The idea for the race came from a challenge published in the Paris newspaper Le Matin on 31 January 1907, reading:
- “What needs to be proved today is that as long as a man has a car, he can do anything and go anywhere. Is there anyone who will undertake to travel this summer from Peking to Paris by automobile?“
The race started from the French embassy in Peking on 10 June 1907. The winner Prince Scipione Borghese arrived in Paris on 10 August 1907.