Patrick De

The right car for Peking to Paris 2019 Rally?

154 posts in this topic

I looked at the results list you linked. Was not surprised that Chrysler and Dodge featured prominently, taking 4 of the first 10 places. Ford also did well. Was surprised by the number of Chevrolets as they were not known as a high speed car in those days. I suspect they had newer engines, or engines modified with better bearings and lubrication systems.

 

The Bentleys did well. They are an expensive car but evidently well suited to this type of competition.

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"70 Years of Chrysler" book shows 4 different straight eights in 1931:

 

first was 240 C.I. 80 HP   engine numbers CD-1001 to CD 11531

 

second was 260 C.I. 88 HP numbers CD-11532 to CD-15999

 

third was 282 C.I. 100 HP numbers CD-16000 to CD-21140

 

forth was the Imperial 384 C.I. 125 HP   Numbers CG-1001 to CG-3751.  This is the only one that lists how many main bearings which was NINE.  The others do not show how many main bearings.

 

.

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Posted (edited)

My local shop help set up a car for the same rally. If your serious about completing this thing, you need lots more than just a car. Extra wheels, tires, water pump, starter, generator, just to start. I would have extra springs all around, shocks, .......the list is endless. We upgraded known weak points on the early thirties straight Eight we helped out with. New shackles and pins, all new front end parts, rebuilt steering box, spare clutch and pressure plate, even extra glass all around. I would recommend buying two cars, one for spares and one to drive. It's not the make that is important, it's the preparation. Figure that if you start with a well restored car, your gonna need to spend fifty grand in upgrades, plus extras. Test miles, gearing, mpg, oil consumption should be all figured out ahead of time. At the end of the race, plan on throwing the car away, of doing a total restoration. I have seen people with very deep pockets fail in this endeavor, and also, plan on a master mechanic to ride with you , your gonna need him! 

 

I see you looking at "cheap" cars to make this run, very bad idea, cheap cars usually have not been maintained. If cost figures in on this trip, don't do it. I have seen a team with almost limitless money fail. Money won't fix a broken 90 year old car in the middle of nowhere. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)

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Posted (edited)

If I was planning an expedition like this my first thought would be finishing. I would not modify the engine for performance in any way, keep it all stock. Do not over stress the engine and do not go for extra power that will over stress the chassis, drive train and brakes. If you want a faster car start with a faster car which implies a newer, larger car.

 

I would also carry the minimum of parts and equipment (weight). Ed, all those extra parts imply a support vehicle to carry them is that right?

 

I hadn't thought of the level of preparation necessary but what Ed says makes sense.

 

The slower you go the better chance you have of finishing and not breaking down.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)

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38 minutes ago, edinmass said:

My local shop help set up a car for the same rally. If your serious about completing this thing, you need lots more than just a car. Extra wheels, tires, water pump, starter, generator, just to start. I would have extra springs all around, shocks, .......the list is endless. We upgraded known weak points on the early thirties straight Eight we helped out with. New shackles and pins, all new front end parts, rebuilt steering box, spare clutch and pressure plate, even extra glass all around. I would recommend buying two cars, one for spares and one to drive. It's not the make that is important, it's the preparation. Figure that if you start with a well restored car, your gonna need to spend fifty grand in upgrades, plus extras. Test miles, gearing, mpg, oil consumption should be all figured out ahead of time. At the end of the race, plan on throwing the car away, of doing a total restoration. I have seen people with very deep pockets fail in this endeavor, and also, plan on a master mechanic to ride with you , your gonna need him! 

 

I see you looking at "cheap" cars to make this run, very bad idea, cheap cars usually have not been maintained. If cost figures in on this trip, don't do it. I have seen a team with almost limitless money fail. Money won't fix a broken 90 year old car in the middle of nowhere. 

Hi,

I'm fully aware of what you write. 2 colleague car dealers here in Belgium drove it and ended in top ten. We had already some meetings. Only difference is that my pockets are not so deep as theirs. ;) Intention is to have the car ready by autumn next year and to do several 1000 of testmiles in 'offroad' rally's in Scottland, Africa and Eastern Europe so that we 'feel' and know the car as good as possible. Rally Preparation Services https://www.rpsrally.com/  have tons of experiences in this kind or rally's, and they will assist us.  

