In 1970 the London-Mexico World Cup Rally was the first of two World Cup Rallies to be held and the second of four marathon rallies to be held in a nine-year period beginning with the 1968 London-Sydney Marathon. The rally started at Wembley Stadium in London on April 19, 1970 and finished in Mexico City on May 27, 1970. Covering approximately 16,000 miles (25,700 km) through Europe and South America. It was won by Hannu Mikkola and Gunnar Palm, driving a Ford Escort. Six Citroëns participated in the rally but only one finished – a DS21 in 7th place with Patrick Vanson, Oliveir Turcat and Alain Leprince listed as the rally team.
The DS21 (3356 TT 75) of professional rally driver Robert “Bob” Neyret had to be abandoned in Bolivia. (Neyret, now retired, was born 28 February 1934 in Grenoble. He competed in the 1960s and the 1970s winning the Rallye du Maroc in 1969 and 1970. In 1972, when the event was part of the International Championship for Manufacturers, he finished second in a Citroën DS 21.)
Enter André Midol into the picture in July-August 2005; The Midol family made a stopover in Santa Cruz during a long 32,000 km journey in South America in a Citroën Traction Avant Cabriolet. By chance a passer-by met them and mentioned that his father, a Citroën importer in Bolivia, had welcomed and hosted the London-Mexico French crew of Neyret-Terramorsi when they were forced to abandon the DS and their stay was concluded when the Bolivian had purchased the car! Since then, the car was kept and abandoned before being saved from scrapping. Introduced to the wreck, at the sight of seeing it, André had a crazy dream: get it back on the road and finish with the rally crossing the finish line in the Aztec Stadium in Mexico. And that is what he did.
In October 2017 André went to Santa Cruz, this time accompanied by Jacky Chevillon, a key mechanic who helped to get 3356 TT 75 operational again. By mid-November the DS21 had travelled again on the banks of Lake Titicaca along the path of the last kilometres it made in May 1970.
In Lima Peru, the crew received a certificate of passage the President of the Touring Club of Peru and in Quito, Equador, Citroën and FEDAK (Federación Ecuatoriana De Automovilismo – a car magazine) celebrate the event. It was stored in Bogota Colombia for the winter while Colombian friends collaborated with the Mexicans to organize the ‘big finish’ event in early April at the Aztec Stadium.
After travelling the remaining 4,000 km, part of it by sea in Panama, on Easter morning March 2018 in Puebla Mexico, 150 km from the finish, The Citroën Club of Mexico organized a party. It was with this Club, in a procession of 6 DS, that DS21 3356 TT 75 entered the prestigious enclosure of the Aztec Stadium on April 3, 2018
From September 1st to October 7th the DS will travel from Mexico to New York, driven by André Midol and taking a route that includes Monterrey (Mex.), Laredo, Houston, New-Orleans, Jacksonville, Richmond, Washington and Philadelphia. André will be accompanied by his wife Marie-Julie. They are interested in attending Citroën related events along the way and meeting fellow Citroën enthusiasts before returning 3356 TT 75 to France by boat.
In July 2019, 3356 TT 75 will join the thousands of old Citroëns from around the world and converge to celebrate the centenary of the brand at La Ferté-Vidame in France.
If you would like contact André, he can be reached by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at: +33 (0)683325457.