The 2016 Peking to Paris Motor Challenge starts from the Great Wall outside Beijing. The route drives into the most adventurous region of Mongolia, the stunningly beautiful north-ern sector. Then we will cross into Russia and on to the Republic of Belarus, through Po-land, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland and France.
With a total length of 13,695 kilometres the route is another 1,500 kilometres longer than 2013. The rally leads across the Asian and European continent, including some of the toughest terrains and requires to maintain a demanding rally time-schedule. The partici-pants have to drive a distance of 180 to 668 kilometres every day. A route without com-promises, with partly very long and strenuous sections. A real adventure and a big chal-lenge.
American La France Tourer Speedster, 1917 Model
The American La France Tourer Speedster, built in 1917 with the massive engine displacement of 14.5 litres holds an almost unsurpassable record within the starting field. Already in 2013, the ALF with its wooden spokes and chain drive was one of the most impressing cars participating in the rally. Ingo Strolz and Werner Gassner invested hundreds of hours of work to revamp the car with its six-cylinder engine, 140 horsepower and a top speed of 150 km/h. Preparations are still in full swing to make the ALF fit for the rally 2016.
2014/15 the American La France Tourer has been completely dismantled. During the Peking Paris Rally 2013 the car had been extremely affected. From cylinder to bearings – more or less everything was broken. Werner Gassner completely disassembled the whole care in countless hours. More than 600 parts had to be newly constructed, casted and rebuilt. The American La France was then reassembled right down to the last screw. Werner Gassner made it fit again for the rally. The first test run was carried out mid-2015 with the participation in the Ennstal Classic Rally. Strolz and Gassner drove from Vorarlberg to the Ennstal Valley in Styria, passed the three-day rally and then drove back with the American La France. At the end of March 2016 the ALF Tourer will be transported to China by ship. Until then, the car will be further prepared to be in perfect shape for the Peking – Paris Rally 2016.
American LaFrance (ALF) was an American vehicle manufacturer which focused primarily on the production of fire engines and emergency vehicles, located in Summerville, South Carolina (USA). Since the 1920s fire trucks were converted to race cars, usually called Speedster. For the purpose, the frame was cut and the equipment reduced to a minimum.
The displacement monster came to Australia in the early 1920s and 2011 to Austria – into the hands of Ingo Strolz, who primarily had one goal with the car: The Peking Paris Motor Challenge!
The Peking to Paris motor race was originally held in 1907 between Peking and Paris on a distance of approx. 15,000 kilometres. The idea for the race came from a challenge published in the Paris newspaper ‘Le Matin’ on 31 January 1907, reading: ‘What needs to be proved today is that as long as a man has a car, he can do anything and go anywhere. Is there anyone who will undertake to travel this summer from Peking to Paris by automobile?’
There were 40 entrants in the race but only five teams ended up going ahead with shipping the cars to Peking. The race was held despite the race committee cancelling the race. There were no rules in the race, except that the first car to Paris would win the prize of a magnum of Mumm champagne. The drivers had to pass a real marathon. 60 days after the start in Peking, Italian Prince Scipione Borghese, accompanied by his co-driver Ettore Guizzardi arrived in Paris with his Itala. The other drivers reached Paris a few weeks later after many difficulties and obstacles.
Ninety years after the first rally – 1997 – a revival of the Peking Paris rally was held tak-ing a more southerly route through Tibet. In 2007, 100 years later, it was decided to go back to the original route.
The 6th Peking to Paris Motor Challenge 2016 starts from the Great Wall outside Beijing on Sunday, June 12th and finishes 35 days later with a drive into Paris to cross the finish line in Place Vendôme on Sunday, July 17th.
The Peking to Paris rally was last held in 1997, 2007, 2010 and 2013. 2016 it will extend to a total length of 13,695 kilometres, another 1,500 kilometres longer than in 2013. The rally leads across the Asian and European continent – across China, Mongolia, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland and France to its grand finale in Paris. The route 2016 includes driving some of the toughest terrains with participants required to maintain a demanding rally time-schedule. The drivers will have to overcome various adventurous sections such as in northern Mongolia or exciting mountain roads in the Alps. A track without compromise, with sometimes very long and exhausting sections. A real adventure and a big challenge.
The 120 participants of the Peking Paris Motor Challenge 2016 have to transport their tents, sleeping bags and all spare parts (including wheels) in the car itself. The appearance of the vehicles matters, too. Cars should be prepared in a period-style to reflect the spirit of the rally.
The event is organized by the Endurance Rally Event Association (ERA). The legendary race enjoys cult status among all automotive fans.