1938 Alfa Romeo 6C SS Torpedino at the end of the Peking to Paris race in the Place de Vendome, Paris.
1938 Alfa Romeo 6C SS Torpedino at the end of the Peking to Paris race in the Place de Vendome, Paris.

Mongolia has the best scenery in the world,” said Catriona Rings, navigator of the red Alfa Romeo 6C. The official race website says Alastair “has probably rallied in every country with a road worth rallying.

2010 The Peking to Paris Motor Challenge

It would be hard to think of a more unlikely car than a 1938 Alfa Romeo 6C to do Peking to Paris but that is what Alastair has chosen to drive the gruelling 9,000 mile route.

The Peking to Paris Motor Challenge started in China, taking the 165 challengers through Mongolia and Russia before turning south west into Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan before heading west though Iran, Turkey, Greece, Italy, and finally into France. This historic Silk Route will take the cars across ice-capped mountains, flowing rivers and shifting deserts.

Read more here:

He is now spending a well-deserved two days off in the luxury of a posh hotel having spent several nights in sub-zero base campsites across Mongolia. The little low-slung but beautiful Alfa is still going strong despite the atrocious roads, which were little more than tracks forged into the deep sand for hundreds of miles through Mongolia.

The team of Alastair and navigator Catriona has crossed China, Mongolia and Russia and are now in Kazakhstan, with several more ‘stans’ to go before reaching Iran.
It’s been a great trip so far and although the driver and the car are a little battered and bruised, morale is good and all three are looking forward to the rest of the race. It is a triumph that the car has made it this far over such bad terrain!
The course runs for just over five weeks. Alastair broke a gear-lever on the seventh day and has been without brakes from near the start of the trial in Peking. He has also lost a shock absorber mountings and spends most of his spare time under the car. “Catriona is passing him paper cups of what looks like either brake fluid, or, a slurp of red wine. But given she is sipping her own, it’s surely just another bottle of Australian Cabernet.” says the rally report.

Previous story | next story | back to timeline