5th Peking to Paris Rally Challenges the Brave & Determined
The fifth-ever Peking to Paris rally will be held this year from May 28th to June 29th, stretching an epic 9,300 miles across two continents and eight countries, through some of the harshest and most remote terrain on Earth. Funny how such an infrequently-run race rates in the mind with such legendary and long-running endurance events as the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Isle of Man TT, and Dakar—such is the incredibly heroic nature of what is possibly the most difficult of all long-distance races.
First organized in 1907, the story goes that the inaugural running was inspired by a challenge published in the January 31st edition of that year’s Le Matin, a Paris newspaper of the time. It stated: "What needs to be proven 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?"
Forty teams accepted this challenge, but ultimately only 5 entrants actually shipped cars to the Peking starting point, right in front of the French embassy. There were no rules aside from the promise of a magnum of Mumm champagne to the rally’s winner.