Man drives battered Citroen 2CV to Ireland using B-roads and a compass

  • last month
A madcap motorhead drove his battered Citroen 2CV 1,023 miles from England to Ireland – using only B-roads and a COMPASS.

Matthew Hollis, 41, took ten days to complete the epic trip from Ness Point in Lowestoft, Suffolk, to Dunmore Head, on Ireland's west coast.

He finished his coast-to-coast journey on Friday (12/4), after relying on a compass to find his way and only sticking to B-roads.

He almost drove into trouble on the final stage of his challenge when he got lost driving the last ten miles from Dingle to Dunmore Head.

What should have been a 20 minute journey turned into a two-and-a-half hour ordeal after Matthew took a wrong turn and ended up driving 50 miles out of his way.

After reaching his final destination following ten days on the road, Matthew said: "The biggest challenge was the weather.

"I'm not sure I've had a single day where it didn’t rain.

“Not only did that mean driving through often flooded roads and fords but it was quite uncomfortable because the car roof leaked.

"It's been quite challenging but the car overcome pretty much everything thrown at it.

"It took a lot out of me, just driving. I was getting lost a lot and I worked out there was only one place in the car where the compass worked.

“This meant there was a lot of stopping and starting but I also met some brilliant people and saw so many things I never expected to.

"Even in the last day, when I was only about 20 minutes from the final destination, it took me about two-and-a-half hours because I was getting completely lost.”

Matthew completed his journey driving his beloved 1985-registered Citroen 2CV – called ‘Cookie’ - which he bought when he was just 16 years old.

The blue and orange motor has a top speed of 72mph but Matthew averaged around 20mph during his travels along narrow country lanes.

More than five million Citroen 2CVs were built and were often nicknamed 'Flying dustbins' and 'Tin snails' on account of their distinctive shape.

During Matthew's trip, the car suffered a broken drive shaft and needed replacement brake pads.

Matthew would stay overnight in hotels, in a tent and even slept in the car after paring up in a multi-storey car park late at night.

Despite many wrong turns, Matthew reached the finishing line on Friday, one day ahead of schedule.

Matthew, from Northampton, raised more than £2,500 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA), where he works.

The return journey took just two days, after Matthew switched on his sat-nav.