Success At The Swedish Car Day At Larz Anderson Museum

Today, August 28, 2016 was 17th annual Swedish Car Day at the Larz Anderson Museum of Transportation in Brookline, Massachusetts.  I have attended this show several times in the past, but today I went primarily to take a close look at a Volvo PV544, as there are always a few of these cars at this show.  I am somewhat familiar with this car, but I have never sat in one before  or considered issues like what is the best way to mount rally navigational equipment in these cars.  For the 2017 Rallye Monte Carlo Historique I will be navigating in a Volvo PV544, therefore I thought that going to the Swedish Car Day would provide me with the opportunity to take a close look at a Volvo PV544 and consider these issues with the real car.  And I was right.

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Before I get to the story about the Volvo PV544, there are a couple of other cars at the show that caught my eye during the rather short time that I was at the show.  One of these cars was the blue Saab Sonett that is shown below.

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Saab Sonett

Perhaps the most interesting car at the show was the Chevrolet Nova that was originally, apparently, powered by a 350 cubic inch V8 engine.  If you look carefully at the picture below, then you will see an image of a prancing moose on the front grille.  This is a clue to what is there now.

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Chevrolet Nova With A Surprise!

The picture below is a close up of the current engine in this Chevrolet Nova.  I don’t know enough about Volvo engines to know what the current Volvo engine in this car is, but it sure took me by surprise.  And it is definitely not a 350 cubic inch V8 engine!

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Chevrolet Nova Powered By Volvo

As noted previously, the car that I really wanted to see was the 1962 Volvo PV544 Sport shown below.  This car is very similar to the 1961 Volvo PV544 that I will be navigating in at the 2017 Rallye Monte Carlo Historique.  This car is owned by Charlie Boyd of Waltham, MA, who I had the pleasure of meeting at the show.

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Charlie Boyd’s 1962 Volvo PV 544 Sport

I approached Charlie at the show and I explained that I would like to take a close look at his car in order to be better prepared for the 2017 Rallye Monte Carlo Historique.  Charlie was sympathetic to my request and even allowed me to sit in his car.  He also explained to me the purpose of the ring on the end of the chain below the radio and also what the purpose was of the red button, also below the radio and ash try.

By allowing me to sit in the car, I was able to come up with an initial plan for mounting my rally navigation in a Volvo PV544 for the Rallye Monte Carlo Historique.

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Dash Of Charlie Boyd’s PV 544

I also took this opportunity to take a close look at the Volvo B18 engine that is in the PV544.  This engine has a good reputation of being a reliable engine in Volvos and other cars.  This engine in Charlis Boyd’s PV544 is shown below.

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Volvo B18 Engine

So you can see I had a successful day and I am pleased that I happened to meet Charlie Boyd, who was very generous with his time and car.

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

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Update To My Navigator’s Timing Notes For The Mille Miglia

Once again I have updated my navigator’s notes for the Mille Miglia.  These notes are written to help a rookie navigator or first timer in this event understand how timing and course following at this prestigious rally are conducted.

Start Control (1)

The Mille Miglia is slightly different from many other rallies and many of the competitors in this event are not experienced rally competitors.  My hope is that these notes will help navigators understand the timing methods and the course following methods for the Mille Miglia.

To see these updated notes click on the following pdf file:

Mille Miglia Rally Notes Revision 4

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

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Good Book About Studebaker Cars

Once again I have been adding to my library of books about cars and rallies.  This time I acquired a book about the now-defunct automobile manufacturer, Studebaker.   This is a relatively recent book, by my standards, that was written in 2008 by Connecticut resident, Patrick Foster.  The book is easy to read and had lots of both color and black & white photographs.

Studebaker Book Cover

This Book Is A Good Studebaker Reference

Studebaker always seemed to have good cars, but they just seemed to have trouble making any money.  The book covers both issues quite well.  It gives a good technical history of the Studebaker cars plus it describes, in sufficient detail, the terrible management decisions made in the 1950s that led to the company’s downfall.

Studebaker Golden Hawk 1957

The 1957 Studebaker Golden Hawk Was A Great Car

I found the book to be a very informative.  I had been looking for more information on Studebakers for some time so I was pleased to get this book at a good price.

Studebaker does not seem to have an extensive competition history.  I know that they had success in the early Shell 4000 rallies and I believe that a Studebaker competed in the Monte Carlo Rally in the 1930s.  Recently, Studebaker bodied cars have dominated the La Carrera Panamericana in Mexico.  I plan on looking into the Studebaker competitive history in more detail in the upcoming months.

Studebaker quit making cars in the mid-1960s, however they left behind some interesting, but somewhat underappreciated cars.

If you have some Studebaker stories or questions or comments on this post, then leave a comment below or you can contact me via private email message at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot net

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I Will Be Navigating In The 2017 Paris To Prague Rally

This week I accepted an opportunity to be the navigator for Michael Eatough in next year’s Paris to Prague Rally.  This rally will run from June 11 to June 17, 2017.  The route of this rally should be very interesting.

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The Paris-Prague Rally will start at the magnificent Chateau de Chantilly with overnight stops in Nancy, St Gallen, Cortina D’Ampezzo, Linz and Brno before finishing in Prague.  The Paris-Prague Rally is about 2,250 kilometres long and travels through six countries in six days – France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Austria and the Czech Republic. The route will include the former grand prix circuit at Reims, the Freiburg-Schauinsland Hillclimb, the world-famous Stelvio Pass, the Grossglockner High Alpine Road and the old Masaryk road circuit at Brno.

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Michael Eatough’s 1966 Mercedes-Benz 230S

Michael Eatough and I have been discussing cars and rally issues for some time.  We met in person last year during the 2015 Trans-American Challenge when the rally had an overnight stop in Old Forge. New York.

