45 entries from many different parts of the world. Four teams come from Holland. The car is in a container on a ship and we have just about packed what we think we need. Transport is arranged by the specialist agent GPS (Global Peter Smith) in Nieuw Vennep. GPS have pooled the four Dutch cars in two containers. The others being the MGB V8 from Anty and Sonja; the Mercedes Pagode from Tom v/d Berg and Femke Schepers and the Mercedes 280 SL from Emile and Marian Ensink.

Our packing list is different from the other rallies as Canada and the US are not second or third world countries and it would actually be quite nice to have to buy some clothes over there. Our suite cases will therefore be a bit empty when we leave and very full when we arrive in San Francisco. There can fill our car with lots of stuff before its gets shipped back to Holland.

From June 7 we hope to send you a daily report on our experiences and progress.


Mick & Grace