Peking to Paris: winning ‘the impossible’
New Zealand and Australian teams victorious after 8500 classic miles
a gruelling month-long classic rally across 11 countries and 8500 miles has been won by a Datsun 240Z and a chrysler 75 roadster.
Kiwi father and son team Bruce and Harry Washington picked up the prize for the pre-1941 Vintageants category in their Chrysler (above), while Datsun-driving Australians Mark Pickering and Dave Boddy won in the pre-’75 Classics.
Harry was awarded the event’s Philip Young Cup in recognition of being the best performing novice entrant. He says: ‘Each country was like its own rally. Once you crossed the border, you never knew what you were going to get.
‘I’m so proud of my dad for the result. I’d go back and do it all again tomorrow.’
The 107 crews taking part set off from the Great Wall of China a month ago and since then have battled against the Gobi Desert and across Russia before their drive across Eastern Europe towards the finish in Paris.
Rally director Fred Gallagher says he’s already planning the follow-up event, which will head through Azerbaijan, Turkey and Greece on a new route between China and the French capital.
‘Prince Borghese, the very first winner of the Peking to Paris, said it was driving the impossible. I’m sure all of our crews would agree, but they arrived in Paris to a heroic welcome and should all be very proud of what they have achieved.
‘ The spirit has been fantastic, with friendships forged that will last a lifetime. An amazing experience for all of us.’