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2023 March
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Car and Driver: 2016 Peking to Paris Motor Challenge: Epic Photos from the 36-Day Journey


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2016 Peking to Paris Vintage Rally: Photos from the Epic 36-Day Journey


The thought of taking a modern car on an 8510-mile, 36-day slog across the Asian and European continents sounds hard, but imagine tackling the challenge in a pre-1975 vehicle. Or a prewar beast. That’s the Peking-to-Paris Motor Challenge, put on by the Endurance Rally Association. The 2016 race concluded in Paris on July 17, more than a month after kicking off in Beijing on June 12, and the organizers sent us a batch of incredible photos from the journey.




Vintage automobiles traipsed through China, Mongolia, Russia, Belorussia, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland, and France. There are two vehicle classes, Vintageant and Classic, which divides the field into pre-1941 automobiles and pre-1975 models. Each team must carry its own weight—literally. Tents, sleeping bags, spares, and supplies must all be loaded onto the rally cars itself, and support vehicles are frowned upon. Also pooh-pooh’d are non-period attire and vehicle modifications. As the organizer points out:




“Cars must be prepared in a period-style. No alloy-boxes on the back, no modern-looking ski-boxes or roof-top boxes. Appearance matters. Ratchet straps come in black and are preferable to bright blue, but leather straps do the job just as well and are more in keeping with the spirit of the event…. Crews must remember! Prince Borghese is looking down!” The prince, winner of the inaugural 1907 Peking-to-Paris race—although it’s said his chauffeur did most of the driving—presumably was a stickler for style.




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