Nearly 100 Classic Cars Are Racing 7,500 Miles From Beijing To Paris [PHOTOS]

Paris to Peking Rally 2013 Car 99, a 1950 Bentley MKV1 Special, drives through the sands

On May 28, nearly 100 classic cars left Beijing for an epic race that will take them all the way to Paris.

It’s the 5th Peking to Paris Motor Challenge 2013, one of the planet’s toughest rally races.

The cars in competition are rarely seen on roads today, and span from a 1913 Ford Model T to a 1982 Renault 4.

They’re being driven by teams of two, who hail from 26 countries and are made up of spouses, parents and children, and siblings.

Some are doing it just for fun, while others are raising money for charity (causes include environmental conservation and brain research).

Seven cars were forced to drop out within the first week, but the rest are aiming to reach Paris by June 29.

Standing between them and their goal are 7,500 miles of deserts, mountains, gravel and dirt roads, through China, Mongolia, Russia, Ukraine, Switzerland, France, and more.

On May 28, the cars took off from Beijing, starting the 7,500 mile journey.

Things quickly got muddy.

The 1913 Ford Model T is the oldest entrant in the rally. On day two, its oil cap vibrated loose and ended up breaking a fan blade.

Another competitor was stopped by a flat tire.

On day three, the cars reached the Gobi Desert and crossed the border from China into Mongolia.

The 1974 Citroen DS23 is driven by Australians Robbie Sherrard and Peter Washington.

A 1950 Bentley MKV1 Special, seemed to handle the sand just fine.

Things got grassy again once the cars hit the Mongolian steppe. This 1957 Porsche 356A took a bath in the countryside.

The 1973 Nissan Fairlady nearly tips over as it hits a dune.

It's easy to know which way to go when you have a leader to follow.

The 1940 Ford Coupe was an early leader.

On the seventh day, two tires on the 1967 Mustang blew at the same time, sending the convertible into a dirt bank.

Five days in, the cars stopped in Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia's largest city, for a rest day.

The British drivers of the 1929 Ford Model A Speedster get ready to leave the city.

Even with time for repairs, two cars — the 1927 Vauxhall 14/40 and the 1928 Packard Phaeton — dropped out.

Day 8 began with a steep hill climb, a challenge for many of the cars.

Car 49, a 1964 Porsche 356C, crosses a bridge in Mongolia.

And two competitors drive through the mountains.

The 1937 Chevrolet Fangio Coupe led the Vintageant class, made up of cars built between 1932 and 1941.

The 1936 Bentley Drophead kept on trucking.

The competitors regularly stop for time trials throughout the rally.

After 12 days on the road, the classic cars finally reached Russia.

There, they used paved roads for the first time since leaving China, a nice change for the 1933 Delage D6 Tourer.

In the Model A, those old-school caps and goggles come in handy.

Car 55, the VW Beetle, is in 4th place in its class so far.

And the 1973 Leyland P76 is in first place in the Classics category, for cars built before 1975.

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