Sponsored by TCH Peterborough with some signage and a little help to prep the car for it’s epic journey - Darren Tyler, Frazer Steel and Matt Hardy from our aftersales departments, along with their friend Adam Irwin, successfully completed the 1200 mile Monte-Carlo or Bust Champagne Charlie last weekend... All in a car that cost less than £500!
The TCH team in their trusted 1992 Mercedes-Benz 300 3.0 E, first left our FordStore in Peterborough on Wednesday night and headed straight to Dover. They spent Thursday day in Brugge, before heading on to the rally registration in France on Thursday evening.
Champagne Charlie 2017 officially started on Friday morning in the beautiful Roman city of Saint-Quentin, with the first stage set for them to make it to Dijon.
Day one included a visit to the Reims-Gueux racing circuit and a little unscheduled stop at the Reims FordStore for a check-up as the car needed a couple of minor adjustments, before later arriving at the check point in Dijon!
Day two and the second stage of the rally was from Dijon to Turin offering some of the best driving roads in Europe, winding through Switzerland and around magnificent Lake Geneva, before conquering the Alps over the mighty Grand St Bernard Pass.
The car struggled with the Alps so the decision was made drop the coolant, meaning it needed to be rolled into a closed garage to cool down! The team then had to use the windscreen buckets to top the levels back up but then they were back on the road and it was downhill cruising through the mountains into Italy.
The guys successfully made it to the Grand Boulevards of Turin in time for the second check point but it then took 2 hours to park the old bus, as everywhere was so busy!
For stage three it was onwards towards Monte Carlo with a short stop in the little Italian village of Finale Ligure, considered part of the Italian Riviera.
First, after a couple of hours sleep in the 37 degree heat, the team took to the Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile (the National Automobile Museum) home to over 200 bella motors for a little look around.
Once on the road again they drove through more magnificent countryside and headed for the sea to meet up with the coastal roads and cruise across the border back into France.
A few more mountain turns and they crossed the finish line in Monte Carlo and what better way to finish the rally, than having a quick lap of the F1 circuit and the Casino!
With the challenges officially over they joined up with the rest of the rally cars in Nice for the final rendezvous, which included some presentations, speeches and a few drinks and surprises.
Darren, Frazer and Matt spent Monday on the beach before flying back to the UK ready for work while Adam is 'hopefully' driving the Mercedes home safely!
The team had a fantastic experience and it was a great chance for us to support our staff with something completely out of the ordinary... The only downside is that this epic adventure was not completed in a Ford, but as the car had already been purchased before we agreed to get involved we let the guys off!!
Have you ever done something like this before? Why not tell us by viewing and commenting on the full photo album of their trip which can be found on the TC Harrison Ford Facebook page here.