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Heidi, 75, to drive round the world

Published Oct 26, 2012


She was one of Germany's first female motor mechanics, she's a (very) successful rally driver and the owner of an Opel dealership in Berlin for nearly half a century.

Now Heidi Hetzer, at 75, is planning the adventure of a lifetime, even for her. In 2014 she will set out to drive around the world along the same route taken by the first person ever to do it - Clärenore Stinnes, way back in 1928.

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But even Stinnes would have been astonished at the car Hetzer plans to use for her 47 000km 'round trip' - a 91-year-old Hispano-Suiza luxury sports car.

Hetzer's French-built 1921 H6 - a regular competitor in European classic rallies - was one of only three ever bodied by famed coachbuilder Belvallette. Its 6597cc, twin-cam straight-six engine was developed by Swiss designer Marc Birkigt from his legendary V8 aircraft engine of World War One, and in this application develops just under 100kW.


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