With 'cheap' I mean not small money but the best deal for my money, in a class lower than Bentley, Lagonda, etc..

 

As I'm already 30 years in the car business of premium German cars I know for 100% sure that a eg the first common rail Mercedes models are really not good, same for the Porsche 996 first series, same for the E60 model in BMW which is much more reliable than the E39, and I can go on for a while.

It is this knowledge I don't have with pre war cars and that I would like to learn on this forum

The cars which suit our requirements are not so easy to find. So we have to do with what is now on the market. 

 

The Chrysler I have reserved is most close to what we want. It has no use to talk about eg a Chrysler 75, because I don't find one. And we don't want to lose more time in looking for a car that we maybe wil never find.

If this one car is already hard to find, I will not dream of finding a second similar. Except if I should buy a Ford A eg, but this is not an option.

Only question mark is if we do it with the straight 8 or put a straight 6 in it. 

 

 

 

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39 minutes ago, Rusty_OToole said:

If I was planning an expedition like this my first thought would be finishing. I would not modify the engine for performance in any way, keep it all stock. Do not over stress the engine and do not go for extra power that will over stress the chassis, drive train and brakes. If you want a faster car start with a faster car which implies a newer, larger car.

 

I would also carry the minimum of parts and equipment (weight). Ed, all those extra parts imply a support vehicle to carry them is that right?

 

I hadn't thought of the level of preparation necessary but what Ed says makes sense.

 

The slower you go the better chance you have of finishing and not breaking down.

 

Weight is the enemy, preparation and testdriving is your friend. 

A support vehicle is not allowed. Big cars or jeeps may not carry spares for other cars. 

The winning team last year had 2 similar Chryler 75's and they have split the spare parts in both vehicles.

 

It's a race against time, it all begins and ends with how slow you dare to go....

 

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I have a 1924 Master 6 Buick Pickup with a new radiator core that would work well with some modifications...

24 Buick PU Left Side.JPG

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18 minutes ago, Mark Shaw said:

I have a 1924 Master 6 Buick Pickup with a new radiator core that would work well with some modifications...

24 Buick PU Left Side.JPG

 

Something I did not expect. Fix seats I see. Are you comfortable in it  for a 300 hours drive when you're more than 6 feet tall?  What brakes and engine power? Price?

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8 hours ago, Spinneyhill said:

The Studebaker 8s had 9 main bearings and are fairly strong. If I remember correctly, a 1929 President was prepared for that trip or one similar.

 

 

Yes, a 1929 Studebaker FH Victoria participated in the Peking to Paris race.   I have attached a PDF of the May - June 2011 Antique Studebaker Review article regarding that race.   Please note:  When opening the PDF to read click on View, on your computer's toolbar, to adjust the page rotation for reading.   My scanner and the magazine format did not match.  

1929 Studebaker Peking to Paris.pdf

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Ouch,  what is the bicycle tire mounted to the sidemount for?

 

Re the Buick,  neat car for sure but wood wheels feels like a bad idea.

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1 hour ago, Mark Huston said:

 

 

Yes, a 1929 Studebaker FH Victoria participated in the Peking to Paris race.   I have attached a PDF of the May - June 2011 Antique Studebaker Review article regarding that race.   Please note:  When opening the PDF to read click on View, on your computer's toolbar, to adjust the page rotation for reading.   My scanner and the magazine format did not match.  

1929 Studebaker Peking to Paris.pdf

 

Mark,

 

thanks a lot for this very interesting article!

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Posted (edited)

Wood wheels were used because they were better on the rough roads of the period. They absorbed shocks and vibration, and could bend away when they hit a rock and spring back. A steel wheel would bend permanently and a wire wheel would break spokes hitting rocks a wood wheel would shrug off.

