Peking to Paris – 2013

21 April 2013

“Team Oxbox” #48

The 2013 Peking to Paris Classic Car Rally

This webpage is for interested parties, Family and friends and business associates to follow the exploits as they unfold of the entrants in this rally, Steve Partridge and Corgi LaGrouw.


Steve Partridge masterminded the project of our entry in the Rally in early 2012, seeking a partner to participate in a fantastic journey of a lifetime.

It commenced with a casual enquiry to Corgi LaGrouw as to his interest to join him on this venture.

Although not an immediate response but sufficiently positive response to keep the “coals hot”, a brief consultation with family and the project got underway.

Steve had already “sussed” out a vehicle that would suit the job, namely an Morris Oxford, which still being manufactured in India until recently, had the simplicity, proven reliability, a solid design with easy to get to working parts and easy to obtain spares. The vehicle was designed for the roads that existed in the 50’s and 60’s with a high wheelbase, large diameter wheels and a motor that could be seen and easy to get onto for repairs should these be required.

Steve saw such a vehicle for sale in Wellington and flew down to inspect and to buy.

It was a 1958 Morris Oxford Mk2 with 127,000 miles on the clock and in reasonable operating condition but sound.

The car was in Tauranga the next day and the long arduous rebuild commenced.

The Team.

A builder and entrepreneur residing in Mount Maunganui.

A car enthusiast, (nut) with a bent of doing things himself because he wants it right, and a committed perfectionist who commenced work on this car on a 24/7 basis.

His attitude was that if we were to partake in this competition, then we were going to do it not just to finish but to be on the leader board.

Nothing was left to chance and every inch of the Oxbox was examined, repaired, replaced or renewed.

The suspension, wiring/electrics, wheels, tyres, all the running gear, motor seating gearbox just too much to report on.

It turned out to be a new car. (Cost wise far more expensive than a new car!)

Steve’s commitment has to be commended in that his entire time between car purchase and putting the vehicle into a container to ship the Beijing China was 100%. Every discussion was in regards to the Oxbox or as he has named her, Denise. Don’t ask.

Corgi LaGrouw.   

A businessman domiciled in Auckland but working from Mount Maunganui.

Not a car nut but one with appreciation of the beautiful cars of the 60’s and 70’s.

Not professing to be an expert in the field of motor vehicle mechanics, does understand the basics and will respond to those that know more and to respond to advice.

A positive character with tons of enthusiasm and plenty of crazy ideas of what Steve should do to get the car up and running.


The two are a bit like “chalk and cheese” in respect of their upbringing and backgrounds, but similar in regards to wanting positive outcomes and the desire to succeed.

The car build exercise was a great time to get to know one-another and to understand and accept each-others varying outlooks on life.

They have discussed the aspects of not getting everything right and that there will be name calling without doubt. But both are of an age of not letting it get out of hand.

The Rally.

This website will identify the endurance rally the course it will take and the various countries and towns it will encounter.

The planning had to take note of the variable conditions that will effect us during the trip, 78 octane fuel, altitude, temperature, road or track conditions and all the other unforeseen matters that will undoubtedly arise.

We have installed all the necessary technical equipment required on this venture and to keep those interested informed on a daily basis by adding to this webpage daily by sat phone where we have no phone coverage and photos where reception is good.

We have installed an onboard camera that will record the entire trip both inside the car and of course the progress outside as we move along.

There will be plenty of expletives I’m sure.