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Just imagine the planning and preparation required to compete in an event like this year's Peking to Paris, an arduous journey through China, Mongolia and Siberia.

It's been almost 18 months in the making, but a team of enthusiasts from New Zealand have built a pair of Fiat 125s from the ground up, to contest the event which starts on June 12.

Greg Paul shares his build story with us, as the countdown to the epic adventure draws closer.

A team of ten New Zealand based classic cars is due to leave Beijing for Paris on June 10th, 2007. The purpose of the journey is to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the original “ Peking to Paris Raid” of 1907.

Included in the team are two 1972 Fiat 125s being built for the journey by New Zealander Greg Paul. Greg is being partnered by Daryl Narain, and the second car will be crewed by Geoff Genole and Kristopher Rowe of Dunedin.

The cars will be built to endure the gruelling 15,000km, 39 day journey from Beijing to Paris via Mongolia and Siberia. As no service vehicles will be travelling with the classic convoy, all spares and essentials have to be carried in the selected cars.

The 125 Fiats were chosen for their durability, power, simplicity and accessibility with the large boot and 4 door configuration. These specifications were a priority due to the heavy loads to be carried during the journey. Both cars will be fitted with larger 1800 and 2-litre twin cam engines with 5 speed ZF gearboxes from later model Fiats. The engines will be de-tuned to cope with the low octane fuel used in the areas travelled.

You can read the rest of Greg's Peking to Paris diary in our Members Section

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