Friday, September 6, 2013

Peking to Paris in a Vintage Porsche

Stanley Gold's Peking to Paris Porsche Rally Car

Stanley Gold calls it “the adventure of a lifetime” – this summer he drove a car from Beijing to Paris, 7,610 miles through eight countries in a race that has only been held five times since 1907. On September 26th the Los Angeles World Affairs Council will hold a dinner at the Petersen Automotive Museum to hear Stanley’s story of the fabled “Peking to Paris Rally” and watch a video of the 100 classic and vintage cars in this year’s rally making their way across deserts, steppes and snow-covered mountain passes. At the dinner guests can tour the Petersen’s extensive car collection, which will include – for one night - Stanley’s 48-year old Porsche 911 that made the journey, more or less in one piece. Executive Director of the Petersen Terry Karges will give a brief talk about the museum's sensational renovation plans.

The first “Peking to Paris Rally" in 1907 was won by an Italian Prince, Scipione Borghese, who took tea with the Emperor in Beijing before he left, and stopped off in St Petersburg for a social call on the Tsar on his way through. With no emperors or tsars left on their thrones, Stanley shared Oreos and canned tuna with Mongolian nomads in a smoky yurt and drank Moscow Mules with Russian office workers on his 33-day odyssey. His front suspension broke while driving off-road in Mongolia, which required airlifting in spare parts from Europe. When he crossed into Russia from Mongolia the female border guard audibly called him “Crazy.” In Kiev, Ukraine, he had lunch at the second-largest grossing McDonald’s in the world. In Switzerland he had to negotiate falling snow on steep mountain roads. And he didn’t get a single ticket for his white Porsche 911 along the whole journey.

As it happens, the iconic Porsche 911 has its 50th anniversary this year. The Petersen will put some other Porsches on display, including one of the first 911s ever built (it was called a 901 back then). Beverly Hills Porsche will show a liveried version of Porsche’s newly-designed 50-year anniversary edition of the 911, just now coming off the assembly line in Stuttgart.

The dinner menu, personally designed by Patina's Master Chef Joachim Splichal, will mirror the route of the rally, with food inspired by Chinese, Russian and French cuisine. Stanley, a former Disney board member and past chairman of the board of trustees at USC, runs Shamrock Holdings, is on the board of the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, and is a keen collector of Porsches. Very keen. He next plans to race from Singapore to Rangoon through South East Asian rainforests.

Please RSVP by Tuesday, September 24
Cancellations must be made 48 hours before the start of the program in order to receive a refund.

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