[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [FJ55] Take your Cruiser to Siberia

  • To: The FJ55 Registry <fj55@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Re: [FJ55] Take your Cruiser to Siberia
  • From: "Willem-Jan Markerink" <w.j.markerink@xxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 12 Dec 2007 05:33:20 +0100
  • Priority: normal

On 2 Dec 2007 at 20:27, Gordy wrote:

> Just scroll down in the attached link 
> http://www.darkroastedblend.com/2007/11/siberian-road-adventures.html
> Do not press the "Love Button" or any other links

For those interested, I have created a list of historic transcontinental 
rally's & expeditions, including many that took place in Siberia, some even in 
Russian Far East (Siberia doesn't even cover *half* of Russia....most historic 
rallyes go south near Irkutsk/Lake-Baikal/Ulan-Ude, but that is still only half 

of the continent....8-))


Note that even in pre-automotive times, there were brave souls who took the 
challenge....in winter, by sled....Beijing->Moscow, here we come, come hell or 
(actually, there are at least 2 automotive expeditions that crossed the Gobi in 

winter too, in the 1920's....facing -30C, while being chased by Manchurian 
gangs & deserted soldiers (with reports before and after of other brave 
travelling foreign souls being robbed & killed....those are the ones humankind 
was deprived of their books & travel reports))
(mind you, one of those 2 expeditions was lead by a young woman, Clärenore 
Stinnes, at that time already 17 times racing champion; daughter of Hugo 
Stinnes, died in 1924, in those years claimed to be worlds most wealthy man)

(actually, that story in literary context is bizarre until this very day....she 

wrote a book in 1929, with a reprint in 1996....in 1976, after her husband, 
originally expedition-cameraman, died, she discovered in his posessions the 
legacy of his parents, containing the 4 travel diaries that he sent back to his 

parents during the expedition (took them a good 2 years to cross the globe, not 

just Siberia!)....so she dutyfully started translating (husband Carl-Axle 
Söderström was Swedish, she was German), and another book was printed in 
1981....at the same time she came in contact with a filmmaker Michael Kuvall 
from Hamburg/Germany, who discovered the only remaining copy of the moviefilm 
from 1929, and created another modern TV-docu/movie (which I am still chasing 
with the help of the filmmaker of our own 2006 rally Hamburg->Shanghai))
Fast-forward to 2007: while bidding on this 1981 book, at Ebay Germany, and 
noticing the seller has several more copies for sale, I discover that she 
actually has 108 copies, all in their original factory wrap....turns out she 
bought a coffin on an auction, without knowing the contents....so for 25 long 
years, those books have slumbered on, once again long forgotten....until WJM 
came along, and snatched them all for a few bucks....:))
(6 boxes a 20kg....:))

PS: sorry, they are no good for most of you folks, as the text is in German
(actually, the original book from 1929 was available in both German and 
Swedish, but never English AFAIK, and the reprint of 1996 is German-only)

(I must admit that I feel very humble by the fact that I can read both German 
and English, since there several of these fascinating books are German-only, 
while hardly ever English-only)

PPS: has there already a CDJ-140 Mailinglist been started in the 
YahooGroup/COOL hierarchy?....;))

PPPS: I am keeping a close eye on every next rally in that direction, be it 
modern or oldtimer, so if anyone has been bitten by the same bug as me, to 
venture in a country & continent that only a few hundred foreigners experienced 

before in the same magnificent & thrilling way, send me a private email at 
(2008 and 2010 will very likely see another rally from Hamburg to Shanghai by 
the same organisation (inspired/sponsored by Olympics- & WorldExpo-related 
entities respectively (which is the only way to do this trip in a somewhat 
relaxed pace (45-60 days) for only 10-20k euro....most full-commercial or 
hardcore rally's do it in 30 days, and 50k)

PPPPS: AFAIK, there has never been an FJ55 in such a rally, so this is your 
chance to create a world's-first....;))
(I must shamefully admit that while I did have an FJ55 at that time, and that I 

did want to use it for the rally, my co-pilot (father) insisted on his verdict 
'vehicle too small, tour too long, we need something larger'....;))
(the end result being a Volvo C306 6x6 firefighter, loaded with 900L water, 
84+300L gasoline, and burning more than 4000L on the 14.000km trip....:))
(that was the only consolance, that I would probably have burned just as much 
in the FJ55....;))))

PPPPPS: from the above link, follow one of the sub-links to the Dutch 2007 
Peking Challenge, they have some YouTube-like videoshots online, including a 
handfull when driving through small Siberian villages, while taking an 'off-
route' traject, trying to avoid the tarmac (a mistake they did not make 
voluntary again, because they were travelling with far more rain than we did, 
and when it rains in Russia, everything *but* the continental east-west 
connection turns to an incredible messy shit (there simply *are* no other 
connections, neither north nor south of it, because there are no bridges across 

the rivers, if not completely blocked by large lakes)
(and don't think that this main corridor is tarmac all the way either....it 
isn't even dual lane for most of it, and even single for dozens of kilometers 
of road-construction....road-constructions that lead to more adventurous 
offroad than many of us have faced before, but which even Russian truck drivers 

take with a passion that borders on a split between insanity and maniacality)
(mind you, many of their modern trucks are second-hand imports from Japan, many 

of which are transported by road from Wladiwostock)
(yes, Japan is right-hand-drive, and Russia is left-hand-drive, so what?....and 

they have been doing this for nearly 15 years now, mixing LHD with RHD....did I 

already tell you Russians are road maniacs?)

PPPPPPS: I have already decided, that *when* I voluntarily venture into mud 
shit like that, that I will take a larger 6x6 truck, with a small tracked 
vehicle on its back (either something like an Argocat or a Mattrack'ed Quad).
(and if the mud doesn't drown and kill you, the huge swarms of moskito's 


Willem-Jan Markerink

      The desire to understand 
is sometimes far less intelligent than
     the inability to understand

[note: 'a-one' & 'en-el'!]

FJ55 mailing list




Toyota Land Cruiser Association