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The 2CV Alaska Challenge

The Story of the Alaska Challenge (No.1) Car

Damien (on the left in the photo) is an Irishman who lives in Brixton, south London. He shares a squat with Kevin (on the right in the photo), a likely lad from the north of England.
Ah, the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune: early in 1999, a period of acute financial embarrassment forced Damien to sell his beloved car, a 2CV6 Special, manufactured in 1984, with 53,000 miles on the clock and a funny clunking noise coming from the rear exhaust. The car was well travelled, having been taken on numerous trips to Ireland, France, Spain and the Isle of Dogs; not to mention Peckham.
Its chasis was relatively rust free, and the bodywork was still in reasonable nick, apart from some DIY artwork on the front and back wings, which came about one night from a combination of excess alcohol and inspiration. Irish rugby victories have a lot to answer for.

As soon as we saw the car we knew it was the one, the 2CV that would take us all the way to the shores of the Arctic Ocean. The problem was, Kevin got all sentimental; the rose tinted glasses came down: there were fond memories of Dublin, Paris, Madrid, Peckham... no, he could not bare to see the car go, and so he bought it from Damien just hours before we got to it.

Kevin's a cool guy, but he does not have a driving licence and thinks that the Highway Code is a pub on the A49. If he retained ownership of the car it seemed certain that it would stay in the darkness of a lock-up near the squat. We had other plans for it, the rolling, wide open Canadian prairies, the lake studded snowy mountains and deep green forests of Alaska, and the awesome expanse of the Arctic Ocean.
We wanted this 2CV, so for 7 days we continued pestering Damien, asking him to persuade Kevin to sell the car on to us. It was only after phoning Damien numerous times that we noticed that the last three digits of his mobile telephone number were '666'; but in this case it turned out to be a good omen because eventually Kevin reluctantly agreed to a meeting so that we could 'talk about it'.
And 'talk about it' we did, in the Frog and Parrot, where we applied some subtle diplomacy in the form of six pints of Guiness. Finally, with watery eyes, Kevin agreed to let the car go. The 2CV was ours!


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These Bulletins originally appeared on The 2CV Alaska Challenge web site and remain the copyright of Rob Godfrey.