The Paris Dakar safari rally, created by Thierry Sabine in 1979, is probably the most famous but also the hardest rally for the men and their machines. The 1981 Paris Dakar was no exception and the almost 10.000 Km to drive from Paris to Dakar made it one of the greatest adventure one could compete in with a rally car.
That year, a very special car is about to be raced in the rally. Thierry de Montcorgé, a competitive driver in safari rally such as Bandama or Nice-Abidjan, is at the origin of a crazy bet : race a Rolls Royce in the Paris Dakar safari rally. What was just an idea during a dinner with friends, became reality few months later with the help of Christian Dior as a main sponsor, using this Rolls to launch its new fragrance "Jules", a name the Rolls was often dubbed with.
With Michel Mokrycki's help, the car is built in few months. More than two thousand hours of hard work would have been necessary to get to this fabulous result. The body, which only weights 80 Kg, is a polyester molding of the original one (only the doors, boot and hood are made of aluminum), and the dashboard is the original one. As for the chassis, Thierry de Montcorgé and Michel Mokrycki started from scratch to create a tubular chassis. So as to be raced in the desert, the car had to be fitted with a 4 wheel drive system. This will be done with two Toyota Land Cruiser axles fitted to the car. The original automatic gearbox is replaced by a Toyota manual 4 speed one.
As for the engine, Michel Mokrycki had chosen a 5.7 L Chevy V8 he knows perfectly. The engine is built to be as reliable as possible, but is even rated at 350 HP with a huge torque. Last but not least, a big 330 Liters fuel tank is fitted behind the seats in a central position.
The Rolls Royce Jules only weights 1400 Kg and is ready to face the desert.
Until the half of the race, the Rolls Jules is ranked at an excellent thirteen place. Unfortunately, a broken steering axle will lead to an accident and long fixing. The Rolls Royce is disqualified, but keep on racing to finish the race. It will be one of the only 40 cars to reach Dakar (out of 170 cars to enter the race).
The famous Rolls Royce Jules has never raced again after the rally. It is fully original and Michel Mokrycki, the builder of the car, offers to fully restore it with new modern axles and bigger brake discs, for an additional cost of 30.000 Euros. It can be raced in every historical event such as the Transafricaine Classic. There is as well a possibility to modify the car in a Coupé 2+2.
It is a truly exceptional car that is part of the big Paris Dakar history, and that will undoubtedly remain as the most original car to have ever competed, and finished, the Paris Dakar safari rally. It is available in France and is road registered in France.