The 2013 Peking to Paris Motor Challenge, one of world's longest and toughest classic-car rallies, kicked off in the Chinese capital on Tuesday.
Drivers prepare for departure on Tuesday at the start of the vintage car rally in Beijing. [Photo / China Daily]
Ninety-six classic and vintage cars from 26 countries set off from the Great Wall at around 8 am. They will drive a 12,500 km route from Beijing to Paris in 33 days.
Nicky Bailey, the owner of a 1913 Ford Model T, is confident about the performance of his car.
"It's quite comfortable, but you have to be careful because its brake is not like modern cars, so you have to watch the traffic ahead to make sure you keep plenty of room. And its steering is a little bit loose because it's old," he said in a Beijing Television report.
Bailey, from Ireland, said he and his wife often drive the car to attend various activities in his home country. His car is the oldest among all participating vehicles in the Peking to Paris Challenge.
Bailey said his car is worth about 250,000 dollars, the report said.
Christian Schenk, the owner of a 1929 Bentley 41/2 Tourer, said his car can achieve speeds of up to 160 to 180 kilometers an hour.
Schenk said his car, which won many races in the 1930s, is now worth around 1 million euros.
The Peking to Paris route goes from China, through Mongolia and into Russia, before veering westwards to Ukraine, Slovakia and Europe on route to the finish in Paris.
This is the fifth time the rally will be held, after previous events in 1907, 1997, 2007 and 2010.