Hundreds of employees at GM Daewoo’s Bupyung plant at Incheon, South Korea clapped and cheered as the pair drove their Daewoo Kalos family hatchback into the factory at the end of their marathon drive from London to Seoul.
Filmed by TV and led by a local girls’ band, the triumphant procession was welcomed by Nick Reilly, GM Daewoo’s Chairman and Chief Executive. He told them: "What you have achieved is nothing short of astonishing. You showed courage, perseverance, stamina and determination – often in the face of great odds – and we are very proud of you."
He then presented the British duo with a cheque for 60,000 euros which is to be handed over to SOS Children’s Villages, the international child welfare organisation. The donation will be used to finance the construction of a "family house" at the SOS Children’s Village in Bharatpur, Nepal.
Richard Meredith and Phil McNerney defied sandstorms, bureaucracy, gun-toting rebels, rioters, last-minute route changes and some of the most inhospitable terrain in the world to complete their remarkable 19,000km 25-country charity drive in a near standard Daewoo family hatchback.
Meredith, a 55-year-old author, and McNerney, a 26-year-old Merseyside university graduate, set off on 9 June from the UK headquarters of GM Daewoo in Luton, 50 kilometres north of London, driving a 1.4-litre Kalos.
Although basically a standard model straight off the production line, the car was equipped by GM Daewoo with strengthened suspension, under-body protection, enlarged fuel capacity, extra lights, a bull-bar, stronger tyres and roof luggage box.