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On 29th October 2005, the Ferrari 15,000 Red Miles Tour ended in Shanghai. The unprecedented road trip saw two 612 Scaglietti cars cross all of China. The Oriental Pearl Tower, the architectural symbol of Shanghai, a spectacular 468 metre high tower was lit up in red to celebrate the arrival of the expedition and Ferrari’s first year in China.
The 15,000 Red Miles Tour was an exceptional venture, which no other car manufacturer had ever attempted: 51 Chinese and international journalists took turns behind the wheel, covering over 24,000 kilometres, 1600 of them on very rough roads, reaching an altitude of 5,231 metres over the passes in Tibet. The journey lasted 45 days, with a total of 420 hours spent behind the wheel, equating to around 900 kilometres per day. It passed through 37 cities and the only work needed on the car was the replacement of two wheel rims damaged by the holes in the road and the fitting of two sets of snow tyres for the rough terrain. The two 612 Scagliettis didn’t even need an oil top up.
The tour itinerary took in every possible scenario and difficulty, with extreme weather and a wide range of temperatures on all types of road. The trip started in Shanghai, before heading north, then east towards Manchuria, finally heading south west towards Beijing, before following the Great Wall as far as Lanzhou. It crossed the high planes of Tibet and finally arrived in Lhasa, before the two Scaglietti veered off to the west, across the Gobi desert, ending up in ancient Kashi, the city famous for Marco Polo’s silk market, the most central point in the landmass. After another trip through the desert, the route took in Urumqi, as it headed towards the tropical area before arriving in Guangzhou, better known as Canton. From here it followed China’s most western and modern path on its way back to Shanghai.