A 1972 Mini 1000 has been entered on this year’s Peking to Paris Motor Challenge, as a last minute replacement for Paul and Chris Hartfield’s pre-war Packard, which wasn’t ready in time.
Concerned for the Packard’s readiness in the lead-up to the event, Paul contacted Owen Turner from the Rover Centre for some advice. However, on seeing just how much work still needed to be done on the Packard, Owen’s advice was simple: don’t take it on the gruelling 36-day 8500-mile event and, instead, buy the Mini which Owen had himself prepared for the last year’s Sahara Challenge as well as LeJog.
The Mini 1000 has a 1300 engine and uses a 1991 bodyshell, sprayed in its original colour – not bad considering it was built in two weeks. Owen said: ‘The Packard needed a lot of work still doing and would not have coped with the likes of Mongolia at all in its current condition. It will be a challenge for the Mini, especially the Gobi Desert, but at least you can fix it fast and get moving again.’
The sixth Peking to Paris Motor Challenge, organised by the Endurance Rally Association, will begin on Sunday, 12 June 2016 as 110 crews cross the start line at the Great Wall of China in Beijing. Competitors will cross 11 countries including Mongolia’s Gobi Desert, Russia and Belarus before entering Europe to reach the finish line in the centre of Paris on Sunday, 17 July.
More crews are taking part in the 2016 outing than ever before, with 50 cars dated pre-1942 in the Vintageant class and 60 in the Classic class dated pre-1977. You can follow the Mini’s fortunes on AROnline, as well as get regular event updates on the Endurance Rally Association’s website via this link.