PUBLISHED : Saturday, 16 December, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 16 December, 2006, 12:00am

The Hong Kong Automobile Association draws our attention to a two-week spring drive to Beijing (below), via the mainland's east coast, for 50 classic cars and 15 classic bikes. Organised by 'a multinational team based in Beijing and Hong Kong', the event is fronted by Hua De Feng Ying, which runs the motoring website and assisted in the organisation of last year's Peking-Paris Expedition.

The drive's website,, says the classics will set off from the 'fantastic landscape' of Hong Kong's Tamar site on March 25, pootle 'through some of the most beautiful countryside on the planet', and arrive at the Great Hall of the People on April 8, via 'world-renowned and famous cities' such as Shenzhen, Chaozhou, Xiamen, Ningbo, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Nanjing, Tsingtao and Tianjin.

As with other mainland drives for the rich, participants will be 'accommodated in top international-standard hotels, enjoy fine cuisine from a first-rate kitchen, and be cared for every kilometre of the way by our highly trained marshals and experienced support staff'.

This back-up seems to consist of the 'very experienced' HKAA and German rally and mechanical expertise.

Costs are Euro14,800 (HK$144,092) for a crew of two and their vehicle, and the booking deadline is December 31, payment in euros. Call Vivian Au on 2739 5273, or

e-mail chinaclassic2007@; Beijing readers can phone: [86 10] 8598 2836 or e-mail

We've had Norman Wisdom and Cliff Richard in the back of this column once, but never Swedish royalty. So we were thrilled to bits when Alice Siu and Pinky Yang of Volvo Cars Hong Kong sent us a picture of Princess Birgitta of Sweden with the dealers' (above, from left) Thomas Cheung, Siu and Ross Higgins in their Gloucester Road showroom.

We hear the elder sister of King Carl XVI Gustaf dropped by as she's crew on the tall ship Gotheburg, which recently stopped over on a round-the-world voyage sponsored by Volvo. Siu says the princess has a Volvo.

'She told us that she was so happy to use the V70 for her golfing experience in Hong Kong as well,' Siu says. The V70 is a fine choice for royal drivers, with 1,641 litres of space in the back for a foursome's bags, but you might find the XC90 V8 (behind Princess Birgitta) easier to park.

Finally, there's a 10 per cent discount on Mercedes-Benz Collection toys, model cars, pens and 'lifestyle' clothing and luggage products that could make thoughtful Christmas presents on Items are listed at their regular price, and the discount offer will be shown your invoice, say dealers Zung Fu. Inquiries: 2504 6115