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

https://www.gregorydavisdds.com/blog/2018/10/18/the-great-american-mountain-rally-194417

Day 2

https://www.gregorydavisdds.com/blog/2018/10/19/the-great-american-mountain-rally-194431

Day 3

https://www.gregorydavisdds.com/blog/2018/10/20/the-great-american-mountain-rally-194435

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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Route Of The 2019 Mille Miglia Announced

In 2019 the prestigious Mille Miglia rally will be held from May 15 to May 18.  As always the Mille Miglia will consist of the circular route that begins and ends in Brescia, Italy.  The route of the rally is shown below.  Overnight stops are identified by the red circles on the map below.

2019 Mille Miglia Route

The Mille Miglia is always very difficult to enter due to the rules about the cars that are acceptable.  In addition, there are always more entrants than available spaces in the rally.  In the past few years the available spaces has been increasing, but in a reversal of that trend, in 2019 only 430 entries will be accepted, down from 450 entries last year.

For all those wishing to take part in the 2019 Mille Miglia, it will be possible to register online starting from Tuesday October 23,  2018.

If you have any comments or questions about this post or the Mille Miglia, 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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Saab Wins 1956 Great American Mountain Rally!

This week when I was driving Fred Gallagher back to my house after the Great American Mountain Rally Revival, Fred discovered that there was an original advertisement from the February 1957 issue of Motor Trend for sale on eBay in which Saab was touting their win in the 1956 Great American Mountain Rally.  As soon as I could after taking Fred to the airport on Monday, I purchased the advertisement and it arrived today.  This Saab advertisement is shown below.

Saab Advertisement After Winning The 1956 Great American Mountain Rally

In 1956/1957 Saab was just beginning to sell cars in the United States.  Evidently after the 1956 win at the Great American Mountain Rally (GAMR) , Saab began an advertising campaign in the USA based on its success at GAMR.  Car sales in the USA took off at rates that pleased Saab very much.  Saab executives clearly saw the benefits of advertising rally victories.  On a broader scale, Saab then began to develop and expand their rally program which eventually took them the Erik Carlsson and a widely successful rally program for years.  Perhaps all because of the Great American Mountain Rally!

If you have any comments or questions about this post or the Great American Mountain Rally, then add them below or you may send a private email message to me at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot net

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The Great American Mountain Rally Revival Is Completed!

I am pleased to be able to say that the Great American Mountain Rally has been revived.  After a gap of a little over 60 years, the 2018 Great American Mountain Rally has just been completed.  The last time the Great American Mountain Rally was run was in 1956!

The weather was quite variable during the three days of the rally.  We had rain, wind, some thought they say some snowflakes, clouds and sunshine.

A New England Fall Rally With Fall Foliage, Sunshine, Covered Bridges, and Classic Cars!

The Original Class was won by Jim Gately/Fred Gallagher in Jim’s lovely and stout 1937 Cadillac.  Fred and Jim are shown below standing beside the Cadillac.  It should be pointed out that Jim Gately is fresh off his win in the Alpine Rally in France.  I guess that Jim likes the high country!  Jim came from California to take part in the rally and Fred came all the way from England!

Fred Gallagher and Jim Gately With 1937 Cadillac

In the above photo you can also see the 1948 Hudson Commodore entered by Greg and Lynn Davis.  Greg and Lynn had numerous mechanical issues with their Hudson as they came from Ohio, but they were able to keep the big Hudson running to a second place finish in the Original Class, for cars manufactured during or before 1958.

Original Class Winners

Position Driver Navigator Car
1 James Gately Fred Gallagher 1937 Cadillac
2 Gregory Davis Lynn Davis 1948 Hudson Commodore

 

In the Classic Class, those cars made from 1959 to 1988, the winners were David Wells and Peter McGuire in a 1966 Volvo 122S.  David and Peter came from Ontario to take part in the rally.

The top three finishers in the Classic Class are presented below.

Top Three Finishers In The Classic Class

Position Driver Navigator Car
1 David Wells Peter McGuire 1966 Volvo 122S
2 Matthew Koops Mary Ann Koops 1974 Dodge Monaco (Bluesmobile)
3 Jeff Givens Dan Taylor 1959 Triumph TR3A

The final route of the 2018 Great American Mountain Rally is shown below.

Route Of The 2018 Great American Mountain Rally

The Modern Class included all cars newer than 1988.  The winners Ed and Doug Sain posted some very good times with Doug cranking a Curta mechanical calculator.

Top Three Finishers In The Modern Class

Position Driver Navigator Car
1 Ed Sain Douglas Sain 2015 Toyota Highlander
2 Lisa Colom Luis Colom 2017 Fiat 124 Spider
3 Sebastian von Langsdorff Harald von Langsdorff 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA 45 AMG

It was also remarkable that Sebastian von Langsdorff who got the third place trophy in the Modern Class only got his driver’s license a few months ago.

Robert Wehman And Louis Braun Winners Of The 1956 Great American Mountain Rally

62 years later….

Jim Gately And Fred Gallagher Winners Of The 2018 Great American Mountain Rally Revival

I am looking for more pictures of the 2018 Great American Mountain Rally, so if you have some photos that you are willing to share please send some to me.

