WHEN DID YOU FIRST ATTEND DAKAR?
“Everything started in 2009, the first Dakar ever in south America. I attended it with my son as a simple spectator and completely felt in love with Dakar… A real love story was born!
Since 2010 I decided to follow the entire Dakar from A to Z with my 1955 Ford. 2018 is my 9th Dakar and I will drive more than 14,000 km in total!”
WHY DO YOU LIKE DAKAR SO MUCH?
“I like cars, especially old ones, and like traveling. I have been driving trucks my whole career, even after I retired a few years ago, I’m still drive a lot! I can easily drive more than 20 hours per day!
Last but not least I like meeting new people. Dakar is a mix of all the things I like and the place I want to be every year in January!”
TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR PASSION FOR CARS
“My garage is completely full with… 40 classic cars!
Among them, the ones I like the most are 1956 International, 1956 Chevrolet, 1966 Mercedes-Benz 220, 1978 Chevy Nova and 1967 Chevrolet.
Cars are my life but I can’t imagine going to Dakar with any other car than my 1955 Ford. It is my best partner ever!”
WHY 1955 FORD SPECIFICALLY?
“This car is slow – maximum 70km/h – but I like it so much. Years after years it became an icon and few people now start to recognize me. Such a car creates an immediate feel good feeling with people on the road, that’s why I can’t imagine following Dakar with different car. One day in Chile I was following the Dakar when suddenly the Dakar helicopter landed next to me. At that time I didn’t know who he was but inside was Etienne Lavigne, the Dakar big boss. He came to see me and asked me if I would be willing to exchange my Ford for helicopter. Obviously I rejected the deal! Taking my pick-up is like taking my heart… With money, buying helicopter will always be possible but my Ford is unique, that’s why I will never sell it!”
DOES YOUR WIFE JOIN YOU ON THE TRIP?
“We got married 40 years ago. However my wife and my 1955 Chevrolet are simply incompatible. I followed several Dakar without any issue with my son or copilot Leonel. But last time, when trying to drive 100km only with my wife the car broke down and we lost one door on the road.”
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY AT DAKAR LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
“Most of time I drive more than 10 hours per day. When we have time my co-pilot and I have some food in restaurants and as soon as we are tired we sleep in the pick-up dump. Sometimes we are late on the schedule and have to eat when driving! The place I like the most watching Dakar competitors is at the stage arrival.”
WHAT IS YOUR BEST DAKAR MEMORY?
“In 2010, my very first “full” Dakar I didn’t bring enough motor oil for top-up. When I noticed it, it was already too late. I was in Chile between La Serena and Ballenar with absolutely no garage or dealer around me. I decided to rest a bit in a restaurant when a man came to see me asking question about the Chevrolet. During the discussion I explained him I couldn’t continue because I was missing oil. The guy left and 1 hour later came back with 10 liters of oil! This guy saved my Dakar and when I requested to pay he refused just asking me to tell this story to as many people as possible around me!”
WHAT ABOUT YOUR WORST DAKAR MEMORY?
“One day, when crossing the Bolivian border the customs officer removed my Dakar stickers on the Chevrolet because I was not an official participant. I felt really sad but continued my way until final stage of Dakar.”
WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE DRIVER?
“Mister Dakar of course! (Stéphane Peterhansel).”
WHAT IS YOUR DAKAR DREAM?
“Entering the Dakar in the truck category!”