Patrick De

The right car for Peking to Paris 2019 Rally?

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Especially in a case like this where reliable service under rugged conditions is the number one concern. It reminds me of a story by a man who makes long distance speed records in modern vehicles on primitive roads. He said the stock factory equipment never fails it is always the aftermarket accessories.

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You may like to read up on this Australian guy who has been in the Peking to Paris rally twice in his 23/60 Vauxhall called Penny.   He has also driven it throughout Europe, South America and Asia on rally's and endurance drives to places most people have never even heard of.   It may be worth trying to contact him as I'm sure he could give you a few pointers.

 

The car is usually sent back to Australia after each "adventure" to be checked and repaired if necessary and then loaded into its container and shipped to wherever the next drive will be.

I believe he carries very few spares in the car as they add more weight and has managed to carry out any necessary repairs in transit to keep the car going.  I imagine $US will repair just about anything. 

 

http://www.adventuresofpenny.com/about-penny/ 

http://www.adventuresofpenny.com/category/peking-to-paris-2016/

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Last month a mutual friend introduced me to a very interesting and affable man who is a past and future Peking-to-Paris competitor, and we visited the shop preparing his car for the 2019 (as I recall) P-to-P.  The car is a late '30s convertible sedan, approx. 126" wheelbase,  which has been gutted, tubular reinforcing and rollbar added, cross-country HD shocks added to the factory equipment, dual (redundant) fuel cells and pumps in the trunk replacing the original tank, HD wheels with what I would call "major mudder" tires fitted, new dash with many gauges and rally instruments added, Recaro seats, and the list goes on and on and on.  IMHO, there is no way that these modifications can EVER be reversed and the car re-restored.  The engine is stock *in appearance* (but with internal tweaks) except for dual carbs on a period aftermarket manifold, and a modern high performance ignition system.  A 1980s/90s truck floor shift transmission and a more modern rear differential have been installed.  The body is stock on the outside except for the appearance of the wheels.  All work is of exceptional quality, and I'll wager his investment will be twice as much as a professional show restoration of the same car.  These gents are very SERIOUS! 

Edited by Grimy
removed a duplicated word (see edit history)

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I'll back Rusty up on the flat head Mopar six.  I drove one in HS and although not across china, teenagers have a way of stressing engines.  Never a single problem, they have a great reputation for reliability.

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About 2 years ago during the Australian Packard Club's National Rally we visited a private collection where among the cars was a Mustang(I know, not the type of car being considered) which suffered a broken rear axle during the course of one of these Rallies. They weren't carrying a spare, how many different spares can you carry? But he was able to get it "re-welded" by a Mongolian blacksmith, in the middle of nowhere, after it broke. And re-welded, in this instance, means heating up the two pieces of axle then forging them together on an anvil. Was able to finish the Rally then, sometime later, replaced the still functioning re-welded axle with a spare.

 

And, DavidAU, I saw "Penny" on a trailer in the yard of another Vauxhall owner in November 2012 before it was shipped off to the Great South American Challenge 2013.

Mustang Rally Car.JPG

Welded Mustang rear axle.JPG

Welded Mustang rear axle2.JPG

''Penny'' aboard the trailer. I believe the diff won't be going on the rally!.JPG

''Penny'' aboard the trailer.JPG

''Penny'' aboard the trailer2.JPG

''Penny'' aboard the trailer3.JPG

''Penny'' departs Eastwood bound for South America.JPG

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Re: the welded axle. It is surprising what can be accomplished by a good blacksmith. You remind me of a story by a pioneer motorist, date about 1905. He broke a fender bracket while touring New England. A country blacksmith took some time from making horse shoes to weld the bracket, for which he charged 25 cents. The motorist asked how long the repair will last. The blacksmith said "it will either break in the first five miles or last 100 years. There is no way to tell which".

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The blacksmith said "it will either break in the first five miles or last 100 years. There is no way to tell which".

