The Trans-Himalayan Adventure Saw 15 Classic Cars Survive One Of The Toughest Ever Historic Rallies
The Trans-Himalayan Adventure is a 3462-mile classic rally, which set off in Chengdu, China and wound its way through Tibet ending up in Kathmandu, Nepal 21 grueling days later. Fifteen cars and their crews have recently completed this epic journey organized by international rally experts Rally Round. The extreme temperatures and tough terrain took their toll on both the classic cars and their intrepid crews but spirits remained high to the end. “This is now the toughest rally there is,” entrant Mark Seymour said at the gala dinner held in Kathmandu. “I can tell you this is the most epic adventure out there—and you’ve done it!”
The route took in seven of Asia’s major rivers and numerous mountain passes with temperatures ranging between -7.6 and 109.4 Fahrenheit. The extreme altitudes of up to 18,300 feet added to the challenges faced by the broad variety of classic cars, which included a 1925 Bentley Super Sports, 1937 Alvis 4.3, 1965 Porsche 911 and a 1970 Mercedes 280SL Roadster. The participants also came the closest anyone has got to Everest base camp in their own vehicles. Mark’s words were echoed by route designer Kim Bannister, who has rallied all over the world. “I firmly believe that the journey you have completed is not only the best drive there is in the world, but also the most challenging.”
The trials faced by the participants included numerous breakdowns ranging from minor issues to rather more serious challenges like ruptured fuel tanks and even a fractured chassis, yet thanks to their stoicism and the assistance of the capable sweeper crews everyone made it through to the very end. The Spirit of the Rally was presented to Dominic and Rosie Collins (who was a first-time rally participant) in their 1959 Mk2 Jaguar, as well as Rudi and Helga Friedrichs in a 2014 Land Rover Defender who went out of their way to assist other competitors at various breakdowns and steep ascents. The feedback from the entrants has been extremely positive and the organizers are planning a follow-up event for May 2020.
Images courtesy of Rally Round