Status of Heidi Hetzer

Jon BJon B Administrator
edited August 2016 in HUDSON Posts: 6,431
For those who have followed the round-the-world exploits of Heidi Hetzer and her 1930 Hudson, "Hudo", but have lost track of her: I can bring you up to date.

After making her way (from west to east) across the U.S., Heidi traveled to Peru by boat, where she resumed her travels.  Unfortunately, during her time in South America the mechanical problems which had dogged her along the way, finally brought her trip to a shuddering stop.  On April 13, in Argentina, Hugo's engine was kaput, with numerous problems which had been building up along the way.

At this point salvation came in the person of Lars Sorensen of Chile, and his intrepid antique car enthusiasts, the Club de Automóviles Antiguos V Región, located near Santiago.  "Hudo" was trailered from Argentina to club headquarters, and the merry band of car nuts completely disassembled the engine, undertaking a complete make-over with new parts gleaned from every possible source.  They even made some of their own! 

The upshot was that Hudo was back on the road again, in great mechanical shape.  "
The last time thru Argentinia to Buenos Aires he was perfect", reports Heidi, who says she and Hudo are presently en route to South Africa, the next country on her journey. 

By the way, does anyone know any Hudson enthusiasts in South Africa?  I'm sure Heidi would like to meet them and vice versa.  And, you never know when she may need more parts or mechanical help.  In fact, she could use a replacement for a lost hubcap, though (as she says) "the bottom of a Coca Cola plastic, tightened with a Kabelbinder, does a good job!" 


  • barrysweet52barrysweet52 Expert Adviser
    Posts: 366
    Good to hear that Heidi has had some good luck at last. Travelling around the world on the major highways, with no time to stop and enjoy the countries you pass through, tears in your eyes because of car problems, would not appeal to many. She deserves a medal. Barry 
  • onerare39onerare39 Expert Adviser, Moderator
    Posts: 912

    Grab your current HET Roster and turn to pages 49-50, two members in South Africa.

  • Jon BJon B Administrator
    edited August 2016 Posts: 6,431
    Here is a very short video of the members of the Club de Automoviles Antiguos in Vina del Mar (in Chile), who took Heidi under their wing and completely rebuilt "Hudo's" engine.

    Other photos of her latest adventures can be seen here, on her website:
  • Jon BJon B Administrator
    edited February 25 Posts: 6,431
    Quick update on Heidi Hetzer: she is now motoring north, through France, and is scheduled to arrive home in Germany in March.  I'm sure this energetic 79-year-old lady is looking forward to a bit of rest after her amazing, round-the-world adventure in a 1930 Hudson!  Here is a link to her GPS system:

  • Jon BJon B Administrator
    edited March 14 Posts: 6,431

    Heidi is home! 

    Here's a writeup from Der Spiegel (translation by Google, which may explain the creaky syntax):

    Two years, seven months, 60 countries 79-year-old driving around the world in the vintage car.

    With almost 80 years around the world: That was the Berlin woman Heidi Hetzer in the summer of 2014. She sat in her oldtimer and drove off. After 84,000 kilometers, she has now returned to Berlin.

    At 12 o'clock, the 79-year-old Heidi Hetzer will be driving forward at the Brandenburg Gate in her vintage car, built in 1930. Hundreds of fans await them. Hetzer sheds tears at the sight of the TV tower and climbs to the bonnet of her car. She has traveled far to return home.

    In July 2014 the then 77-year-old motor sportswoman with her oldtimer Hudson set off and drove around the world. The trip lasted 960 days and led the pensioner through about 60 countries.

    "Heidi Hetzer is an exception, and she has done an exceptional job," said Berlin's Mayor Michael Müller (SPD). Hetzer's perseverance and her will are admirable. With the Berlin pennant on the wing, she had also been a unique ambassador to the city around the world.

  • ESSX28-1ESSX28-1 Senior Contributor
    Posts: 1,285
    She was a pleasure to host here in New Zealand. We were able to find some of the correct wheels  she needed to continue. She's an exceptional & gutsy lady!!

    Dave Y New Zealand
  • Jon BJon B Administrator
    Posts: 6,431
    Someone (hopefully not ME!) should assemble the full story of her trip (in a "Hudson" perspective), for she met many Hudsonites along the way.  Maybe we could approach someone from each country or continent along her route, to write a couple paragraphs about their experience with her (and maybe even send in a photo). 

    For example, our chapter (centered in the Baltimore - Washington DC area) held a small cook-out in her honor, after the Hershey antique car show (which she attended).  I have several photos of her.  She seemed to enjoy herself immensely.  I know that some others (not necessarily Hudson people) hosted a dinner for her up in Michigan, at a "Hudson's" restaurant, appropriately enough.  And so it went, along the journey...
  • SuperDaveSuperDave Senior Contributor
    Posts: 3,249

    Great idea Jon.

    She visited Bob Harbrecht while in Florida. Spent the night at their home. Bob's wife, Ruth, taught German as a teacher, so they had a great visit. I'll pass his email address along in a PM.

    Live in the past.... it's cheaper.

    49 Super six Brougham

    49 Commodore Eight Convertible

    Melbourne, Florida

  • Jon BJon B Administrator
    Posts: 6,431
    Thank you, Dave!  I'll note this information and start making a list of those who might be able to add their "Heidi Experience" to an article about her.
  • Uncle JoshUncle Josh Senior Contributor
    Posts: 2,456
    I saw her go thru Indian Lake, but couldn't catch her.  She later drove past my house but I was still in Indian Lake.  Bugger.
  • Jon BJon B Administrator
    Posts: 6,431
    She is a hard lady to catch.  She doesn't "baby" that Hudson!
  • kiwijeffkiwijeff Member
    Posts: 173
    I've followed Heidi's trip for sometime, and missed her by a half hour, when she whizzed through my little town.

    I tried to copy a link to her Instagram account, but couldn't, so I've screen shot her page.
    For those who don't use Instagram, it's basically a photo site, where folks photo document whatever they like.
    Heidi has many cool pics of her trip, and you can hit the translation button, to read her comments in English.

    720 x 1280 - 417K
Sign In or Register to comment.