Patrick De

The right car for Peking to Paris 2019 Rally?

Recommended Posts

Hi,

I have registred for driving the 2019 Peking to Paris Rally. So looking for the right kind of car to do this 8.000 miles, of which more than half 'offroad'.

Musts: 1928 -1935 American roadster car with 4 leaf springs, 'high' groundclearance, 2 sparewheels (on the front sides), and least a 'powerfull' straight six engine which is very very reliable, able to drive with heavy load (extra fuel,etc...) in hight temperatures.

As the offers for such cars here in Europe is rather limited, the only one that pleases me a lot for the moment is a 1931 Chrysler CD Deluxe straight 8 with a Carlton body. See picture. 

Everything looks great and can be optimalised, only question is, is the rare 282cid straight 8 engine 100% reliable (after a full overhaul) and are all pieces for it available? Is there a manual 4 gears gearbox available for it?

Or does someone know a much better (offordable) alternative?

Thanks in advance to all for you feedback. 

Kind regards,
Patrick

Deluxe L8 1.jpg

Deluxe L8 2.jpg

Deluxe L8 3.jpg

Deluxe L8 6.jpg

Deluxe L8 7.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I read the title about Peking to Paris the first thought that popped into my head was "Chrysler". Given your requirements you could do a lot worse. I think Chrysler did offer a 4 speed that year but they were not popular because they did not do anything. They had an extremely low, 1st gear that was never needed.

 

As to it being "reliable" maybe it was in 1931 but it passed its Best Before date during the Roosevelt administration.

 

Your requirements are so strict and so limited, you probably aren't going to do any better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Will the coachbuilt body survive the poor roads?

 

RE the 4 speed box there is a video which explains it  -  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, nzcarnerd said:

Will the coach built body survive the poor roads?

Doubt it.  Would be s sad end to fine rare car: A unique Carlton body on a good straight 8 chassis

And the Chrysler 8 cylinder is relatively rare.

The Chrysler 6 cylinder are tough & durable and were in production for decades, in various forms

 

Patrick De: how much research have you done on cars that do these sort of trips.

Better to start with a less than pristine - show car, as shown above

A few years ago there was some one on the forum who was building a car for such a trip

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a cool car. I agree do not destroy it in the rally.   There are lots of cheaper choices with a similar chassis and would not damage what maybe a one of one car.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had my doubts about a British coachbuilt body standing the gaff myself. But, he did specify a 'roadster' which limits the choices considerably.

 

Another good choice would be Cadillac but the last one with leaf springs at all 4 corners was 1931.

 

Whatever he uses is more or less a goner. Will be heavily modified and thrashed within an inch of its life. Even if it survives will never be the same again.

 

Wonder if a Model A might not be the best choice? If he could keep the speed down and the load down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

1 hour ago, 1939_Buick said:

Doubt it.  Would be s sad end to fine rare car: A unique Carlton body on a good straight 8 chassis

And the Chrysler 8 cylinder is relatively rare.

The Chrysler 6 cylinder are tough & durable and were in production for decades, in various forms

 

Patrick De: how much research have you done on cars that do these sort of trips.

Better to start with a less than pristine - show car, as shown above

A few years ago there was some one on the forum who was building a car for such a trip

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Patrick De
no text (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Model "A"s have made the trip up from South America many times before a complete system of roads existed. No doubt it would make it if anything would and it is certainly "affordable" ... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beautiful car, but I agree, would be silly to use such a fine car for that trip.

 

Why not go with a straight 8 Buick???????? Dependable and parts availability.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi to all,

thanks for your replies. A forum talk is new to me, and not in my motherlanguage :(. So sorry if I do not express myself.

I have to admit I'm a little bit shocked from the reactions.

Yes, I had a close look to the participants and their results on the previous P2P rallies on their website: http://www2.endurorally.com/pp2016/results.php

As we want to be in the pre-1941 class, with an open '1920-ies look' car and after having spoken to a specialist in endurance rally preparation regarding the requirements, I barely found (cheaper) alternatives than this Chrysler here in Europe.

I did look for a Chrysler series 75 or 77, but I have found nothing. Is this possible??

The Ford A is indeed a very good car, but is for several reasons not an option.

It's clear to me now about the gearbox, thanks.

The only thing we are worried about is the engine. Even after a full overhaul. If you read https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straight-eight_engine 

It says: "Also, due to the length of the engine, torsional vibration in both crankshaft and camshaft can adversely affect reliability and performance at high speeds. In particular, a phenomenon referred to as "crankshaft whip," caused by the effects of centrifugal force on the crank throws at high engine rpm, can cause physical contact between the connecting rods and crankcase walls, leading to the engine's destruction. As a result, the design has been displaced almost completely by the shorter V8 engine configuration."

