Skip to main content
The largest online newspaper archive
A Publisher Extra® Newspaper

The San Francisco Examiner from San Francisco, California • 39

Location:
San Francisco, California
Issue Date:
Page:
39
Extracted Article Text (OCR)

'it Auy. iy. Idtti S.F. EAAMINtP D1 Jan IVancioro tfxaminrr SECTION Want Ad Supermarket Dwight Chapin 'V S.F; to Peking to Paris THE RACE IS 10 months away, but Martin Swig already has butterflies lor perhaps gypsy mothsi flapping in his stomach. "1 miyht find myself at the starting line and say, 'What the hell am I doing' he says.

But it's more likely he'll put his car in forward than reverse and take off with a field of 400 competitors from all over the world next June in the Peking to Paris Motoring Challenge, a 73th anniversary re run of a race wfm b.V Prince Scipione Borghese of Italy over just four opponents in 1907. Swig says it wasn't hard getting into the great race. "I just paid my entry fee, about $5,000," he says. Apd he didn't have any trouble picking up his two-man crew, a Frenchman and a Pole, both of whom work for hiiii as mechanics at his auto dealerships on Van Ness. "They were two of the only three guys crazy enough to say yes the minute I suggested they go alorg." he says.

But as a race-car driver, Martin Sw ig is more Walter Mitty than Mario Andretti. Swig, nephew of the late Ben Swig, has always loved cars. He started tinkering with them as a kid. and rather mwHuMMaa than look to a high-stakes Pit hi 1 i. 7 "I The real question is, would I feet if I didn't try it?" career alter graduation from Stanford, he got a no-status job selling them.

And he has raced them. "1 run a little Alfa Romeo in vintage car races." he says, "and I'm lucky if it finishes." He's also a complete stranger to the open road. "Mv idea of camping out." Good news for great cooks! You can buy Cuisinarts top of the line DLC-7E food processor at a special low price and receive a gift that regularly costs 75.00 at no extra charge. The gift certificate is inside the special DLC-7E box. Send it to Cuisinart and receive their Commemorative 10VV commericial stainless steel Dutch skillet.

It is engraved "Cuisinarts Tenth Anniversary A memorable gift for ten years of producing the finest processors like the DLC-7E! Food Electrics 1 ,1 (d. 159)- all Macy's mmmmmmmomm he says, "is if the Holiday Inn isn't up to snuff." So what's he doing preparing to plunge off more than 12.000 miles across the Gobi Desert, Inner and Outer Mongolia and Siberia for a month during most of which there won't be even a flea-bag hotel on the horizon? it's there," he says, "and because I feel I haveto do it. I think the real question is, 'How would I feel if I didn't try Swig will be seeing a lot of territory the average motorist has no hope of seeing. "For example," he says, "it's illegal for a foreigner to drive 100 miles to the east of Moscow We have clearances to do that in the race." A Los Angeles Times writer who's been there tells him the roads are generally surfaced, but the traffic is virtually all big trucks that are ill-maintained iwheels sometimes just come flying off) and poorly driven, and the few road signs can't be read. Then there are the mosquitos.

"They're big as golf balls." the writer told Swig. "I know you won't believe it but believe it." Swig already is beginning to prepare as best he can. tV J' i IP- 4 it 'ft HE'LL BE DRIVING "some fairly unsophisticated Japanese car," probably one of the Toyotas, Datsuns or Mazdas he sells at his five dealerships. But it will be slightly altered from factory merchandise. "We'll eliminate the American smog equipment to get a.

better level of power out of the engine." he says, "strengthen the suspension a lot, put in some kind of proteotion for the oil pan and the cooling system and install a 35-gallon gas tank." He and his crew will begin testing the car soon at up to 120 mph over dirt roads up around Novato. The Peking to Paris field will be traveling at more leisurely speeds but still will make about 400 miles a day-over the uncertain terrain. The entries will be split into three classes contemporary cars ith "serious" teams entered by auto manufacturers; contemporary cars driven by "adventurers" like Swig, and veteran-vintage cars like a 1904 Darracq that Swig says "is restored and hopefully reliable." Swig doesn't think he can win the race, but he does expect, with a bit of skill and a lot of luck, to finish, and he'd love to finish ahead of former San Francisco editor Scott Newhall, Charles de Limur Sr. and Jr. of the Crocter banking family, and especially rival auto dealer Jim Tracy, who'll be driving an Audi.

"That's high German technology," Swig says, "against my down-home Japanese." In the time he has left before Peking, Swig may help form a club built around the race "because this is too much, fun not to share." And he'll be reading and studying every spare moment about faraway places with strange-sounding names. He just finished a book on Siberian history can read that pretty quickly," he says)," and is poring over maps and atlases and guidebooks. He's not sure yet where he'll get his laundry done, but his palate may be fairly well taken care of. He pulled out a piece of paper yesterday that had translations of "Where is the nearest restaurant?" in Polish, Russian and Cantonese. "I already have the name of the top restaurant in Irkutsk." he says.

"It's Arktika. I'm going to order linguini carbonara, same as at anessi s. at I By Bil Keane THE FAMILY CIRCUS, AD lMTr, 4 iS BEFORE USiNG V' a -to fs' ,4 T- .1 i OiCyM 1. fctS isJ "Know what, Mommy? They gift-wrapped the If you would like to see the warranty on this product, at no charge, before ordering by mail or phone, write to Macy Calif Warranty. PO Box 7888.

S.F..CA 94120. Use your Macy Charge Account or The American Express" Card. toilet seat!".

Get access to Newspapers.com

  • The largest online newspaper archive
  • 300+ newspapers from the 1700's - 2000's
  • Millions of additional pages added every month

Publisher Extra® Newspapers

  • Exclusive licensed content from premium publishers like the The San Francisco Examiner
  • Archives through last month
  • Continually updated

About The San Francisco Examiner Archive

Pages Available:
3,027,528
Years Available:
1865-2024