The Mission

The Peking to Paris Rally is a recreation of the 1907 challenge issued by Le Matin, "Is there anyone who will undertake to travel this summer from Peking to Paris by automobile?"
The 2016 version will follow a route of 13,695 Km (8,510 miles) and take 35 days. We are travelling in Rhubarb and Custard, a 1936 Buick. We know nothing about cars or rallying.

Saturday, 30 April 2016


My everyday car is a BMW M3 with a lovely thick leather covered steering wheel.  I never really understood why steering wheels were leather covered until I started driving Rhubarb and Custard, which has a wheel made of some kind of hard plastic or Bakelite.  It's quite an unpleasant thing to hold in your hands for long periods and tends to get slippery if your hands sweat.  Very quickly I found that it was much nicer to wear leather gloves when driving,

The trouble with gloves is that your hands get hot if the sun comes out. On our last trip I tried to overcome this by wearing finger-less cycling gloves but these aren't leather they are some kind of technical fabric and didn't give me any grip on the wheel.

As a result I've been doing research on gloves and have found a firm called Dents, which is based in Wiltshire in England and has been hand making gloves since 1777.  They made James Bond's driving gloves for Skyfall - how cool is that!

I bought three pairs of gloves from them:

Finger-less unlined driving gloves for normal driving. I tried these out on a roof down drive on a cold spring day last week and they were most excellent.

Full fingered, string-backed and lined driving gloves for cold weather. The string backing stops your hands getting too hot.

Full fingered, string-backed but unlined driving gloves made of peccary leather which is supposed to be the best possible leather for gloves.  However I found that the lack of lining exposed the seams internally and that they were not comfortable and so they went back to Dents for a refund.

1 comment:

  1. I drive year around with a steering wheel cover, kind of flossy synthetic. It absorbs hand sweat and never gets warm and it also prevents friction. They can be had in sheepskin and a spare stow away very small. I would recommend some kind of steering wheel cover instead of gloves. The steering wheel gets really hot in sunshine and gloves does not prevent that. You'll find that you get blisters both from the heat and friction in spite of using gloves!