Others say that the last cylinders will overheat and that the cylinderheadgasket will not hold it, as we have quite some extra load and hot temperatures.

All theory,... but only you all know if this is true or not.

It is surely not my intention of 'thrashing' the car, but finding a difficult balance between endurance capabilities and a nice goodlooking pre war car.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, Patrick De said:

affect reliability and performance at high speeds. In particular, a phenomenon referred to as "crankshaft whip," caused by the effects of centrifugal force on the crank throws at high engine rpm, can cause physical contact between the connecting rods and crankcase walls, leading to the engine's destruction.

 

They are talking of over-revving the engine for long durations.  Anybody can ruin something by beating it to death

 

 

 

31 minutes ago, Patrick De said:

As a result, the design has been displaced almost completely by the shorter V8 engine configuration."

But why did Buick and Pontiac keep the inline 8 until the early 1950s, if they are not adequate, or dependable? 

 

Wiki is made from comments from "anybody with a keyboard", certainly not guaranteed to be 100% accurate info, or even telling the whole story 

 

 

 

 

 

I have no idea what conditions are like in that race.  I'd be asking those people who have done the race before/

 

.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my opinion the Chrysler six would be a better option. If I am not mistaking a 1959 Plymouth engine would interchange.  

With an Auburn, the six cylinder is a better running and more well balanced automobile than the eight. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"But why did Buick and Pontiac keep the inline 8 until the early 1950s, if they are not adequate, or dependable? "

 

Buick's straight 8 is OHV and a totally different animal. Pontiac in the early 50's was more of an old person's car.....

 

If you are going to run any flathead straight 8 at high revs for long periods of time in high heat you are going to want to carry an extra head gasket with you. Milling the head flat may or may not help depending on the individual casting and how it is stressed. Make certain to carefully follow the head bolt torque sequence and go through at least three passes increasing torque each time to "iron" the head and gasket flat. Flathead straight 8's are wonderful engines for what they were designed for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Roger James of D&D Classic Car Restorations did this run a few years ago. He ran a flathead Ford V-8. I think it was 1949 model but not positive.

 

HE IS ONE FINE PERSON AND CAN POSSIBLY GIVE YOU SOME POINTERS. CALL HIM AT 937-473-2229.

 

Heres wishing you a good trip

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The article you quote is nonsense. No straight eight has such problems especially Chrysler.

 

There is one thing you do have to look out for. They are a long stroke engine not made for continuous high speeds. When they were made  driving for long periods at over 60 MPH was almost unheard of. If you wish to drive continuously at high speeds the engine will need to be in perfect condition. I don't think this will be a problem if the rally is on dirt roads.

 

I could explain why straight eight engines were the first choice for American luxury car makers from 1923 to 1949 but it would take too long. Suffice it to say that for the road conditions, fuel etc available at the time they were the best alternative.

 

For this kind of work Buick would not be my first choice.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A Ford V8 would also fill the bill and be a lot better and faster than a Model A. They had solid axles and leaf springs up to 1948. They did not have 4 springs but 2, acting as quarter elliptics. The ride would be rough but they are a durable car, and one of the cheapest to buy and prepare. All parts are available because they are the most popular with restorers and hot rodders.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Patrick De said:

Hi to all,

thanks for your replies. A forum talk is new to me, and not in my motherlanguage :(. So sorry if I do not express myself.

 

 

 

You express yourself a lot better than a whole lot of native born Americans.

Sad to say but it's the truth....... :wacko:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Plymouth and Dodge made reliable six cylinder cars with solid axles and leaf springs all around up until 1938. Not known as speed demons but reliable and a plugger. Engine was one of the first with full pressure lubrication, insert bearings and aluminum pistons. A 1937 or 38 Dodge sedan would be an excellent choice for the trip you contemplate. Lots of them survive, they are not expensive and parts are readily available.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Willie Wurke said:

Roger James of D&D Classic Car Restorations did this run a few years ago. He ran a flathead Ford V-8. I think it was 1949 model but not positive.

 

HE IS ONE FINE PERSON AND CAN POSSIBLY GIVE YOU SOME POINTERS. CALL HIM AT 937-473-2229.

 

Heres wishing you a good trip

 

 

Thanks! I surely will contact him. Looks really interesting after having seen his website.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Rusty_OToole said:

Plymouth and Dodge made reliable six cylinder cars with solid axles and leaf springs all around up until 1938. Not known as speed demons but reliable and a plugger. Engine was one of the first with full pressure lubrication, insert bearings and aluminum pistons. A 1937 or 38 Dodge sedan would be an excellent choice for the trip you contemplate. Lots of them survive, they are not expensive and parts are readily available.