 

Wonder if the car and bracket survived a 100 years!:D

Edited by Ozstatman (see edit history)

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If he were still about, one of the greatest transcontinental drivers/travellers, Francis Birtles, might have different opinions.  His first trip across Australia, from west to east by car was done with a Brush, largely without roads.  It was simple enough they could fix about anything needed.  It was economical, resilient, and light enough to push if they needed to.  First time he did the trip was earlier, on a push bike.  And he cycled round the perimeter of Australia, more than once.  He is credited with creating the first cycling shorts from trousers.  Tell that to the lycra road-lice that are a constant slow-moving road-block on narrow local roads.   Later he favoured the English Bean car, which was efficient, good quality, and not excessive.   From south into the northern territory he also used Model T and A Fords. Once the engine of the A ford died, and they spent time salvaging the power unit from a derelict and abandoned early T Ford, Jerry-rigged it in place, and drove back to Melbourne.   Birtles would tell you that it doesn't matter what you use if it is light, economical, and expendable; and you are versatile and adaptable. Your personal competence and qualities may be more important than those of the car.

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"it doesn't matter what you use if it is light, economical and expendable; and you are versatile and adaptable."

 

I would certainly agree with Ivan on that.

I think the weight of a straight eight engine alone would rule it right out.  A smaller engine can make just as much or more HP, be more economical and have less moving parts. 

The suspension on any car doing the P to P will take a terrible pounding so the lighter the engine the better.

 

I also agree with the expendable part.   If the car is badly damaged or irrepairable you should be in a position to be able to just pick up your gear and walk away from it and not worry about it again.

That might not be the case if it was a 4 1/2 litre Bentley or similar but it should apply to most other vehicles.

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Sorry to go off topic, but the weight thing made me think of one of the all time too heavy vehicles for its intended purpose.

 

 

 

main_1500.jpg?1435083397

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11 hours ago, Grimy said:

 ...Peking-to-Paris competitor, and we visited the shop preparing his car...  which has been gutted, tubular reinforcing and rollbar added...new dash with many gauges and rally instruments added, Recaro seats...a modern high performance ignition system.  A 1980s/90s truck floor shift transmission and a more modern rear differential have been installed.  The body is stock on the outside except for the appearance of the wheels....

 

Grimy, that competing car sounds just like a resto-rod.

If all those changes are allowed, as they evidently are,

the Peking-to-Paris race is no longer a test of old cars'

endurance.  So what's the point of even having the run?

 

I wonder whether the London-to-Brighton run would

accept a curved-dash-Oldsmobile body with a Volkswagen

Beetle chassis and running gear---

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The key to longevity of any engine system is to find the weak areas (rpm) and avoid them. My first thought was that 4 speed with a granny first combined with a long (low numerically) axle ratio designed to put any long duration high speed running on the torque peak and know/avoid any harmonics.

 

ps isn't that the Antarctic explorer that was powered by flathead Fords and featured in a Clive Cussler novel ?

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@Rusty_OToole  and others who are in.

1929 Buick 25 standing here in 'the neighbourhood' . 

Apart from the preparations to do and my personal skills, etc..., 

could this Buick be a good base to start from?

 

 

image.png

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23 minutes ago, padgett said:

The key to longevity of any engine system is to find the weak areas (rpm) and avoid them. My first thought was that 4 speed with a granny first combined with a long (low numerically) axle ratio designed to put any long duration high speed running on the torque peak and know/avoid any harmonics.

 

ps isn't that the Antarctic explorer that was powered by flathead Fords and featured in a Clive Cussler novel ?

Google Antarctic Snow Cruiser . It was diesel powered  and is now lost.

 

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I see now you are not interested in anyone else's opinion. You just want to hear your own opinions repeated back to you.

 

Since that is the case, if you like the Buick go ahead and best of luck to you.

