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Peking-Paris classics set off

2013-05-29 07:35

AND THEY'RE OFF: 100 vintage and classic cars have set off on the 2013 Peking-Paris Motor challenge. Image: AFP

BEIJING, China - Nearly 100 vintage and classic cars have set off on a month-long trek, starting from May 28 2013, from Beijing to Paris with models.

The Peking-Paris Motor Challenge will cover more than 12 000km across the Gobi Desert in Mongolia and on Russian back roads to Ukraine, Slovakia, Austria, Switzerland and finally ending up in France.

Car No.1 was a hulking black 1917 La France Tourer boasting a 14.5-litre engine, large round headlights and a single rectangular pane for a windshield. It stood on the start line flanked by festive Chinese dragons.

'EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURE'

It was followed by a stream of painstakingly restored and maintained vehicles, among them several Bentleys from a regal and heavy silver 1936 model to a narrower 1927 version with a rounded body, and a number of Rolls-Royces.

More recent classic cars that will drone across Asia include Porsche 911s, a Morris Oxford, a few VW Beetles and some Volvos. These drivers will cover several hundred kilometres each day for 33 days.

The organiser, the Endurance Rally Association, called it "the longest and toughest challenge anyone can drive in a vintage or classic car... an extraordinary adventure driving through some of the most remotest places on earth".

The journey, the fourth since 1997, commemorates a historic 1907 race won by an Italian prince.

Watch the video!


The 2013 Peking to Paris race route:
Peking – Great Wall of China
Mongolia – Gobi Desert, Ulan Batar and Telmen Lake
Russia – Novosibirsk, Omsk, Tyumen and Samara
Ukraine – Kiev and Lviv
Slovakia – Kosice and Bratislava
Austria – Schladming
Switzerland – Gstaad
France – Troyes and Paris

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