As the globe-trotting Tuthill Porsche technicians prepare to start one legendary marathon rally – the East African Safari Classic – our fabrication team continues to work on another classic Porsche build for a legendary event: the 2019 Peking to Paris Motor Challenge.
First run in 1907, the Peking to Paris Rally was the ultimate test of car and driver. Thanks to vast improvements in communication and navigation over the last one hundred and ten years, these days it is slightly less gruelling but no less intense. Competitors must have a durable car and keep their wits about them if they are to succeed on this unparalleled challenge for vintage machinery.
We built our first Peking to Paris rally car more than ten years ago: a Porsche 356 coupe that still exists in rally spec today. Porsche 356s have done well on this rally over over the years, and we will support another 356 on P2P 2019 in the shape of René Brinkerhoff’s 356A, but 911s are a relatively new arrival. In between the two classic Porsches is an often overlooked model and one of our favourites: the Porsche 912.
The 912 has certain advantages over the 911 for this event. Firstly, it is a lighter car, which helps it soak up several thousand miles of brutal terrain through Mongolia and Uzbekistan by putting less stress through the chassis. Secondly, the fuel consumption is lower, which means it can run with less weight on board and go longer between stops without running out completely. It also runs on low quality fuel, which is often all that’s available in the High Altai plains.
That is not to say that the 911 is not competitive on Peking to Paris. After all, Peter Lovett and Tim Smith narrowly missed victory in a Tuthill 911 on the 2013 event, but the 912 takes a different approach to the challenge. This one is undergoing a real transformation from road car to rally adventurer and we’re excited to get it finished in fabrication and on into the paint shop, where the car will really start to inhabit its new identity.