The sixth edition of Peking to Paris Motor Challenge arrived in Ulaanbaatar, giving Mongolians a spectacle of 50 Vintageant cars, dated pre-1942, and 60 Classic cars, dated pre-1977.
Signaled by the wave of a flag, one of the toughest but the most extraordinary journey possible for a motorcar, Peking to Paris Challenge, began on June 12, as 110 crews crossed the starting line at the Great Wall of China in Beijing. The car enthusiasts are on a tight-schedule to drive their target 8,500 mile rally and cross the finishing line in Place Vendome in the center of Paris on July 17, 35 days from the starting line.
The most number of car enthusiasts are participating in this year’s challenge, according to the Endurance Rally Association, which prepared and planned the challenge for three years.
“The entry list features over 30 different automotive manufacturers and competitors representing 24 different countries. This is truly a global event that challenges both car and crew to the limit,” said Fred Gallagher, Endurance Rally Association rally director.
Reportedly, Steve Trafton and Katherine Trafton from the USA are co-driving a 1915 American La France, the oldest car challenging the tough rally this year. Other vehicles include a 1917 La France Tourer Speedster, 1923 Vauxhall OD 23/60, 1928 Bentley Super Sports, 1930 Ford Model A, 1933 Rolls Royce Phantom II, 1934 Hudson Terraplane Convertible, 1956 Porsche 356A, and a 1977 Mercedes 280E.
Participants faced their first share of problems 40 kilometers into their journey while driving through the bumpy roads of Gobi Desert in Mongolia.
According to one of the participants, one car broke down soon after entering Mongolia and Ulaanbaatar, 352.73 kilometers from the starting point. Ulaanbaatar residents were bedazzled several other vintageant and classic cars had to leave the challenge unable to overcome obstacles in Gobi Desert. The issues ranged from flat tires and suspension problems to problems with the accelerator and brakes.
The adventurous car enthusiasts drove into Mongolia through Datong and Erenhot cities in China and finally reached Chinggis Square in by the sight of vintageant and classic vehicles, only seen on photographs. Resetting odometers, some 100 drivers set off to their next stop, Novosibirsk city in Russia.
On the 10th day, June 21, drivers passed Khyargas Lake in Uvs Province, western part of Mongolia. They are expected to reach Novosibirsk city on June 25.