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Easy , my esteemed friend Rusty ! Patrick WANTS to learn , but obviously to us old-timers , he has a bit of a learning curve to follow here. (Remember when you "learned me up" re: the low quality/low volatility fuel of the late 'teens - '20s ? That learning you gave me led to research resulting in better running old Cadillacs for me , with the exact understanding of why. Thanks , again , Trusty - but sometimes Crusty - Rusty !). Patrick has had a fundamental breakout here , away from that beautiful but somewhat fatigued one-off day cruiser museum piece. He now has a chance , he needs our help.

 

Patrick , as you see , Rusty has almost 9000 postings. They often are long , analytical , accurate information gained from a lifetime of hands-on experience. Not 9000 simple congratulatory "Nice Car !" comments - NOT to say that we all don't appreciate compliments. Of course we do. But Rusty (along with a GREAT MANY of true world-class experts - several more of whom have already contributed here , others are watching) , takes a lot of his precious time to generously give of his vast knowledge. Believe me , you are in very good hands with us , too bad we were not introduced to you two years ago. Lots of catching up to do , and time is limited. I am old and am in poor health , so it is time to take my meds. I will get back to you , and as a high speed on and off-road long distance 4 wheel drive and two wheel drive (set two long distance speed records in the South American Andes 40 years ago in a bone-stock Toyota Land Cruiser - considered impossible by professional drivers) , wheelman , I have some advice for you. Meds. Gotta go. - Carl

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2 hours ago, C Carl said:

Easy , my esteemed friend Rusty ! Patrick WANTS to learn , but obviously to us old-timers , he has a bit of a learning curve to follow here. (Remember when you "learned me up" re: the low quality/low volatility fuel of the late 'teens - '20s ? That learning you gave me led to research resulting in better running old Cadillacs for me , with the exact understanding of why. Thanks , again , Trusty - but sometimes Crusty - Rusty !). Patrick has had a fundamental breakout here , away from that beautiful but somewhat fatigued one-off day cruiser museum piece. He now has a chance , he needs our help.

 

Patrick , as you see , Rusty has almost 9000 postings. They often are long , analytical , accurate information gained from a lifetime of hands-on experience. Not 9000 simple congratulatory "Nice Car !" comments - NOT to say that we all don't appreciate compliments. Of course we do. But Rusty (along with a GREAT MANY of true world-class experts - several more of whom have already contributed here , others are watching) , takes a lot of his precious time to generously give of his vast knowledge. Believe me , you are in very good hands with us , too bad we were not introduced to you two years ago. Lots of catching up to do , and time is limited. I am old and am in poor health , so it is time to take my meds. I will get back to you , and as a high speed on and off-road long distance 4 wheel drive and two wheel drive (set two long distance speed records in the South American Andes 40 years ago in a bone-stock Toyota Land Cruiser - considered impossible by professional drivers) , wheelman , I have some advice for you. Meds. Gotta go. - Carl

 

Hi Carl,

thanks for the assistance. I was a bit blown away. Yes, indeed, I want to learn. And I surely highly respect, especially Rusty's effort for explaining all these things to a dude like me in this matter.  I'll try to explain the misunderstanding. I'm 30 years in the car business, with own workshop and since 10 years the only official distributor of the extreme sports car Ariel Atom for Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg. See my website www.debussere.be of youtube channel "Debussere". Having sold more than 6.000 cars, quite a lot for our small country, devided in a Flemisch an French part. Experience in the workshop, on racetrack, rally's etc... But I never had something to do with prewar cars knowing that the oldest car in my collection is a 1954 Arnolt Bristol Bolide.

 

Regarding P2P, I could have registred with eg a 1965 Mercedes Pagoda or 1975 Mercedes 450 SLC.  I know both very well as I have them already mor than a decade in my private collection. Not looking to them but driving them. Last summer more than 1000 miles in Romenia, with their bad roads. Every part of the Mercs you have the day after delivered at your home.They have almost no suprises for me anymore and in every Mercedes garage in the whole world they can order the part you need.  Would have been the most easy for me.

