“Driven”: Rosemary Smith, Rally Driver

I frequently buy books about car rallying and recently I added “Driven” to my half vast library of rally books.  Driven is an autobiography (this word seems appropriate in this case) about Rosemary Smith.  Smith was a top international rally competitor in the 1960’s era.  She certainly was very well known due to he abilities behind the wheel and her photogenic looks.

The book is  very personal book.  I bought the book for the rallying stories, but I was surprised by the amount and detail about her personal life.  Despite the travel and interesting life style that she was afforded by her rally and racing career, it is clear that she had many difficulties and challenges in her life.  While certainly these were major a part of her life, their inclusion in this book was not the type of rallying stories that I was interested in.  However, I did learn a new word though – “snogging”.  I had to look it up; half expecting it to not be in the dictionary.

Rosemary Smith is probably best known for her rally success in a Hillman Imp.  With this car she was the outright winner of the 1965 International Tulip Rally.

The images in this post were taken from her book.

Rosemary Smith Was A Rally Team Favorite Due To Her Driving Skills And The Publicity That She Generated

While she is best known for her exploits in Europe, Smith did compete in North America; taking part in Canada’s Shell 4000 rally in 1966 and 1967.  She won the Coupes des Dames both times and in 1967 she finished 13th Overall in afield of 93 starters.

Rosemary Smith Rallying In Canada

The book is a good read.  For my interests, I would have preferred an expansion of the rally stories at the expense of the personal stories, but I’m not a book editor (with good reason).  I bought my book at very good price, so I am satisfied that the book is good value and a worthy addition to my library.

If you have any comments or questions about this post or the book, then please leave a comment below or you can send me a private email message at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot net

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Entry List For The 2019 Rallye Monte Carlo Historique

This week the Automobile Club of Monaco released the full list of accepted entries into the 2019 Rallye Monte Carlo Historique.  It was nice to see that our entry was on the list.  I will be navigating for Dan Allven in his 1965 Mustang, which is shown below.

Dan Allven’s 1965 Mustang

I was also pleased to note that there will be an American entry made up of John Buffum/Ralph Beckman in a Porsche.  As many of you know, these fellows are very good rallyists and I expect that they will do well.  I know both John and Ralph and I look forward to seeing them during the rally.  Recently John Buffum helped out during the Great American Mountain Rally Revival.

For the complete entry list you can click on the attached file.  I prepared this list in a more visual full page format using the official entry list published by the Automobile Club of Monaco.

RMCH Entry List Nov 15 2019

As I noted in an earlier post, I am becoming familiar with the Blunik II rally computer which we will use during the 2019 Rallye Monte Carlo Historique.  Dan used this rally computer last year and his car is fully set up for this rally computer.  In order to become familiar I have set up a bench test in my basement which makes it very easy to work with this unit regardless of time or conditions.  It also allows me to easily reference the instructions and make notes should I need to do so.

My Benchtest Setup For the Blunik II Rally Computer

For the Blunik II I have found it instructive to prepare my own set of instructions.  This lets me focus on exactly what is needed for the Rallye Monte Carlo Historique without getting lost in all of the other instructions about features and applications that are not relevant to the Rallye Monte Carlo Historique.  I can also expand upon and  clarify instructions that were translated from Spanish to English.

If you have any comments or questions about this post or the Rallye Monte Carlo Historique, then please add a comment below or you can send me a private email message at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot net

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Returning To Rallye Monte Carlo Historique

I found out today that our entry has been accepted into the 2019 Rallye Monte Carlo Historique.  I will be navigating for Dan Allven who lives in Monaco.  I am pleased to be able to take part once again in this major car rally.  Overall, the rally starts on January 30, 2019 and ends on February 6, 2019 in Monaco.

Dan’s car for this rally will be a 1965 Mustang with a 289V8 engine that has significant power.  At this time the car is being refreshed as preparation for the rally.  For me, as a navigator, I will have the challenge of becoming familiar with the Spanish-built Blunik rally computer that will be fitted in the car.  These days I am busy bench testing this rally computer in my basement workshop.

Dan Allven’s Mustang

Some of the rally details are shown on the image below.  As can be seen from the map below there are seven starting cities this year in the Rallye Monte Carlo Historique:

  • Glasgow
  • Reims
  • Bad Homburg
  • Barcelone
  • Monaco
  • Milan
  • Athenes

Our starting city will be Monaco.  I look forward to being in Monaco again.  It is a very interesting, upscale place to visit and very friendly towards automotive events.

