Known for his sense of adventure Richard Cunningham, Griffin’s Chairman, set off on a quest to drive from Peking to Paris in 36 days, competing in the 4th Peking to Paris vintage car rally.
Described as the ultimate driving adventure, the Peking to Paris Motor Challenge started in 1907 with Prince Borghese and fair-ground worker Le Matin, a Prince and a pauper. The first 5,000 miles saw no roads, no maps and no garages and Le Matin had never sat in a motorcar before therefore did not know how to drive. Since then the event has been repeated in 1997, 2007 and most recently in October this year.
Richard, with his co-driver James Chancellor, made this epic journey of 8923 miles across 12 countries in a 1934 Lagonda M45 Saloon. 97 cars started, 83 finished and they came 49th having faced numerous mechanical challenges.
Richard said, “Well we made it! What a journey and what a joy and a privilege to have completed it with James. We really did face up to some big, big challenges and, looking back from the comfort of home I am astonished that we managed it. We had some enormous blows and some great highs, occasional entirely selfish behaviour from others, massively outstripped by the generosity and kindness of so many. It is the contrasts which make such a journey so interesting. I think the psychology of it all was by far the fascinating thing, both our own and others. We had some great laughs and almost a few tears, but we remain great friends.”