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.

Friday, 10 June 2016

Let's Get Pretentious

Ps thanks for all your comments. The Chinese anti internet firewall is stopping me publishing them. Two years after the original 1907 Peking to Paris race an Italian poet called Filippo Marinetti published the Futurist Manifesto in Le Figaro. It was a wild rant against the political and artistic status quo filled with the idea that new technology and new ways of thinking could radically change the world. "A racing car, it's bonnet decked with exhaust pipes like serpents with galvanic breath... a roaring motor car which seems to race on like machine gun fire, is more beautiful than the Winged Victory of Samorace"

A new artistic movement called Futurism produced exotic and exciting visions of the world and the exploits of Prince Borghese in crossing Mongolia and Siberia in his Italia, exploring the limits of technology, were still fresh in these artists' minds.

Here are three works by the Italian artist Umberto Boccioni from 1911 that sum up the mood at the time and also the mood here in 2016 in Beijing as we prepare to set off tomorrow and leaves others behind. The works are called 'The Farewells' 'The Departed' and 'Those Who Stay'

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