The Alpine Rally – A Very Challenging Rally

Over the recent holiday period I read a book about the 1950s British rally driver Sheila Van Damm.  Much of that book is about the Alpine Rally which was one of the major rally events in Europe at that time.  This rally was particularly challenging and from what I know, it appears that it was more challenging than the more well-known Monte Carlo rally of that period.

I have a couple of very good books that were written particularly about the Alpine Rally.  The first book that I will note in this post is “Alpine Trials & Rallies”, which covers all of the variants of the Alpine Rally over the years from 1910 to 1973.


This Is A Good Summary Of All Of The Alpine Rallies

On the cover of this book is a Michael Wright painting of H.J. Aldington in his Frazer-Nash winning a Glacier Cup in the 1932 International Alpine Rally.

A focus on the more recent history of the Alpine Rally is included in the following book – “International Alpine Rally 1948 – 1969”.  This book is a compilation of contemporaneous articles written in (mostly) British publications such as Autocar and Sporting Motorist.  The articles are good and are clearly written for their target audience which was primarily British motorsport enthusiasts.


The Cover Photo Shows Ian Appleyard In His Jaguar XK-120 In The Alpine Rally

In order to get a good feel for this rally I would recommend going to YouTube and search for the film on the 1958 Alpine Rally.  The film is entitled “Coupe Des Alpes (Part 1 of 3)”, but be sure to watch all three parts, as it will be time well spent.  A link to Part 1 of 3 is provided below:

If you watch this then you can see how hard the relatively stock cars were driven over some very tight roadways.  And the rally days were long.  In the 1958 Alpine Rally, the last day covered over 1,100 miles in a 31 hour period!  It must have been quite a rally to take part in.

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