Renee Brinkerhoff completes Peking to Paris Rally

Hearty congratulations go to Renée Brinkerhoff and Calvin Cooledge, who also finished the Peking to Paris Rally in their 1956 Porsche 356A. Engine problems struck the car as the rally entered Mongolia and Francis Tuthill flew to Russia not once, but twice, to strip and partially rebuild the car’s engine, which had been badly damaged by sand and dust entering the works when an air filter was misaligned after service checks.

The wear the engine suffered over just a few hours of operation was worse than anyone could have imagined. With no support allowed on the rally, the crew had to nurse the car between rest days en route and co-ordinate mechanical repairs as permitted. Thanks to tens of litres of oil picked up in Russia and much TLC from Francis in Novosibirsk and then again in St Petersburg, the car remained in the rally and eventually reached the finish line.

In classic Francis fashion, transporting a 356 engine from England to Russia involved stripping the engine down alongside the Gatwick check-in desks when the airline decided that one box was four kilos too heavy. Suffice to say that FT got the job done and his work allowed Renée to cross another event off her 356 World Rally Tour itinerary.

We look forward to supporting the car on its next outing: the East African Safari Classic Rally in November/December. Learn more about Renée’s adventure and how you can support her fundraising for the fight against child trafficking on her website at or on the Valkyrie Racing Instagram feed.

Photo by Gerard Brown/ERA