The Great South American Challenge


We are off again on another adventure, this time we are entered in …


A little 9000 mile trip around South America …


For the geography buffs, here are the details of our route …


Although we have not been officially notified, I believe we will be car # 14. We will be carrying a GPS locator device which updates automatically every hour. You will be able to follow our progress on the rally web site, by selecting the Great South American Challenge page and the “RESULTS” tab – we hope you will be able to keep tabs on us. If we appear to stop for a while, please do not panic – I’m sure Lloyd will catch up quickly.


Of course you are all wondering what we will be driving – surprise …


Our trusty 1949 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe has been refreshed and is ready to go. For those who traveled with us previously, please note the nice new left front fender and yes, we have new moon caps to go with the new set of Michelin tires. I think Lloyd thought we were going to a concourse show – the exterior is all clean and polished. And of course that wonderful 331 cu. in. Caddy engine just purrs along and is in top form.

The car arrived in Newark, NJ December 5, 2012 for shipment to Rio de Janeiro. We hope it will be there to meet us February 14, 2013 – please wish us luck!!!



January 31, 2013

We just received word from rally headquarters that the container ship carrying our car and three others has skipped stopping at Rio de Janeiro and its next scheduled port of call. It will now unload its cargo at Navagentes, Brazil (Google will show you where that is in relationship to Rio) then hopefully sail back to Rio. Apparently, the carrier, MSC, has a reputation for doing things like changing schedules, skipping ports and late arrivals but that cannot be changed now and we must hope for the best. We will keep you posted of any progress or lack thereof as we go along.

February 1, 2013

A bit of good news actually, the ship carrying our containers (MSC Luisa – you can Google that also and get her current position) has arrived in Navagentes, a good first step, and we believe she will be offloading and reloading cargo today. We do not know when she is scheduled to depart Navagentes (not that schedules matter much to these folks) nor do we know where she will head next. More as we learn it …

February 2, 2013

As recommended by our good friend from the Peking to Paris Rally of 2010 Erdal Tokcan who is in the shipping business in Turkey, the containers with our cars have been offloaded in Navegantes, Brazil and will be picked up by the feeder ship the Rio Negre for the return trip to Rio. The Rio Negro is scheduled to reach Navegantes Monday, February 04, 2013, depart Tuesday, February 4, 2013 at 07:00 and proceed directly to Rio de Janeiro.

February 3, 2013

Today we learned several things: first, the correct name of the feeder ship is the Rio Negro (an “o” on the end not an “e”) which makes locating it much easier and second, The Rio Negro is scheduled to make two stops between Navegantes and Rio which will put her in port at Rio on Friday, February 8, 2013. Unfortunately, this is right in the middle of Carnival and I doubt much work is scheduled but that does give us six days to offload, clear customs and reclaim the car before the rally starts. Our good friend Erdal also informs us that the Rio Negro is owned by the very reputable and reliable German shipping company Hamburg Sud so hopefully we will encounter no additional changes in schedule and destinations. You can track the progress of the Rio Negro by Googling “Rio Negro position” and choosing the Marinetraffic (1st) link.

February 4, 2013

Excellent news, it would appear that Erdal is absolutely right about Hamburg Sud, the Rio Negro will be in Navegantes right on schedule today. She is approaching port at 09:30 which should give her plenty of time to discharge and load cargo before her scheduled departure tomorrow morning. Leave it to the Germans to run a tight ship (no pun intended).

February 5, 2013

More good news, the Rio Negro made port right on time, picked up cargo and we have confirmation that the containers with our cars are indeed on board. She now will make two stops before reaching Rio on Friday. The remaining problem is to get the cars through customs over a weekend right in the middle of Carnival – probably no trivial matter but our good friend Steven Harris (his is one of the cars in the containers) has a client in high places in Rio with great connections – hope we don’t need to use them.

February 6, 2013

The Rio Negro is currently anchored off Santos and is due to depart there tomorrow for Rio. There is no indication she has made it into the port of Santos but we have great faith in German precision so we will continue to assume she is on schedule and will arrive Rio some time on Friday. Tomorrow will provide a more clear picture.

February 7, 2013

On time and schedule once again – in and out of Santos and now steaming toward Rio and the next stage of this saga. If we had shipped with Hamburg Sud in the first place, we would not be in this quandary. As with all her other ports of call, I’m sure the Rio Negro will be in Rio right on time – now it will be up to customs to clear and unload the containers. Unfortunately, there will be no way to track progress from now till the time the cars are available. Guess we just get on the plane and hope for the best.

February 8, 2013

As they say, “The eagle has landed” – the good ship Rio Negro has arrived and docked in Rio de Janeiro. I can’t imagine there will be any delay in offloading the containers, the Rio Negro has other business elsewhere and as we have learned, she sticks to her schedule with German efficiency. The last obstacle remaining is customs – bureaucracy and Carnival, a bad combination at best but we have great faith in our agents to smooth the way. Hopefully, there will be nothing else to report until the cars are released.

February 9, 2013

One more step in the right direction – the Rio Negro departed Rio and is now on her way to her next destination. The good news here is that her cargo has all been discharged in Rio – hopefully the containers with our four cars are among those now sitting on the docks in Rio. I guess Carnival didn’t slow up the container crews very much – hope they didn’t drop any in a rush to rejoin the partying. We are making progress!!!




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If you wish to access our Peking to Paris blog only, please select 2010 at top of page or continue reading



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2 Responses to The Great South American Challenge

  1. Emily Sabino says:

    Suerte Unkaloid and Chuck! Love, Emily & Lenin

  2. Carol Post-Pfaelzer says:


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