The Peking to Paris rally ended on Saturday, October 16 with a parade through the streets of Paris celebrating the end of this remarkable 10,000 mile event.

A large crowd, including many friends and family, greeted the cars when they entered Place Vendome after roller skating marshals cleared their progress round the Arc de Triomphe and down the Champs Elysees.

It is 37 days since a total of 98 cars set out from the Chinese capital, coming from 26 different countries, thought to be a motorsport record.

With ages ranging from the oldest, a 103 year old six litre Itala to a 1970 Vauxhall, the competition was divided into three leaderboards.

Winner of the Pioneer category for pre 1926 models was Charles and Nellie Bishop in a Vauxhall 30/98, who overhauled early leader Max Stephenson in a similar model in the final stages. Winner of the Vintageant Category was Steve Hyde and Janet Lyne in a 1938 Chevrolet Fangio Coupe who led from the start and beat all the later cars on the time trials.

Driving the Impossible Pioneer category victors Charles and Nellie Bishop - Vauxhall 30/98

The Classics Category saw a remarkable effort by the oldest driver in the event, with Australian Gerry Crown, driving a 1974 Holden, wining in convincing style. At 78 years old, Gerry was regarded as too old to be given a Chinese driving licence so his navigator, 33 year old Matt Bryson, drove the first few days. Matt is the son of John Bryson who accompanied Andrew Cowan to several Australian rally wins including two victories on the Southern Cross Rally.

Second in the Classics category was the former Turkish rally champion Ahmet Omgun, with Erdal Tokcan, in an Anadol 1600 ahead of third placed crew, Andrew Godsen and Andrew Honeychurch, in a much more powerful Aston Martin DB5.

Since leaving Beijing every crew has lived and accumulated a lifetime of memories… fraught and frustrating border crossings… the remarkable friendliness and hospitality of complete strangers… the pain and despair of breakdowns and the triumph of miracle repairs and camping under star-laden skies in Mongolia where the Organisers, the Endurance Rally Association, ran a fleet of petrol tankers and trucks to provide a Dakar style back up of chefs cooking meals each evening.

"This has been beyond doubt the hardest event we have ever staged," said organiser Philip Young.

Source: Syd Stevio, www.pekingparis.com/reports.shtml


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