 

But no, I want the challenge of doing it with a car 'as close to the original spirit'. Please don't get this wrong again, a 1920s or 1930's car is to me very close to it. Closer, with almost no brakes or too slow is not an option. 

Knowing a bit about technics on  European modern and classiccars, but knowing nothing about US prewar cars I decided to become member on this forum. 

The reason why is simple. Having looked at all previous participants and the results, you have 2 options. Or you do it with an American car or you have deep pockets and you do it with a Bentley. (for the pre 1941 class)

The cars they have used with good results (e.g Chrysler 72 or 75) I don't find for sale. If I look on search engines for other cars, I'm overwelmed and I half no idea how to select the right ones. And if I contact a dealer his car is always great.

 

In my learning curve I have already put the CD8 already aside, together with all other straight 8's.

I don't find any data regarding the difference in weight between a 1937 Plymouth roadster and a 1929 Buick 25 roadster.

The Plymouth is at 52000 USD , see  http://nl.ww3.autoscout24.be/classified/306239651?asrc=st|as

The Buick is at 42000 USD , see https://www.rpsrally.com/1928-buick-25-price-35000/

So excuse me, I know the difference between a Mercedes and a Renault but I don't have the slightest idea in Amercan cars. 

 

I have reread "Patrick has had a fundamental breakout here , away from that beautiful but somewhat fatigued one-off day cruiser museum piece" , but I honestly don't undstand what you mean about that and what I did wrong.

 

Maybe it would be more easy if I could phone someone? Writing in English takes enourmous time for me and I will understand quicker I hope in a interactive conversation.

 

Thanks!

 

 

 

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We have a 1926 buick that spent most of it's working life on a farm up in the Victorian high country, which would have had pretty much no developed roads at the time and temperatures ranging from 0-45c. The buicks were famed for their reliability and reviews back in the day commented on their dependability (you can use to http://trove.nla.gov.au/ search for old newspapers which contain reviews)

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Hi Patrick ! Hey , no , you have not done anything WRONG , you did something RIGHT ! "Breakout" in the context here means to have  discarded fundamentally flawed fixated thinking. That is why I jumped in to compliment your wisdom , and rational hunger for knowledge. No , indeed you are doing EVERYTHING right , considering all the factors we have come to understand so far. Considering that unique , exquisitely bodied CD8 for a punishing and brutal end is a heartbreaking vision for most of us. But I have some doubts about the Buick. Having gone to the website and read their description of that car , I will elaborate more on this later , but you have evolved to the wise position of looking at cars which have at least been partially prepared for the task. 

 

I believe I was the first or second view of your topic. I had a very heavy long day ahead of me , so I left it to others until now. My intent was to start by getting much more information about you and your team. As others here , I was horrified by the prospect of the damage that might be inflicted on the Chrysler. You are certainly going in the right direction now. I had earlier thought about your getting a car from the U.S.A. which had been prepared for "The Great Race" here. That is not the level of preparation you will need for P to P but it is a start. Carrera Panamericana , and Mille Miglia neither are the level of preparation you will need.

 

I have to run out to deal with a fairly fast car of mine (2002 Cadillac Seville STS) right now. When I get back I can continue. I fully understand the language difficulties. I could only speak English until starting to study Spanish at about age 13. After 4 years of study , I was able to live in Spain and Latin America for over 7 years. You are doing very well , and are willing to put in the significant effort.

 

Go easy on Patrick , guys ! He is about to do something we all wish we could do. If we all help him , perhaps he will take us along for the ride as he posts his progress ! Thank you , Patrick for letting us help with the planning !  Back soon , - Carl

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8 hours ago, Rusty_OToole said:

I see now you are not interested in anyone else's opinion. You just want to hear your own opinions repeated back to you.

