As I noted in my post of September 16, 2012, I have been fortunate enough to receive a copy of the book “From Craigantlet to Monte Carlo” which is a book about the rallying career of Ronnie Adams. Ronnie Adams’ rally career was highlighted by winning the Monte Carlo Rally in 1956 in a Jaguar. In addition, I got further information about Ronnie Adams from his son, Kenneth Adams, who lives in Connecticut.
Ronnie Adams in a Jaguar Mk. VII Winning the 1956 Monte Carlo Rally
What is clear from the book is that Ronnie Adams was a winner – right from the start. His first event was the Craigantlet Hill Climb in 1936 which he won in his MG when he was 20 years old. As with many drivers of his era, World War II which began in Europe in 1939, sadly stole about 10 years from his motor sport career.
The other aspect of Ronnie Adams’ racing career is that he was an amateur. He was a family man with four kids and managed the family textile business in Belfast. Kenneth Adams noted that Ronnie Adams had limited time to take part in racing and rallying events plus no time for any serious practice. The only practice that Kenneth recalled was when his Dad drove the kids to school, on family trips and on vacations. Apparently some of these trips were taken quite briskly. It should be noted that Ronnie Adams rallied mostly in saloon, family-type cars, as he quite often rallied in his only family car. As a result, these were the cars that he was most familiar with.
Frank Bigger, Derek Johnson, and Ronnie Adams – The Winning Team From The 1956 Monte Carlo Rally
Despite these limitations on time and rally cars, Ronnie Adams rose to prominence in the British rally scene. This resulted in international opportunities for Ronnie Adams in what I would consider the top three rallies of that era – the Monte Carlo Rally, the Alpine Rally, and the Safari rally. For a variety of reasons, Ronnie Adams raced and rallied for a number of different manufacturers – Jaguar, Rootes, Ford, Rover, Mercedes-Benz and others. What is also clear is that when he was part of a team of cars, Ronnie Adams was usually the fastest.
Ronnie Adams, second from left, with a Mercedes-Benz at the 1958 East African Safari Rally
The book about Ronnie Adams, “From Craigantlet to Monte Carlo”, is not a big book, but it was a very interesting read about a great era in rallying. If anyone wants to purchase a copy of this book, please let me know. I can put you in touch with Kenneth Adams, who still has a few copies of the book.