Michael’s Mercedes-Benz is very sturdy and well prepared.  I have no doubt that the car will make it from start to finish on this rally.

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Michael Eatough’s Mercedes-Benz During The 2015 Trans-America Challenge

I look forward to taking part in this rally with Michael.  He has put a lot of effort into his rallying and in preparing his car.  And having the opportunity do go up the Stelvio Pass while on a rally will be a real treat.

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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Dakar 2017 Has A New Look

The route of the 2017 Dakar Rally has been announced this week.  The route has new look as compared to other years.  This year the rally will begin in Asuncion, the capitol of Paraguay and end in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The 2017 route of the Dakar Rally is shown below.

Dakar 2017 Route

Route Of The 2017 Dakar Rally

For 2017 Bolivia has returned as a host country with the rally heading as far north as La Paz before turning around and heading to Buenos Aires.

The Dakar Rally will start on January 2, 2017 and end on January 14, 2017.  The number of teams that are capable of winning the Dakar seems to be expanding every year.  Based on last year’s Dakar, I believe that Sebastian Loeb would be the favorite to win.  For more information about the 2017 Dakar Rally, contact the rally’s website at the following address: http://www.dakar.com

If you have any questions or comments you can leave a message in the comment space below this message.  Or you can send me a private email at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot net

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I Will Be Helping With The ERA’s Trans-America Challenge in 2018

On Friday the Endurance Rally Association announced that they will be hosting the Trans-Am Challenge in 2018.  The rally will start in Charleston, South Carolina on May 26, 2018 and end 23 days later in Seattle, Washington on June 17, 2018.  The general route is shown below.

Trans-Am 2018 Poster

Trans-America Challenge 2018 Overall Route

I am pleased to be working with Fred Gallagher and the Endurance Rally Association to help put this rally together.  The Endurance Rally Association has organized many long-distance or marathon rallies in the past, including two previous Trans-America Challenge in 2012 and in 2015 and several Peking to Paris rallies

As can be seen from the general route outline, the Trans-America Rally will stop by some of the most interesting cities in America.  And I know that I will be seeking out some great rally roads linking those interesting cities with some additional stops along the way.

For more information on the Endurance Rally Association and the Trans-America Challenge 2018 click on the link below:

http://www.endurorally.com/pages/trans-america-2018-news

I will have much more about the rally as it further develops.  I look forward to being a part of this event.

If you have any questions or comments regarding 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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An Example Of It’s Not All Over Until It’s All Over In A Car Rally

I have just finished reading Robert Connor’s book “The 1968 London To Sydney Marathon”.  I mentioned previously that I had just bought this book.  The book is written in the fashion of a number of individual, yet connected, stories about the different competitors.  The story that I found most interesting, although I already knew part of the story, was that about how the rally was lost while the leading car was just cruising to the finish line.

For most of the 1968 London to Sydney Marathon the leading car was the Cortina driven by Roger Clark and Ove Andersson.  However 56 miles south of Omeo the rear differential in the Cortina broke down.  Clark was able to find a Cortina owned by local person and buy the rear differential from that local, make the differential change, and carry on in the rally, but the time lost moved the Clark/Andersson team down to 14th place.

Final Australian Layout

Final Few Legs Of The 1968 London To Sydney Marathon 

As  result of Clark’s misfortune, first place then fell into the hands of the Citroen team of Lucien Bianchi and Jean-Claude Ogier.  When they started the last timed competitive stage between Hindmarsh and Nowra, Bianchi/Ogier had 11 points in hand, over the second place team of Andrew Cowan/Colin Malkin/Brian Coyle in a Hillman Hunter.  This was considered a substantial cushion for Bianchi/Ogier and about all they had to was drive from the start to the finish of this stage.

Bianchi Ogier Citroen

Bianchi/Ogier Ten Miles From Disaster

The last stage was essential closed to the public because of the rally.  The New South Wales police obsessed about rally cars speeding and often followed right behind the rally cars in case the rally cars would speed, but gave no heed to helping control the traffic on the stage.  As a result, at the end of the stage in Nowra two young smart-ass teenagers, named Gregory Stanton and Allan Chillcott in a Mini, refused the pleas of a rally official not to enter the stage going in the opposite direction of the rally cars.  Saying something like it’s public road and they have a right to drive on the road if they want to.  Now I know that 50% of the people have below average intelligence and Gregory Stanton and Allan Chillcott clearly demonstrated which 50% they belong in.  So away they headed down the road knowingly against the on-coming rally car traffic.

The obvious then happened.  The first car on the road was Bianchi/Ogier in the Citroen.  They were so sure that the marathon was effectively over that the navigator, Ogier was driving while Bianchi rested.  Sure enough there was a head-on collision between the Bianchi Citroen and the Mini with the two Australian punks with only four miles to go before the end of the stage.  Serious injuries were inflicted on Bianchi.  Their car and rally were ruined.  And after thousands of rally miles, the lead fell into the hands of Andrew Cowan, Colin Malkin, and Brian Coyle in their Hillman Hunter with just a few miles to go.  This clearly shows that a rally is never over until it’s all over!

Connor’s book is full of interesting stories from the 1968 London To Sydney Marathon.  I recommend this book.  The images in this post came from Connor’s book.

Lucien Bianchi tragically died less than a year later, at the age of 34, when in March, 1969 while testing an Alfa Romeo T33 at the Le Mans circuit his car left the track and hit a telephone pole.  He died instantly.  He was the great-uncle of Jules Bianchi, the Formula 1 driver who died last year, as a result of injuries at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Jean-Claude Ogier retired from major rallying in 1970.  He is no relation to Sebestien Ogier who is a current competitor in the World Rally Championship.

If you have any questions or comments about this story 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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