Paris - Persepolis - Paris 2011
A successful repeat run of the legendary Citroen raid of 1971 organised by J.Wolgensinger.
The original raid was a thirty day endurance rally with approximately 400 raid prepared cars including 2CV's, Mehari's and Dyane's. They also had other press vehicles which mainly consisted of the Citroen DS. Of course in 1971 the roads were mainly dirt and in very poor condition. This raid was a real test for the 2CV and the competitors. Stories of serious accidents and unwelcome locals are very common. However a vast amount of the starters finished the raid and were welcomed enthusiastically in Iran by the ruins of Persepolis, to celebrate not only one of the first truly amazing endurance rally's across swathes of inhospitable terrain, but also the strength and capabilities of the 2CV.
So, on the 31st July 2011, exactly 40 years after the original start date, myself and James Whyte set off from the 2CV World Meeting in Salbris (not Paris but close enough!). We drove a 1982 Citroen 2CV6 Special bought for the princely sum of £500.
Amazingly in the searing heat and awesome mountainous passes we managed to complete the raid following the exact route of the original. The roads were easier due to being sealed with tarmac but this just hammered home how tough it would have been for the original drivers.
As far as we are aware no one has completed this raid since the original (of course I would love to hear from anyone who has). We were very lucky to be able to cross into Eastern Turkey and Iran at a time when some of the local political situations on the ground were a little tense. We managed to negotiate civil war, earthquakes, political sanctions, exiled diplomats, ramadan and overbearing heat.
Please look through the gallery below. I have also included a google map of the route and some kind of musical montage video will be finished soon..
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