 

Hi Rusty,

After having looked hours this night on the internet, after having read all replies,  this Chrysler stays my first choise as I can really buy it cheap and it fullfills a lot of our recuirements. (we are a team)

I have read your 2013 article about the straight 8 that you have found which powered a yard crane. So I think you have quite some experience about this engine.

 

An English mechanic with lots of experience on enduration rallies told me yesterday evening the following,

Before doing the overhaul he proposes to do a fully loaded testdrive to analyse with several digital temperature gauges how heat the engine gets, and where. 

If this is acceptable, I have two options;


1/ keeping the L8, making a full overhaul but putting 2 (or 3) carburetors on it so that every cylinder gets the same amount of mixture. (Which is now not the case he says - sounds logic) This will increase the power a lot and allow us to drive on low rpm when whe check (and adjust) the gear and rear axle ratios. And carry 2 extra gaskets like Vermontboy says. "keeping eyes open"

 

2/ putting an overhauled L6 in it, with 2 good carburetors for the same reason. "No stress".

 

Both options with a big, high performance radiator and an extra electrical waterpump allowing the engine to cool down slowly when she runs no more.

What do you think about that?

Does a L6 fit on the present bell housing? 

 

Thanks in advance for your reply.

 

 

4 hours ago, vermontboy said:

"But why did Buick and Pontiac keep the inline 8 until the early 1950s, if they are not adequate, or dependable? "

 

Buick's straight 8 is OHV and a totally different animal. Pontiac in the early 50's was more of an old person's car.....

 

If you are going to run any flathead straight 8 at high revs for long periods of time in high heat you are going to want to carry an extra head gasket with you. Milling the head flat may or may not help depending on the individual casting and how it is stressed. Make certain to carefully follow the head bolt torque sequence and go through at least three passes increasing torque each time to "iron" the head and gasket flat. Flathead straight 8's are wonderful engines for what they were designed for.

 

Hi mister,

 

thanks a lot for this very interesting information. See what I wrote to Rusty. It is indeed foreseen that we will mill the head and block and do a overhaul to the highest standards.  Also a more rich mixture helps to prevent overheating I have learned.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

 

The question is, why is that rare Chrysler 8 you are looking at so cheap?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour 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.

 

The question is, why is that rare Chrysler 8 you are looking at so cheap?

 

Hi,

 

yes, 9 main bearings are indeed a substantial technical advantage.

However, as we want our car and the spirit to be as close to the original 1907 Peking to Paris, we definitly want a open car with maximum the late 20s look. A Ford A would have been a good choise 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.

 

Big engined (slow) prewar cars seem to be cheaper in Europe than in the States. Except for the exotics as Lagonda, Bentley, etc... Right hand drive is also a disadvantage. 

 

The car looks nice from far, but isn't that good when you look close.

 

@Rusty_OToole How many mains has 'our' Chrysler straight 8?

 

Regards,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do yourself a favor and leave the engine stock. Do not add more carburetors. It will do more harm than good. Do not raise compression if you want the head gasket to last.

 

If you want to finish low stress is the goal. Do not soup up the engine,  do not carry any more weight than you have to. And do not go any faster than you have to especially on bad roads.

 

I believe the 31 Chrysler 8 had 5 main bearings. It doesn't matter. You can trust Chrysler engineers to get it right. They were perfectly aware of the problems of cooling and mixture distribution. One potential problem is the water distribution tube, it can rust away over the years. If it is shot all the cooling water streams up the front of the engine, leaving the front cool and the back of the engine hot. If the tube is intact and not clogged with silt or lime the back cylinders will run as cool as the front. You can check this with an electronic thermometer after a drive.

 

It is one of the last they made with poured babbitt bearings, they were the first to introduce insert bearings in 1934. If they need to be replaced poured babbitt bearings cost $200 each and that car has 13 of them. Insert bearings cost $10.

 

Studebaker's big six and straight eight Presidents are excellent cars, rather larger and heavier than the Chrysler you are looking at. More in the Cadillac and Packard class, would make a good choice if you could find one.

 

Chrysler introduced a new flathead six in 1937. They continued using it in cars until 1954, trucks until 1962, in military vehicles, industrial and marine applications until 1972. Parts for this engine are readily available and not expensive. This is the reason I suggested a 1937 or 38 Dodge or Plymouth. Or for that matter, DeSoto or Chrysler.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now