Crossed-up cabrio action shot shows there's life in one old, er, Beetle...
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First run in 1907, the first-ever trans-Continental motor-rally between Peking and Paris remains an epic challenge to this day. (Albeit there was a bit of a break between the first one and the second in 1997 when the event was reinstated.)
Still, it’s been going strong ever since, and the 2010 challenge has just been completed by a mixed bunch of competitors that includes this ‘crossed-up’ cabriolet entered by Garrick L. Staples and Robert McClements who finished the event (11th overall, and 7th in class) in Paris earlier this week.
The picture was taken – not in Paris, obviously – by photographer Gerard Brown, and we’re sharing it today because Garlick ‘really, really likes it’. (We have to pander to him, otherwise he sulks.)
when you think about it this is a good car for such a journey.. they can be fixed with plasters and the engine still keeps going. If it breaks down its normally quite straight forward to find the issue.
I'd like to see a new Beetle (and a typical new Beetle owner) attempt that. Brilliant driving in a car renowned for its awful handling - perhaps that's where it excels, I've heard it's at its best on sand with the right tyres (hence all those beach buggies and sand-rails).
I've done a couple of rallies in Beetle, through deserts, mud-slides, rock falls, river crossings, you name it. They make great endurance rally cars, not just for their simplicity but for their ability make even the sternest border guard smile Air-cooled was a big advantage when driving through 50 degree heat in the Middle East, no air-con wasn't!
Here we are at Mount Everest
and in Pakistan
and my first Beetle, in the Sahara desert, even in standard form they are great off-roaders!
in the Atlas Mountains, Morocco
There are full write ups of the trips in the my garage section of my profile if anyones interested.