Peking to Paris
Posted 08 April 2002 - 17:30
Which make was it???? a Spijker???
Who was driving it??
thanks in advance
Posted 08 April 2002 - 17:58
1907 - five cars left Peking.
Four cars reached Paris - the winner getting there in 60 days.
According to this the race was won by Prince Scipione Borghese in an Itala.
Charle Godard drove the Spyker (the car of Jacobus Spijker) to 2nd.
A year after the race the Spyker firm went bankrupt, but was "revived" after paying creditors 25%.
It then apparently flourished and made aircraft for WW1.
Posted 08 April 2002 - 18:07
In passing mention is made of the 15-hp Spyker, driven by Godard.
I can't comment on the historical accuracy of anything in the book (not really the point of the book anyway), but Thomas writes well and it is an entertaining read.
Posted 08 April 2002 - 19:38
"IN 1898, JACOBUS AND HENDRIK-JAN SPIJKER, COACH BUILDERS IN AMSTERDAM, PIONEERED THEIR FIRST BENZ-ENGINED MOTOR CAR, AND WON IMMEDIATE ACCLAIM FOR THE CRAFTSMANSHIP OF THEIR BODYWORK. THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE GOLDEN STATE COACH IN 1898, TO COMMEMORATE THE FORTHCOMING CORONATION OF QUEEN WILHELMINA, AND STILL IN USE TODAY, MARKED THE TURNING POINT FROM THEIR COACH BUILDING ACTIVITIES TO CAR MANUFACTURING. SUBSEQUENTLY, THE BROTHERS REGISTERED THEIR BUSINESS UNDER THE NAME SPYKER, WRITTEN WITH A 'Y' FOR EASIER RECOGNITION IN FOREIGN MARKETS.
THE 1903 60HP GRAND PRIX RACER WAS AN IMPORTANT HISTORICAL MILESTONE, FEATURING THE WORLD'S FIRST SIX CYLINDER ENGINE AS WELL AS PERMANENT FOUR-WHEEL DRIVE. OTHER SPYKER MODELS FOLLOWED: WITH THEIR CHARACTERISTIC CIRCULAR RADIATORS, THEY ENJOYED PARTICULAR SUCCESS IN BRITAIN AND THE DUTCH EAST INDIES. A SECOND PLACE IN THE GRUELLING 1907 PEKING-PARIS RAID PUT SPYKER FIRMLY ON THE INTERNATIONAL MAP. AFTER A TEMPORARY SWITCH TO AVIATION IN THE PERIOD
1914-1918, DURING WHICH THE COMPANY CONSTRUCTED 100 FIGHTER AIRCRAFT AND 200 AIRCRAFT ENGINES, CAR PRODUCTION RESUMED IN 1919, WITH LUXURY MODELS WHICH WERE HIGHLY INDIVIDUALISTIC IN TERMS OF CHARACTER AND BUILD QUALITY, SUPPLIED TO ROYALTY AROUND THE GLOBE. CUSTOMERS INCLUDED THE ROYAL STABLES OF H.M. QUEEN WILHELMINA.
BY THEN, THE SLOGAN 'NULLA TENACI INVIA EST VIA' ('FOR THE TENACIOUS NO ROAD IS IMPASSABLE') WAS INTRODUCED ON THE RADIATOR BADGES OF SPYKER PRODUCTS. THE ULTIMATE MAYBACH-ENGINED C4 MODEL ENJOYED RECOGNITION AS 'THE ROLLS-ROYCE OF THE CONTINENT', BUT ALSO PROVED ITS SPORTY CHARACTER BY SETTING THE BROOKLANDS DOUBLE-TWELVE SPEED RECORD IN 1922, CLOCKING AN AVERAGE SPEED OF 119 KM/H IN THE HANDS OF S.F. EDGE. THE LAST SPYKER CARS WERE BUILT IN 1925, AFTER WHICH THE COMPANY CEASED TRADING. ITS RACING AND AVIATION HERITAGE IS NOW PASSED ON TO THE NEW SPYKER C8 CARS."
Posted 05 October 2005 - 06:59
Posted 05 October 2005 - 15:07
As I understand the original idea was not a race, but a demonstration of European technology, in which the participants were supposed to work together. But with Itala sending a proper race car there was no doubt about Borghese´s intentions right from the first moment.
Posted 05 October 2005 - 22:50
The 35/40hp itala was crewed by Prince Scipione Borghese, Luigi Barzini, a journalist, correspondent of Corriere della Serra and the London Daily Telegraph, andEttore Guizzardi, the chauffeur.
Several of the participants wrote books, but only one was translated into English, Luigi Barzini's imaginatively named Pekin to Paris , Grant Richards, London, 1907. I don't have the book, but there are excerpts in The Age of Motoring Adventure, 1897-1939 by T R Nicholson,, Cassel, 1972. Barzini's style is shall we say, a trifle flamboyant but judging by the excerps the book would be a good read given the various adventures the team had - overcoming Chinese mountain passes, the Gobi desert, Mongolian swamps, catching fire, and a Belgian policeman!