2019 Rallye Monte Carlo Historique Overview

There are a lot of moving parts to the rally with all of the various starting cities and the challenges of bringing all of these cars together.  While it is of little competitive consequence or advantage, I like to prepare an overall schematic of the Concentration Run. It helps me to understand what is happening around me.  When I understand what is happening around me, then it helps to clear the mind and allows me to better focus on the things that I have to do in the car.

The following schematic shows, in a very simple way, how all of the cars will complete the Concentration Run to get to Valence, France for the start of the major timed portion of this rally.

2019 Rallye Monte Carlo Historique Concentration Run Schematic

Note only does the above schematic show the connections among the cars who leave from the different starting cities, it shows where the time controls, passage controls, and the regularity sections are.

If you have any comments or questions about this post or the Rallye Monte Carlo Historique, then leave a comment below or you can send me a private email message at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot net

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Getting Ready For The Rallye Monte Carlo Historique

Recently I have been doing some very early preparatory work for the 2019 Rallye Monte Carlo Historique.  This rally will be held from January 30 to February 9, 2019.  The rally will start in several cities in Europe and congregate in the south of France in the vicinity of Monaco.  I hope to be able to confirm in a couple of weeks that an entry that I am included on will have been accepted in this rally by the Automobile Club of Monaco.  If selected, our starting city will be Monaco.  The schedule for the Monaco starters is included in the schedule shown below.

Portion Of The Schedule Showing the Key Times For Several Cities, Including Monaco

While the date is missing from this portion of the schedule, the starting time for the first car from Monaco (see the right most column above) will be at 20:00 (10:00PM) on Friday, February 1, 2019.  Note from the top of the column, that they expect 80 cars to be leaving from Monaco.

From Monaco we will have a Passage Control in Roquesteron while on our way to a Time Control in Saint Andre-Les-Alpes.  Four hours has been provided for the Monaco cars to get to Saint Andre-Les-Alpes, as the first car is due at 00:00 (midnight) on Saturday February 2. The out time at the Time Controls is equal to the in-time.  From Sainte Andre-Les-Alpes, we will proceed to the Passage Control at  Riez on our way to the Time Control at Courthezon.  The first Monaco car is expected there at 11:55.  Note by looking at the Barcelone cars, that the Monaco cars are scheduled to arrive in Courthezon just after the last Barcelone car arrives there.

The distance from Sainte Andre-Les-Alpes to Courthezon is about 320 kilometers.  Therefore the goal is to push between Sainte Andre-Les-Alpes and Courthezon so we don’t use up the allotted 11 hours 55 minutes on the road.  Say, for example, if we complete this distance in 8 hours, then we could park near the Courthezon Time Control and grab two or three hours of sleep before checking into the Courthezon Time Control.

The rest of our timing can be seen from the schedule shown.  We will be on the road until we arrive at Valence, France with the first Monaco car due at 18:40 on Saturday February 3 or almost 23 hours on the road after leaving Monaco.

The route instructions provided by the rally organizers are shown below.  As you can see, the provided instructions are the bare minimum needed to follow the rally route.

Typical Page Of Route Instructions For the Concentration Leg

The far left column of the instructions shown above refers to an area that can be found on the readily available Michelin maps.  I have a complete set of Michelin Maps for the area of France in the vicinity of Monaco.  Michelin Map 341 is suitable for the Monaco area and I have presented an image from that map below.

A Portion of Michelin Map Showing The Area Around Monaco

Further during my preparation work, I will plot our rally route on these maps.  The scale of Michelin Map 341 is 1:150000 or 1 inch equals 2.37 miles.

Once we all get to Valence, then the 2019 Rallye Monte Carlo Historique will begin in earnest.  This year there will be 15 timed regularity stages.  These stages are known as ZRs.  When we area traveling on a ZR, the roads are open to the public. The rally instructions provided to us for each ZR will be a little different and more information will be provided as compared to the normal route instructions.  This is illustrated below where you can see the instructions prepared for ZR-4.  ZR-4 is a 49 kilometer regularity section starting in Burzet and ending in LaChampe Raphael.

Note the Instructions Provided When Traversing A ZR section.

