The Classic Car Rally: Over 8,000 miles from Peking to Paris!

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Staples' Beetle
Gary Staples’ Beetle. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

The first Peking to Paris rally was run in 1907. Despite two thousand applicants, only 5 cars actually arrived at the dock in Beijing and the winner was an Italian prince named Scipione Borghese, who drove a 45 horsepower Italia. Apparently, he didn’t endear himself to his fellow competitors when, upon arriving at the first hotel in Mongolia and discovering that it had 5 rooms, he took all five, leaving the other drivers to sleep in tents outside.

Stanley Gold’s ’65 Porsche 911

Since then, the race has been run three times, in 1997, 2007, and 2010 as a classic car race. And takes place again this year with the checkered flag dropping on May 28 somewhere near the Great Wall.

Two Angelenos will be at the starting line: Stanley Gold, President of Shamrock Holdings, Roy Disney’s private investment company, and Garrick Staples, a computer systems administrator who also ran the race in 2010, competing against his father.

Below, Warren talked to the drivers.