They started from Pekin/Peking/Beijing on 10 June and reached the Paris office of Le Matin on 10th August. The car is in an Italian museum, but I forget which. Rio made a rather nice 1/43 model, No. R2, a few years ago and I came across one at a collectors' fair recently.
Not much on the other cars: a 15 hpSpyker, two 10 hp DeDion-Boutons and the 6 hp Contal tricycle which failed to finish.
Posted 06 October 2005 - 14:05
The Spyker was driven by Charles Goddard. In fact he more or less tricked the two brothers Spijker (dutch way of there name, literally meaning "nail" like in carpenting, Spyker is the way they branded the make especially for there UK export marketing).
into entering this race. The brothers werent so reluctant believers in competition with cars. Goddard was keen to participate, but also a adventurer in the broad sense. He got a Spyker, spare parts and money from the brothers to make the best of it during the race. On board of the ship that carried all partipants to Peking, he lost his money in gambling as well as a part of the spare parts.
The race was to start from Peking and all participants agreed to go in convoy through most part of the route. However soon after the start, the Itala was of and made it a race. All other competitors could not follow. The Spyker didnt lack the speed, but had some technical problems, one time forcing their driver to go back to a town by train to get some parts (! imaging this during a rally nowadays).
Goddard was arrested when he reached the German boarder for outstanding debts. The Spyker was driven to the finnish by a Spyker mechanic and a dutch jounalist.
The Itala was the start of italian racing red. However it is nowadays grey as painted in Peking after the car had an unfortunate drop during unloading and red paint wasnt available. The Italian racing red was born.
Grab a hold of Barzini's book, as nice read on racing 100 year ago!
Posted 06 October 2005 - 14:08
Godard's passenger was Jean du Taillis, a Le Matin correspondent. Godard was originally to have driven a Métallurgique but approached Spyker when the Belgian company withdrew their entries.
Cormier's passenger was another journalist, Edgardo Longhi of Il Secolo of Rome, who also wrote for the London Tribune.
Collignon was accompanied by Jean Bizac, a "mechanical wizard from the works, who, though an expert with engines, had yet to travel in an automobile"!
The Contal was driven by Auguste Pons (father of opera singer Lily Pons), accompanied by a mechanic called Octave Foucault: on a Contal, the passenger sat ahead of the driver on an unsprung axle, the single wheel being at the back.
Posted 06 October 2005 - 22:07
so really no surprise about the winner!
Posted 07 October 2005 - 07:42
Posted 24 May 2006 - 04:21
OK, so they've got support vehicles and a TV film unit along for the ride, but it has resulted in the most amazing motoring / travel documentary I've ever seen (currently seen 2 of the 4 hour length episodes to date.)
I would imagine that in due course it will be seen worldwide (and there has been a book produced), but here is a link to the official website: http://www.pekingparis2005.com/
Posted 24 May 2006 - 11:26
Quite cute rounding up an Itala, a Spyker, de Dion - and then having to build a new Contal because the survival rate of the original cars was exactly 0. What's amazed me so far (and they're just into Siberia as I type) is that they made it that far. And discovering that the de Dions of that era really did have a de Dion rear suspension, just like my old Rover 2000TC. (The other way around, but you know what I mean).
Posted 30 May 2009 - 11:56
I've been enjoying the Peking to Paris TV docco too. Two eps seen, two to go, but I'll be in London Friday morning, so I'll miss the last 2 eps. The Contal boggles the mind - what were they thinking of?
Having recently visited the 1907 race winner in Turin, I thought I would search the threads for one on Peking to Paris. There are several! I keep finding references to the TV documentaries (of I think the 1997 and 2007 re-runs ???). Does anyone know if they are available on DVD?
The Italian newspaper journalist Luigi Barzini accompanied Prince Borghese on the epic journey and his book "From Peking to Paris" (!) was originally published following the race and reprinted in (I think) 1973. I believe that originbal copies are now fetching about £300 at auction. I did have a reprint about 20 years ago but cannot now find it (possibly donated to a good cause). However, I am now interested in re-reading it and I wonder if any TNF members could suggest a stockist. I've tried Motrobooks and Chaters. Perhaps I should have askewd Simon Lewis at Prescott last weekend. REPRINT only, however, don't need to spend £300 on it! Barzini Senior's son, also called Luigi, is perhaps more generally known as the author of "The Itralins" and "The Europeans" in more recent times.
Posted 30 May 2009 - 20:13
This book was given to most young italian boys when they reached a certain age.
Posted 31 May 2009 - 07:12
Thanks Arjan. Will do.
Don't know about the DVD. But try Abebooks and get "Peking to Paris: A Journey Across Two Continents in 1907" (ISBN: 0140095462 / 0-14-009546-2). Shouldnt be to expensive.
This book was given to most young italian boys when they reached a certain age.
Posted 04 June 2009 - 05:08
But try Abebooks and get "Peking to Paris: A Journey Across Two Continents in 1907"
Abebooks did not produce any copies, bu have just received a copy from Alibris UK. They seem to be a very good site with extensive worlwide sources of current and out of print books and with a fairly comprehensive transport section. Certainly worth a try if anyone is looking for a specific title.