Austin Mini Takes On Peking To Paris Motor Challenge


June 3, 2016 By Mike Lee
Last updated on June 3, 2016

Austin Mini Takes On Peking To Paris Motor Challenge
This year’s Peking to Paris Motor Challenge, billed as the world’s toughest endurance rally for classic and vintage cars, will feature a Mini for the first time in the event’s history.

The 1972 Austin Mini 1000 has been entered as a last minute replacement for Car 34 after Paul and Chris Hartfield’s pre-war Packard wasn’t ready in time.

Concerned for the Packard, Paul contacted Owen Turner from the Rover Centre whom he had met on last year’s Sahara Challenge, for some advice and seeing just how much work still needed to be done on the old American car, advised against taking it on the grueling 36-day 8,500mile event that journeys through some extremely difficult terrain.

Needing a car in a hurray to meat the shipping deadline, the best option was to buy the Mini Owen had prepared for himself for the 2015 Marrakesh event as well as Le Jog.

Owen explains: “The Packard needed a lot of work still doing and would not have coped with the likes of Mongolia at all in its current condition. It will be a challenge for the Mini, especially the Gobi Desert, but at least you can fix it fast and get moving again.”

The Mini 1000 has a 1300 engine and uses a 1991 body shell, sprayed in its original colour. Not bad considering it was built in two weeks.

The sixth Peking to Paris Motor Challenge, organised by the Endurance Rally Association, will begin on Sunday 12th June 2016 as 110 crews cross the start line at the Great Wall of China in Beijing.

Competitors will cross eleven countries including Mongolia’s Gobi Desert, Russia and Belarus before entering Europe to reach the finish line in the centre of Paris on Sunday 17th July.

More crews are taking part in the 2016 outing than ever before, with 50 cars dated pre-1942 in the Vintageant class and 60 in the Classic class dated pre-1977.

The Peking to Paris Motor Challenge begins Sunday, June 12, 2016, at the Great Wall of China outside Beijing and concludes Sunday, July 17, 2016, at Place Vendôme in the center of Paris, France.

For more details including the full route itinerary and the latest updates, visit www.endurorally.com