The bold type in the above image shows the Regularity Section route instructions.  In addition to the written instructions shown above, the organizers have provided map images of the routes via internet.  The base map of the ZR is provided by the rally organizers.  I have enhanced these maps as shown below.  The direction of the rally cars is indicated below via red arrow.   The instructions to follow this route are shown above.

Map Showing ZR-4.

As the Michelin Maps along with the available route maps are not particularly detailed, a number of rally teams use the services of an experienced note taker to prepare route instructions that are more suitable for the rally.  My owner will be getting a full set of route instructions from a Danish team.  A sample of the Route Book that this Danish team will prepare for us is shown below.

Sample Page From Previous Route Book

The Danish Roadbook for RMCH 2019, produced by a team led by Per Brodersen, Otto Kristensen (Winner 2002) and Arne Pagh.  All of the involved people live in Denmark and are highly experienced co-drivers and organizers, as well as experienced participants in the Rallye Monte Carlo Historique.

Itinerary and Regularity tests are measured and will be checked at 2 independent passages to ensure unmatched accuracy. Emphasis is based on the characteristics in terrain and are clear and easy to identify. Measurements in the Roadbook are indicated with one-meter accuracy (example 12.203).

When the Roadbooks are completed in January, the Concentration Leg, overview map and GPS route will be sent by mail to the customers while the other Roadbooks will be handed over at the common destination, Buis-les-Baronnies, Drôme or in Valence. Delivery time and place are agreed to individually.

Below is the service coverage provided by this Danish Group.

Itineraries Distance GPS route Map Roadbook
Glasgow 2159 km Most likely Most likely From Reims
Athens 1489 km On request No No
Bad Homburg 1175 km Yes Yes Yes
Barcelona 929 km On request No No
Reims 950 km Yes Yes Yes
Milan 832 km On request No No
Monte-Carlo 729 km Yes Yes Yes

Danish Road Book Coverage

There are a number of packages available.  The following is a general listing but for more detail check out their website at the following link: http://rmch-dk.com/roadbook-2019/

Te following is an overview of the levels available:

Pro Level if you want all the best.

  • Roadbooks printed professionally in A5-format, one for each day.
  • Maps with entered routes, ZR’s, time controls and suggestions for service points
  • Booklet with photos at important road junctions on the ZR’s
  • GPS route with complete itinerary programmed in Garmin Basecamp.
    Developed to a Garmin Nüvi 3597
    Test needed on other models.
  • Safety pace notes on selected sections are integrated in the Roadbook.
  • Blueprint for own recce is possible
  • Ice pilot SMS information during the event – no suggestions – just facts

Basic Level.

  • Roadbooks printed professionally in A5-format, one for each day.
  • Maps with entered routes, ZR’s, time controls and suggestions for service
  • Booklet with photos from all important road junctions on the ZR’s

Buy Ice pilot SMS

  • Ice pilot SMS information during the event – no suggestions – just facts

There is a lot of preparation for the 2019 Rallye Monte Carlo Historique and I look forward to getting confirmation of our selection in the upcoming weeks.

If you have any comments or questions about this post then leave a comment below or you can send me a private email at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot net


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Two Twin Engine Minis!

On November 18, 2017 I posted a story about the twin-engine Mini Cooper that I saw at the Lime Rock Historic Festival.  Recently I was contacted by Alan Wilcox of England who acquired that twin-engine Mini Cooper.  It turns out that the twin-engine Mini Cooper is the second twin-engine Mini Cooper that Alan owns!

Alan Wilcox With His Two Twin-Engine Mini Coopers

Alan’s first twin-engine Mini Cooper was the green car, DOM 337C.  This car was built by Neil Preston  in the period from 2005 – 2010.  Alan purchased DOM 337 from a dealer friend of his in 2013. It was from then, having researched the history of the Twin Engine Mini’s, and talking to Neil, that Alan found out there was another one in the USA.

This Green Twin-Engine Mini Cooper Was Alan’s First

His other twin-engine Mini Cooper, the red MGK 848D, was also built by Neil Preston  during the period from 1995-2001, which makes it older than the green car.  The red twin-engine Mini Cooper one was sold in 2001 and ended up in the Florida Keys where it remained with a collector until 2010. It was then purchased by Wayne Carini of Chasing Classic Cars Fame.  It was while the car was owned by Wayne Carini (the Carini twini Mini?) that I saw this car at the Lime Rock Historic Festival.  Alan contacted Wayne Carini and arranged to meet him at F40 Motorsports in Portland, Connecticut in April of this year.  Evidently Wayne and Alan made a deal and now the red twin-engined Mini Cooper is back in the UK, and there is no one  more pleased than Neil Preston the builder of both of these cars.