 

I don't think I would trust near 100 year old wood wheels in a rally but if they could be rebuilt with new hickory, I would prefer them to wire or steel.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)

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Why do you insist on a roadster  body and solid axles with leaf springs front and rear? These requirements severely limit your choices, raise costs and may force you to use an unsuitable car, when better cars can be found for less money.

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Posted (edited)

I notice reading through this thread that the poster is more concerned about mechanical reliability. That is all very well but my concerns about the strength of the Carlton body have not been answered. It must be super rare car so it would be a pity if it was destroyed.

Edited by nzcarnerd (see edit history)
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8 hours ago, Patrick De said:

However, as we want our car and the spirit to be as close to the original 1907 Peking to Paris, we definitely want a open car with maximum the late 20s look. A Ford A would have been a good choice for the first 5000 miles, as those are very tough, but afterwards, when arriving in Western Europe on crowdy normal road, you get to much disadvantages.

The car will be trashed after the event, if it survives. Many do not. It is not a race, but a hard endurance event.

Have read the fuel grade/quality is poor in many places, so a low compression engine is better than a high compression.

A car with a wood framed body (coachbuilt) such as the Carlton is likely fall apart from the road conditions.

There is a big difference between a 1907 design & 1920's so your car will not be "close to the original" in "spirit"

 

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20 minutes ago, Rusty_OToole said:

Why do you insist on a roadster  body and solid axles with leaf springs front and rear? These requirements severely limit your choices, raise costs and may force you to use an unsuitable car, when better cars can be found for less money.

 

An open car, because this is more close to the original adventure spirit. Aren't those open Chrysler, Bentleys, and others.. nice and beautifull?  The leaf springs because we think they are better for the very long and heavy part in Mongoly. What would you suggest as suitable car, which we can buy direct?

And please don't say a Chevrolet or Ford coupe, because half of the prewars are those.

All others that may suit, but which you don't find to buy now direct are not relevant. We can not hope to maybe find a car in 6 months. The clock is ticking and we have a lot to do.

 


During June and July we should experience the following average daytime temperatures on the route:
max. min.
China 30°C 24°C
Mongolia 40°C 22°C
Russia 35°C 18°C
Kazakhstan 26°C 19°C
Europe 32°C 16°C

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34 minutes ago, nzcarnerd said:

I notice reading through this thread that the poster is more concerned about mechanical reliability. That is all very well but my concerns about the strength of the Carlton body have not been answered. It must be super rare car so it would be a pity of it was destroyed.

 

Very right about the Carlton wood with alloy body, which has already some big cracks in the aluminium on the rear part. One of the reasons why it is not expensive. Intentention is not to destroy the car, but to reinforce where necessary. The rear part has to be renewed anyway, which we would than do after the rally. The interior will be stripped to accomodate it for this long rally. Afterwords all the original upholstery would be put back in place.

 

If we don't find a proper alternative.

 

Wednessday we have a meeting to go through al the information we have gathered to see which direction we will be goiing.

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56 minutes ago, 1939_Buick said:

The car will be trashed after the event, if it survives. Many do not. It is not a race, but a hard endurance event.

Have read the fuel grade/quality is poor in many places, so a low compression engine is better than a high compression.

A car with a wood framed body (coachbuilt) such as the Carlton is likely fall apart from the road conditions.

There is a big difference between a 1907 design & 1920's so your car will not be "close to the original" in "spirit"

 

 

Have a look at the 2016 participants list. Except from the La France, where 2 on 3 never arrive, the oldest car is a 1925. So knowing we are with a 1931 in the top 20 of oldest cars amongst the 110 participants, I feel quite comfortable that I'm close to the original in spirit. If you want I can explain it better in my proper language. Therefore I use the " ...  " and therefore I have already apologized  If sometimes I don't express myself well in English. 

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Posted (edited)

Given the limitation to 1941 and older with solid front axle my choice would be a Dodge sedan of 1937 or 38. They are plentiful, not expensive, and are a rugged well built car. The engine they used in the Canadian made models is the same block as used in DeSoto and Chrysler. This engine will also fit American made Dodges with a little work.

