2013 Peking to Paris Rally now underway

We frequently discuss on this blog how there is nothing quite like cruising around with the top down now that summer is here. However, even the most enthusiastic classic car lovers have their limits on how far down the open road they are willing to go for an open-air drive.

It turns out this isn't the case for the 100 teams from 26 different countries who are participating in the fifth Peking to Paris Classic Car Rally, which puts drivers behind the wheel of antique street machines for a month long excursion from the busy streets of Beijing to the beautiful French countryside.

Participants will be traversing a 12,000 mile route that features some of the world's most incredible scenery. Drivers will start by driving along the Great Wall of China then criss-cross through eight different nations before parking on the streets of Paris.

The first such trek took place back in 1907, marking the birth of the most challenging rally ever undertaken by racers. At the time, there was really no such thing as an antique car, but more than 100 years later, the cars that will be partaking in the 2013 edition of the race are almost all more than a half century old.

Drivers have 33 days to complete the rally, which will culminate in a massive celebration on the streets of Paris. While it's too late to sign up to join the 2013 cruise, organizers have already pledged to start the race again in 2016.

Do you have what it takes to drive your classic car across continents? Sign up for the next race and show your classic American vintage car to the rest of the world.