 

Since that is the case, if you like the Buick go ahead and best of luck to you.

 

Hi Rusty,

I really do appreciate your opinion! I went looking for the car you proposed and I looked if they have it in convertible or roadsters. This stays a must for me. But I'm not really fond of this model.

Today I'm going to have a look to the Plymouth roadster. Is there any chance that I could have a word with you on the phone afterwards?

Thanks.

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You should be talking to someone with experience of the PtoP rallye. I did a web search and found the ad you took the pictures from. It says the Buick is already rallye prepared to a certain extent. You should test drive it along with someone with more rallye experience. It may be the ride you want as long as you don't expect too much of it.

 

I don't even know the rules. Slower speeds should be expected of the older participants. If they are handicapped in this way the Buick may stand a chance of winning. You suggested you were out for the experience more than to win, if you take it easy you greatly increase your chances of finishing.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)

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4 minutes ago, Rusty_OToole said:

You should be talking to someone with experience of the PtoP rallye. I did a web search and found the ad you took the pictures from. It says the Buick is already rallye prepared to a certain extent. You should test drive it and ask someone with more rallye experience. It may be the ride you want as long as you don't expect too much of it.

 

Ok, On what levels I could be disappointed? I spoke Simon already and I will visit him the 5th of April in his workshop to see and try the car and to talk about rallye preparation.

Meanwhile I go to an auction in his neighbourhood were they sell some nice pre war cars. 

http://www.brightwells.com/classic-motoring/bicester-classic-vintage/bicester-classic-vintage-april-2017/bicester-catalogue-5th-april/

 

But first tomorrow the Plymouth :)

 

Regarding the weight, I don't find much about that. Which one is the lightest in his original shape and will it be a big difference?

 

Thanks!

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I didn't say you would be disappointed. But if you are used to cars of the seventies and newer you might expect too much of a twenties car. A car like the 29 Buick is at its best around 45MPH. Over 50 is pushing it. If you push it for 8000km  it will probably break. A 1939 car would be capable of at least 10MPH more than a 1929 car. After all there is such a thing as progress.

 

That is why I suggest you road test the car and take along someone experienced in the rallye you wish to drive. They will know far better than you or I what is required and whether that car is capable of doing what you expect of it.

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Patrick , please find out about any suspension modifications on the Buick. Springs ? Shock absorbers ? Brakes ? Steering damper ? 

Axle truss ? The lack of an axle truss means the car has a very low level of preparation. Tires. This is one of the most important factors you must deal with. Give us a very thorough report with as much detail as possible on the existing tires on the car. The tires should be special radial off road tires which can be adjusted for road conditions. Another tip to determine the seriousness of the preparation is the instrumentation. Can you get a high definition pic of the instrument panel ? 

 

So late now that I must sleep. Let us see what tomorrow brings. I hope we can find a car which has been prepared for such a contest of hard use.   - Carl

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Carl here is the ad for the Buick. You see it is said to be rally prepped and ready for anything. Boy wouldn't that be great. Probably sales talk but who knows. That is why I suggest having it gone over by a rally expert.

 

https://www.rpsrally.com/1928-buick-25-price-35000/

 

The other point is the car's capabilities as built. As I said before there is such a thing as progress and development in cars. The Buick may have been state of the art in 1929 but that meant a top speed of about 70 which it could hold for short distances and a safe cruising speed of 45 or so.

 

Then there is the question of 88 years of age,  wear, and metal fatigue.

 

If the buyer insists on an open car from the twenties and must have it right now, and must pick from whatever is advertised in Europe today, this may be as good as he is going to get.

 

PS I notice the Buick has no top and no luggage rack. Two things I would want on a trip like that. Wonder what happened to the top. If they didn't throw away the frame the canvas is replaceable. If the frame is gone you could make a new one of steel tubing that would be permanently up. This is the way a lot of touring car tops were made in the period, if you wanted one that folded down it cost extra.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)

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