 

The engine is a flathead inline six of up to 265 cu in. It was used by the millions in Plymouth, Dodge, DeSoto and Chrysler cars and Dodge trucks, also as an industrial engine, a marine engine, and in military vehicles up to 1972. They are not hard to get and parts are available and not expensive. The 250 cu in version is easier to find than the 265. Stock HP  116 to 120, with 7.5:1 compression.

 

I would use one of those with an overdrive 4 speed from a Chrysler built car or light truck of the 1970s, or an even more modern 5 speed. Both these transmissions have a floor shift like the original. This would require replacing the rear axle with a more modern number. One from a Jeep Cherokee would be suitable. I don't know if such modifications are permitted. If not the stock 3 speed was available with overdrive although I am not sure if it was available in 1938.

 

The Dodge is the choice because it is the last car Chrysler made with solid axles front and rear.

 

The all steel sedan body is not only the cheapest option, it adds a lot of strength to the chassis.

 

The car already has features not found  on other low priced cars in 1938 including electric windshield wipers, tubular hydraulic shock absorbers,  4 wheel hydraulic brakes, insert bearings in the engine, full pressure lubrication, aluminum pistons.

 

If you wanted more ground clearance 17" wheels were an option, and a new set of springs could add another inch or two.

 

Such a car would be capable of going through some pretty rugged country, and cruising at 80MPH on good roads.

 

Here is what one looks like. Video picked off Youtube because it seemed to give the most complete information. I know nothing about this car or its owner. This car seems to have more modern 15" tires and wheels, considerably smaller than the 6.00 16 tires it came with.

 

 

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)

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21 minutes ago, Rusty_OToole said:

Given the limitation to 1941 and older with solid front axle my choice would be a Dodge sedan of 1937 or 38. They are plentiful, not expensive, and are a rugged well built car. The engine they used in the Canadian made models is the same block as used in DeSoto and Chrysler. This engine will also fit American made Dodges with a little work.

 

The engine is a flathead inline six of up to 265 cu in. It was used by the millions in Plymouth, Dodge, DeSoto and Chrysler cars and Dodge trucks, also as an industrial engine, a marine engine, and in military vehicles up to 1972. They are not hard to get and parts are available and not expensive. The 250 cu in version is easier to find than the 265. Stock HP  116 to 120, with 7.5:1 compression.

 

I would use one of those with an overdrive 4 speed from a Chrysler built car or light truck of the 1970s, or an even more modern 5 speed. Both these transmissions have a floor shift like the original. This would require replacing the rear axle with a more modern number. One from a Jeep Cherokee would be suitable. I don't know if such modifications are permitted. If not the stock 3 speed was available with overdrive although I am not sure if it was available in 1938.

 

The Dodge is the choice because it is the last car Chrysler made with solid axles front and rear.

 

The all steel sedan body is not only the cheapest option, it adds a lot of strength to the chassis.

 

The car already has features not found  on other low priced cars in 1938 including electric windshield wipers, tubular hydraulic shock absorbers,  4 wheel hydraulic brakes, insert bearings in the engine, full pressure lubrication, aluminum pistons.

 

If you wanted more ground clearance 17" wheels were an option, and a new set of springs could add another inch or two.

 

Such a car would be capable of going through some pretty rugged country, and cruising at 80MPH on good roads.

 

Thanks for the information Rusty.

On Hemmings no such a car.

I hoped you would have proposed an open car.

What do you think of this Chrysler http://www.stlouiscarmuseum.com/inventory/listing/1931-chrysler-cd8-deluxe-roadster/  ?

 

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If you insist on only looking at Hemmings a quick search turned up this 1937 Dodge in Quebec. This one would have the larger block engine being Canadian made, and the Chrysler engine would fit easily. I take it you didn't like the one in the video which is for sale.

https://www.hemmings.com/classifieds/cars-for-sale/dodge/unspecified/1890594.html

 

The Canadian dollar is much cheaper than the US dollar, about 1/3 cheaper, which means you can get better bargains in Canada. I don't know anything about this particular car but it is cheaper than the one in the video.

