One of the arguably toughest rallies in the world is certainly the journey in a vintage or calssic car from Peking to Paris. But certainly also one of the most adventurous and interesting. A challenge for man and machine, because the nearly 13,700 kilometers through China, Mongolia, the Gobi desert, Belarus and across Europe are more than just a drive out and many classic cars in local garages this may not even prove this mileage in a few years. Overall, drove through the classics drove through 11 countries and were on the road for 25 days. But the international participants are excited and some participants were driving this rallye already for the umpteenth time. 107 teams have started in Beijing and 98 drove over the finishing line in Paris. 2016, the Peking to Paris Rally was held for the sixth time.
The team Bruce and Harry Washington won with their 1929 Chrysler 75 Roadster in the pre war class, whilst Dave Boddy and Mark Pickering won in the post-war class with their Datsun 240Z from 1973. But, as every driver and passenger ends up as a winner when participating in such a rally, the organiser has offered some special prices. The Malaysian team Hok Kiang SIA with his son was awarded the special “True Grit” price because their Rolls Royce Phantom of 1933 caught fire in the engine department and they faught persistanly to close up to the entire field. The team David and Jo Roberts of England received the prize “against all odds”, since they despite several technical problems with their Sunbeam Alpine, repeatedly managed to repair the vehicle itself and to follow up from new.
Sympathetic of this year’s Peking to Paris rallye was the team Max and Lulie Stephenson with their Vauxhall OD 23/60 from 1923. They managed every time check in at every checkpoint in time, although they always stopped to help other participants with breakdowns. They were awarded with the “spirit of the rallye” award.
The impressions on the long route are surely sustainable. In many places, the passage of the teams with their classics has been celebrated and prepared with a very special reception. For example in Omsk / Novosibirsk, where cheerleaders dressed in the Russian national colors cheered to the teams passing through. The teams met a wide range of cultures and people on their journey.
The next Peking to Paris rally will take place in the June 2019. Then, the route through Azerbaijan, Turkey and Greece.