Soccer Fan Drives from San Francisco to Brazil for World Cup | NBC Chicago
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Soccer Fan Drives from San Francisco to Brazil for World Cup



    (Published Wednesday, June 11, 2014)

    It's a long way from San Francisco to Brazil.

    But a 1955 Chevrolet 235 pickup truck named "Nellie" got a Dutch soccer fan there in one piece.

    Ben Oude Kamphuis drove Nellie nearly 13,000 miles to watch his team play in the 2014 World Cup.

    "Four years ago when we, Holland, lost again in the final I was crying one more time -- that's three times that I cried in the final,” Oude Kamphuis said. “So I was telling my friends and family back in San Francisco, you know what, I'm driving old Nellie to Brazil."

    His journey began on Jan. 15 and took him through 12 countries.

    In Colombia, Oude Kamphuis took a boat to continue through Ecuador and Peru before arriving in Brazil's Praia do Forte on June 2.

    Oude Kamphuis said he and Nellie developed a “special relationship.”

    "Every morning it started. I went through the highest mountains, through the deserts, through the Amazon, the rainforest. She has never let me down,” he said.

    Oude Kamphuis, 53, works with disabled children in San Francisco and said they helped him paint his truck.

    The Netherlands' first World Cup match Friday is a repeat of the 2010 final and a chance for revenge against Spain.