 

I am not so familiar with the earlier straight eight Chryslers. But I have faith in Chrysler engineering. I am sure in its day the 31 roadster  was as good as any car in its class and better than most. Sorry I don't know any more than that.

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7 minutes ago, Rusty_OToole said:

If you insist on only looking at Hemmings a quick search turned up this 1937 Dodge in Quebec. This one would have the larger block engine being Canadian made, and the Chrysler engine would fit easily. I take it you didn't like the one in the video which is for sale.

https://www.hemmings.com/classifieds/cars-for-sale/dodge/unspecified/1890594.html

 

The Canadian dollar is much cheaper than the US dollar, about 1/3 cheaper, which means you can get better bargains in Canada. I don't know anything about this particular car but it is cheaper than the one in the video.

 

I am not so familiar with the earlier straight eight Chryslers. But I have faith in Chrysler engineering. I am sure in its day the 31 roadster  was as good as any car in its class and better than most. Sorry I don't know any more than that.

 

I saw this one, but it has only 82 HP, were you speak from 116 to 120. Therefore I did not mention it. Plus I feel to young to drive this car.

 

What do you think of this 1937 Plymouth, here in Belgium? I just found it. No information about the engine horsepower. Is it whith the good type of engine you think? I can easily have a look at it.

 

Thanks again for replying all my questions.

 

 

1937 Plymouth engine.jpg

1937 Plymouth.jpg

1937 Plymouth2.jpg

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That is a nice looking car. The convertible will not be as strong or rigid as a sedan and will not have as much room. But if you insist on an open car that would be a good choice.

 

NO Plymouth or Dodge came with a Chrysler engine, but a Chrysler engine can be fitted. Canadian made Plymouths and Dodges 1937 up used the same block as Chrysler with a smaller bore and stroke. I was suggesting that you get a Chrysler engine, rebuild it and install in your car for extra power. If you like I can tell you where to get one already rebuilt.

 

I was assuming any car you buy will need to be extensively rebuilt and modified, at least that is what you implied.

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Perhaps I should explain about the Plymouth-Dodge-DeSoto-Chrysler engines.

 

They all featured six cylinder flathead engines. From 1937 up, American made cars came with 2 different engines. The Plymouth/Dodge engine was 23 1/4" (590mm) long, measured at the head. It was made in various versions from 201 to 230 cu in (3.2L to 3.7L) and used in cars and trucks up to 1959.

 

DeSoto and Chrysler six got a larger engine measuring 25" (640mm) long. It was made in sizes from 228 to 265 cu in ( 3.7L to 4.3L). It is the 250 and 265 cu in versions that make 116 and 120HP.

 

The Canadian factory only got one engine, the larger one. They made various sizes from 1938 to 1959. This is why all Canadian made cars can fit the larger engine easily, they came with it in the first place. The larger engine can also be fitted to the American made cars but you must move the radiator and motor mounts forward.

 

The best version was the post war engine with full flow oil filtration, larger displacement and horsepower. They are practically the same in appearance as the smaller engines, only an expert can tell them apart.

 

With 7.5:1 compression they will run happily on 75 octane gasoline. They have a good reputation for reliability  in cars, trucks, as industrial and marine engines and in farm equipment. They have a life of 80,000 miles between overhauls even in severe duty, provided they are serviced regularly.

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10 hours ago, Rusty_OToole said:

If your English mechanic thinks he knows better than the engineers at Chrysler you need a better car, or a better mechanic. Ask him which car company does not make basic mistakes in design, and buy one of theirs. Do not buy a car made by people too dumb to get the basics right even with a team of engineers, full laboratory and research facilities, thousands of miles on the test track and millions of miles of customer beta testing to go by.

 

I just love the people in the field (post engineering, testing, factory) who think that they can design a car better than the factory.  Not to say that "things" don't happen, but the resources to properly designed and factory delivered car are enormous.  They were designed and  built for long term durability, drivability, and over performance.   

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