The Peking to Paris Motor Challenge 2007
May 27 - June 30 2007
Another long day.
Another long day, but everyone is coming into the hotel smiling, ordering a beer, after a day which is the equivalent of having driven from Carlisle to Windsor. A good stretch for any car, let alone one that is at least 40 years old which has just been in the first Historic Rally to drive across Mongolia and the first Historic Rally to cross Russia.
Problems for a few are therefore to be expected. First an update... the Veteran Essex is running again having had a clutch give out on the ramp to the hotel a couple of days ago, and the little 1400cc Rover 12 was given a clean bill of health by Robert Kitchen of the mobile-workshop team at around midnight last night, having had a clutch release fork welded up. Take it gently, he said, but Leigh and Judy Pullen are on a truck for the first time today, going direct to Reims, as they feel anything else will be risking the drive into Paris.
Bigger problems hit the Chevrolet of Igor Kolodotschko, as their rear axle pinion bearing let go, and this is serious only in that it requires a workshop to repair it ... the torque-tube propshaft might be mighty strong but its not an easy thing to strip down. Getting it fixed in Germany will be quite a headache.
The VW Beetle of car 101 of Matthew and John Keeler, spent all night in a Berlin workshop with engine bothers, and the crew only were seen at the Potsdam hotel this morning for a quick breakfast. If you have problems with a Beetle, and need a Volkswagen garage, surely Berlin is the place. They report a cracked cylinder head and much else. After reversing out of the workshop, the clutch release bearing let go, and the crew were off this morning to start work on the engine again and then play catch up... not easy thing when the final days are so long.
On the run today we spotted the Sunbeam Alpne of David and Jo Roberts, sidelined with a blocked fuel line, the crew say its becoming a regular frustration.
Other cars roll into the hotel without a murmour... the Vauxhall 30´98 crew report a steady run with no problems, Roy Williamson’s Riley running in convoy with the Bentley of Paul Carter sounds crisp, the Jaguar MkV of the O’Shea‘s has visited a car wash and looks gleaming, but the Alvis John Hickman and Philip Hallett pulled up at the lobby steps to immediatly open the bonnet, the crew suspect the points have closed up or some other trivial bother as the engine is `running on five`. So what, say the crew of car 6, the Knox, which continues to bang along, firing on three.
The Rolls 20-25 of Paul Michael and Glen Grindrod breezed into our hotel here in Koblenz fresh as a daisy, the crew appearing as if they have driven from just around the corner... how do they do it?
Must go, someone has just shouted that dinner is now ready.