If you have any comments or questions about the Great American Mountain Rally, 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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Mounting An Odometer Wheel Sensor Using A Wheel Plate

Over the years I have installed a wheel sensor on many different cars, usually in about 20 minutes on the day of a rally.  This is a common occurrence for an itinerant rally navigator.  Often when I get asked to be a navigator for someone in their car, I use my own rally timing equipment because in many cases it is better for the particular rules of the rally or the owner’s car is not a commonly-used rally car.  In addition, sometimes it is useful to install a wheel sensor on a rental car.  In order to install a wheel sensor in short order both speed and installation flexibility are needed.  This post illustrates one way that I can do this.

Extended Lug Nuts Installed

The first step is to replace the lug nuts on the wheel that will be used to drive the wheel sensor with lug nuts that will allow the plate to be added onto the wheel.  The extended lug nuts shown above were originally manufactured for “bling” on wheels.  These lug nuts originally had pointed ends mounted on them.

Significant Extension With Threaded Sockets On These Lug Nuts

The extended lug nuts allow bolts to be installed on the end of them.  this provides an opportunity to add the mounting plate.

Bolts In Extended Lug Nuts

The above image demonstrates how bolts can be installed in the end of the extended lug nuts.  You need to be careful that the size and bolt threads match up properly.  A useful mounting plate needs be adaptable to various bolt pattern diameters.  The stainless steel wheel plate that I had made up by a local machine shop is shown below.

Custom Mounting Plate Provides Installation Flexibility

The wheel mounting plate with the slotted bolt holes shown above can be installed on various diameters of five-bolt lug nut patterns.  Using stainless steel increases the useful life span of this plate and provides the needed strength.  The center bolt hole is sized specifically for the EZ Pulse wheel sensor that I have.

EZ Pulse Wheel Sensor Mounted On Wheel Plate

The image above shows an EZ Pulse wheel sensor, made by Alfa Small Systems, mounted using the wheel mounting plate.  The plate rotates with the wheel, but the magnets inside the wheel sensor generate the needed electrical pulses to be sent to the rally odometer.  This setup can be installed in just a few minutes.

If you have any questions or comments about this post or the wheel sensor mounting plate, 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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New Book About Long Time Rally Co-Driver/Navigator Willy Cave

I have just received a copy of a very interesting book about one of England’s most well-known co-driver/navigator – Willy Cave.  This book, “Putting Willy Cave On The Map”, has just been written by Pablo Raybould. I am really enjoying reading this book.  It must be understood that Willy Cave started rallying in 1950 and is still actively competing in car rallies. This year he competed in the 2018 Rallye Monte Carlo Historique at the age of 91.  So when you read a book about Willy Cave and contributed to by Willy, then the story goes a long way back.

Pablo Raybould’s New Book About Willy Cave

In the cover of Pablo’s book above, the lower photo shows Willy Cave, on the left, Marcus Chambers the BMC Competitions Manager in the center, and John Sprinzel rally driver on the right preparing for the Monte Carlo Rally in 1958.

The upper photo on the cover shows two Sprites (John Sprinzel’s Sprite is on the right)  at the 1959 Monte Carlo Rally in which Willy competed with John Sprinzel.

The book is full of images and information that I, as a rally navigator with an interest in the classic rallies, find interesting and not often found in rally books.  An example is the stylized map below that shows the general route of the Alpine Rally in 1961.

 

1961 Alpine Rally Route

The 1961 Alpine Rally totaled 3,035 kilometers and only two stages – Marseille to Chamonix and Chamonix to Cannes with a total of 10 tests along the way.

As you would expect, there are plenty of black & white photos as well as color photos in the book.  The photo below shows the Rover P5 Coupe that John Sprinzel and Willy Cave competed in, but had to retire from due to brake failure.

Parc Ferme At The Start Of The 1963 Liege-Sofia-Liege Rally

Pablo Raybould also included copies of letters sent by the various works teams to their rally teams in preparation for the major rallies.  An example is shown below.

Standard Triumph Rally Team Instructions For the 1957 Tulip Rally

Other uncommon information included in this book are copies of time cards from several rallies.  Below is a copy of a time card from the 1963 Alpine Rally.  In that rally Willy Cave  again was the co-driver for John Sprinzel, but this time in a 997cc Mini Cooper.

Time Card From The 1963 Alpine Rally

Also included in the book are even copies of some notes that Willy made to himself that he stuck on the dash of the car to help him with the navigation.  Below are some notes that he made on a Ferodo Brake Linings note pad.  Things like that provide insight to the necessary preparation for major rallies at that time.

Some of Willy Cave’s Route Notes From The 1959 Alpine Rally

As you can see there is a lot of interesting information in this book about Willy Cave.  I highly recommend it. I am pleased that my copy has been autographed Willy Cave.  I met Willy briefly when I was competing in the 2016 Rallye Monte Carlo Historique.  He looked impressive with his Monte Carlo competition lapel badge with well over 20 bars.

If you want to get a copy of this book, then contact Pablo Raybould via the following email address: pabloraybould@blueyonder.co.uk

If you have any comments or questions about this post or this book, 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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