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Argentine family spends 47 days in '81 Ford Falcon during road trip to Ford headquarters

By MARGARET HARDING, Associated Press Writer

DEARBORN, May 29, 2008 (AP): Diego Percivaldi drove his 27-year-old car almost 10,000 miles (more than 16,000 kilometers) through 11 countries to see Ford Motor Co.'s headquarters on Thursday.

The trip from Argentina to Dearborn took 47 days in Percivaldi's 1981 Ford Falcon.

``The Ford Falcon, in Argentina, it's very sentimental for all the Argentine people,'' Percivaldi said, adding that he drove the Argentine version of the four-door vehicle that featured a luggage rack and sported several sponsorship stickers.

The trip took three years to plan, he said, and the Falcon's original engine was rebuilt in preparation for slow ride north.

``If you don't love cars, it's impossible to travel with this car,'' Percivaldi said.

Percivaldi, 32, declined to say how much the trip cost, but did say sponsors helped with half the expenses. He said he paid as much as $8 (euro5.14) per gallon for gas in Peru and $1.40 (euro.90) in Ecuador.

Cecilia, Percivaldi's 32-year-old wife, said the trip has long been a goal for the family of four.

``We have always dreamed of a trip like this,'' she said.

Upon arriving unannounced at the Dearborn headquarters of No. 2 U.S. automaker, the family walked up to the security desk at about noon and asked to speak to someone from Ford, spokesman Tom Hoyt said.

Hoyt said he will be talking to senior management to see if they will do anything for the family.

In the meantime, Percivaldi said they'll stay in Michigan for a few more days before heading home—by plane.

The Falcon will be shipped back home, he said.

On the Net: www.desafiolasamericas.com.ar





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