Except For Color, Almost Mirror Images

MGK 848D only traveled 400 miles during its 17 year vacation to the USA, and the car has only done 700 miles, total, since the build was completed in 2001. Alan is still breaking the engines in!

Many Gauges Needed To Monitor Two Engines

Both of these twin-engine Mini Cooper cars will be at the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, held from 10-12 November 2017 at Birmingham’s NEC.  You will find DOM337C on the Lancaster Insurance stand, and MGK 848D with Mike Brewer on the Wheeler Dealer Stand.  If you see Alan, then say hi to him for me!

If you want to know more about the twin-engine Mini Coopers, then check my original post on November 18, 2017.  If you have any comments or questions about this post then leave a comment below or you can send me a private email message at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot net

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Great Blog Stories About the 2018 Great American Mountain Rally Revival

This past week I have had the pleasure of reading Greg Davis’ blog about his and his wife, Lynn’s, adventures in the Great American Mountain Rally Revival.  And it was quite an adventure for them to be sure.

Greg & Lynn Davis’ 1948 Hudson Commodore At The Great American Mountain Rally Revival

Greg and Lynn Davis entered a 1948 Hudson Commodore in the Original Class (for cars with model years 1958 and earlier) of the Great American Mountain Rally Revival.  Greg’s stories about the rally are in three parts – each about one of the rally days.  I have included links to each of Greg’s stories.  Just click on each link and enjoy!  They are an interesting read.

Day 1


Day 2


Day 3


Pencil in October 25 – 27, 2019 if you want to take part in next year’s running of the Great American Mountain Rally Revival!  The adventure continues!

If you have any comments or questions about the Great American Mountain Rally Revival, then leave a comment below or you can send me a private email message at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot net

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Sad News About Two Great Race Participants Who Connected On Mount Washington

I got a sad email today from Jeff Stumb, the Director of the Great Race about the deaths of two Great Race participants who were involved in a life or death experience this summer on Mount Washington during the Great Race.

Jeff’s email said in part: “I just wanted to let you know that our friend Scott Henderson has passed away after a courageous battle with cancer. Scott and his daughter Mallory have become fixtures on the event in their teal colored 1964 ½ Mustang convertible, first competing in the X-Cup Division and eventually the Sportsman Division.”

Scott famously used his car on Mount Washington to stop another competitor’s vehicle from rolling off the the road down Mount Washington after the competitor’s car lost its brakes.  This whole incident was captured on video, which I have seen.

Scott Henderson’s Mustang Blocking The Buick Station Wagon From Going Off Mount Washington

The Buick station wagon was initially behind the Mustang going down the Mount Washington access road.  The heavy Buick with old drum brakes began to suffer from massive brake fade.  The Buick navigator began to holler out the window that they had lost their brakes.  In no time the Buick passed the Mustang because they could not slow down.  This situation looked ominous.  On the outside of the next corner there were some rocks.  Rather than risk going off the mountain, the Buick driver chose to make contact with those rocks.  The Buick rolled over on the passenger side and initially appeared to be stable, at least for a second or two.  Then the Buick flopped back down on its wheels and began to roll toward the edge of the road and a very significant drop.  Scott Henderson, with his daughter as navigator, moved his Mustang in front of the Buick, allowing the Buick to use the Mustang as a stopping block and to stay on the mountain and probably save lives.

Scott Henderson was awarded the Tom McRae Spirit of the Event Award at the Great Race finish in Halifax for his quick thinking. Everyone who knew Scott knew he loved life, he loved people, he loved his family (especially his daughter Mallory) and he loved the Great Race.  Just before we left Halifax, several of us saw Scott and his daughter in the hotel finishing up breakfast.  We offered our thanks and congratulations on winning the award for his actions.  I remember that he said: “You’d do the same thing.” to which my friend Peter McGuire replied: “Yea, but you DID it!”.  That’s right – he did it.

Sadly, and in an odd coincidence, Jack Juratovic, the driver of the 1955 Buick station wagon which Scott saved from a horrible fate on Mount Washington, passed away suddenly Tuesday at his home in Michigan.

Two guys, forever linked in my mind, both passed shortly after that event on Mount Washington.  Very sad.


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