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Peking - Paris - Report 11 - Final run to Paris and Prize Giving Ceremony: surprise, surprise...

Last hotel night during the rally and we could not get much sleep: would the truck we ordered to take us to the outskirts of Paris arrive on time? And would the wheel last the 20 or so Km we were planning to drive to the final time control at the Bois de Boulogne and from there to the finish at Place Vendome?
In the end, everything went according to plan and with no more surprises. The truck arrived on time, we loaded the car in front of the hotel at Troyes and the truck driver Michael drove to Paris on the motorway. Lots of traffic on a Saturday morning and some "embouteillages" on the Paris ring road, especially near the Salon Automobile exhibition, but otherwise a trouble free ride. And from Pont de Sèvres on the car lived up to the occasion performing faultless. 
All cars were to assemble at the holding control to get them in order of classification (as much as possible, that is...) and to drive in convoy in groups of ten to Place Vendome. We teamed up with the two other MG's and the three cars rode together to the finish line, down the Champs Elysées and Place de La Concorde. Here we stopped for a moment to get our two grandsons on board and they sat on our laps for the final drive. 

And what a surprise to find many of our friends from Porto to greet us there, with flags and champagne for the final celebration! Thank you all for coming over to Paris just for a few very short but very emotional moments...  The joy and greetings among fellow competitors is also something difficult to describe. After sharing so many stressful weeks everybody feels relieved and proud to having done it and having reached Paris.hb 

The Gala dinner and prize giving ceremony at the Intercontinental Hotel had reserved a final surprise to us. 
The evening started with a slideshow of some 1,500 pictures of the event taken by official photographer Gerrard Brown, followed by video clips recorded by the official video team headed by Tom Wilkinson. Great music to match the pictures and videos, creating a great sense of a romantic "adventure", endurance and achievement ...  

Finally the prize giving itself. For the last couple of weeks our position on the official classification board had been very stable, in 10th place of the Classics and 6th of our class. So we were very surprised when our names were called up to receive the trophies for 3rd place on the Pre 1957 Classics class. What happened? We seem to have overlooked the fact that within the Classics class there would be different classifications for pre and post 1957 cars. And we had clinched 3rd place among the Pre 1957 Classics! 
Anyway, we were delighted to again receive two more cups on P2P. Three years ago we were part of the winning Team, but our contribution to the team standing was irrelevant as only the two best results counted (and we were third). This time our Prize means a lot more to us. After weeks of tribulations, this is a great way to finish ... Especially because what rally organiser Phillip Young said (quoted on Syd Stelvio's last report from Paris on the official website): "This has been beyond doubt the hardest event we have ever staged".   

Thank you all who helped us before and during the event, and also thank you the reader, who have been interested on our unpretentious reports and pictures. The Magnette is already on its way to Porto to be restored to its former "shape" ...

Until a next time... 
Magnette greetings.
Maria and Jose
 
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  • arriving at place vendome
  • gala dinne
  • gala dinner 2

  • john and rhy
  • magnette at place vendome
  • photo

  • photo1
  • photo2
  • photo3

  • photo4
  • the three mg's
  • three mg's preparing

  • three mgs
  • trophies for 3rd
  • with john and rhys