Since the days of Destination Doha, I have always wanted to take a Scania 141 out through the desert. I did own a 141 for a few years bit only ever got as far as Holland which unfortunately for those who are atlas-impared is nowhere near the desert, Doha or any where East. Hopefully if you are reading this you know of the website www.toprun.ch a very popular photo website that is run by Ferdy de Martin from Switzerland.
Like myself Ferdy has always wanted to head East and do it in the style of the golden years of the 70’s and 80’s and do you know what the lucky bugger has only just gone and done it, well going to be doing it in the next few weeks.
Starting May 3rd and returning June 9th 2014. The journey will take 3 x Scania 141 and 1 x Scania 111 along 13’000 km and 34 days of travel along the following route;
Vallorbe (CH) – Modena (I) – Ancona (I) – Igumentisa (GR) – Thessaloniki (GR) –
Istanbul (TR) – Ankara (TR) – Erzurum (TR) – Tabriz (IR) – Tehran (IR) – Shiraz
(IR) – Bandar-Abbas (IR) – Ispahan (IR) – Baku (AZ) – Tibilisi (GEO) – Yerevan
(ARM) return via Istanbul, Ancona.
The trip to Bandar Abbas will keep the trucks very busy, will the 30-year-old trucks stand the heat and dust of the desert 30 years after they were built? Some would say the might fare better than all our modern Euro 6 trucks, I still can’t quite imagine that a Euro 6 truck with all its electronics and sensors will be capable of desert work. A total of 13,000km in 34 days is what Ferdy and his team are hoping to achieve. As long as the paperwork is all in order I think this should be achievable, back in the 1970’s it would not have been possible to set such a time line.
A few words about the trip from the team;
“This project was born more than 15 years ago, along with the creation of the website www.TOPRUN.ch. Initiated by the creator of the site, quickly joined by a handful of enthusiasts, truckers and owners of older trucks. A team that during all these years has been able to cultivate and maintain the interest of the profession to a wide audience especially with the publication of several books on the history of transportation destination to the East, books that have been a huge success more than 10,000 copies sold, along with numerous articles published in the European press. In 2013, an exhibition and meeting on the same subject, was attended by over 400 enthusiastic people and received an unexpectedly large echo in the media. The very positive result of these initiatives has motivated the idea of this journey on the Silk Road.”
You will be able to keep up with the trip on Ferdy’s website, which I’m sure most of you are familiar with already, but if not just go to www.toprun.ch and you’ll find out all you need to know along with thousands of truck photos from all over the world. After the trip there will be books and DVD’s available to purchase. I know how popular this trip will be so I’ll be snapping up a book as soon as its available as this really is a once in a lifetime trip and could be the last trip that a convoy of classic Scania’s makes across the Middle East. Yes I’m just a tiny bit jealous as my Uncle Dick used to drive for Astran and i once owned and restored a LHD 141 (my 141).
What can you do to help the trip?? Well to be honest the best thing you can do is donate some money to help pay for a few more KM’s. As you can well imagine this won’t be a cheap adventure but there will be 100’s of us who will be wishing it was us in the driving seat, so for the enjoyment that it will bring why not contribute?. If you are willing then click on this link to go to the Toprun page that gives you all the info you need; http://www.toprun.ch/truck/silkroad_2014/index_eng.html
Good luck boys and I can’t wait to see how you get on, Keep on Trucking!!