When Dan Allven and I left Valence, France to start the day that would take us through Regularity Stages 6, 7,8, and 9 we looked at the reality of the situation. We had dug ourselves into quite a “time hole” over the first five Regularity Stages. When we started the 2016 Rallye Monte Carlo Historique we had discussed that the most important thing to both of us was to finish the rally in Monte Carlo. Due to some of the struggles that Dan had with getting the car ready, he was pleased that he had even been able to start the Rallye Monte Carlo Historique so a finish in Monte Carlo would be quite an accomplishment. From this point forward it would be difficult to make significant gains in the standings rally. As a result, we concluded that while we would do the best we could from this point forward, we would not push it to a point that would prevent us from finishing the rally.
Discussions like this are very useful between the driver/co-driver in a rally so that each understands the big picture and what the objectives are. Decisions can then be made based on the the team’s objectives.
The Villages Of Southern France Are Very Picturesque
As we were in a rally it is easy to be fully engaged in the rally and not notice the scenery outside the car. The Rallye Monte Carlo Historique takes the competitors through some charming old French villages which was a real treat for a North American such as myself. The roads were interesting and very picturesque. I regret that I did not take more pictures. Further, as far as looking at the scenery, the weather was just great. I had expected to experience winter conditions, but the conditions were more spring-like.
Many Of The Roads Of The Rallye Monte Carlo Historique Were Cut Out Of The Sides Of Mountains
In addition to the French villages that the rally roads passed through, the roads themselves were often spectacular. Many were cut out of the sides of a mountain, with steep drop offs and scenic views. As a civil engineer, I often marveled at the difficulties that had to be overcome to build these roads.
On this day I had another challenge to deal with. On two occasions my door flew open! The first time it happened was quite a surprise. I was never sure what caused the door to open, but it might have been some extra seat belt length being caught in the door jamb. The second time it happened we were going around a corner and I had to catch the door quickly before it reached the end of its travel, perhaps damaging the hinges. You can be sure that I paid close attention to my door for the rest of the rally.
Our mid-day control was at Saint-Agreve. We arrived a little early and had some time to get out of the car, walk around, add some fuel to the car, and grab some food. We also cleaned the interior of the car as it was beginning to look like two people had been living in it for a couple of days.
The Mid-Day Control At Saint-Agreve
There were not a lot of dining choices at the Saint-Agreve control, but we were able to re-stock our supplies of fruit, water, and energy bars at an adjacent variety store. This suited me just fine, as I don’t like to eat too much while in the car in a rally.
At The Saint-Agreve Control We Stocked Up On Fruit And Water
A the Saint-Agreve control I was able to look around at some of the other cars that were in the control at the same time. One that caught my eye was a 1965 Austin 1800 “Land Crab” rally car in a livery similar to that used in the 1968 London-Sydney Marathon rally.
An Austin Maxi “Land Crab”
Some other cars in the Rallye Monte Carlo Historique that I found interesting are shown below. The Renault Dauphine 1093 is rarely seen in North America. The 1093 was a factory racing model limited edition of 2,140 cars which were tuned to 55 horsepower as compared to the normal power for the Dauphine of around 30 horsepower. These cars, produced in 1962 and 1963, featured a twin-barrel carburetor, rear track rods, four-speed manual transmission and tachometer, had a top speed of 87 mph. All were painted white with two thin blue stripes running front to back along the hood, roof and trunk.
1962 Renault Dauphine 1093
While Dauphines are rare in North America now, they made a big impression on the Canadian rallying scene in the early 1960s. In 1962 a Renault factory rally ream won the team prize in the Shell 4000 rally. This was a significant rally in its day extending some 4,000 miles from Montreal to Vancouver. In addition to the Shell 4000 team victory, the Renault Dauphine 1093 team took the factory team award at the Rallye des Neiges in Quebec, and finished second in the Canadian Winter Rally. Then the cars seemed to disappear from North America.
Renault Dauphine 1093 Factory Rally Team At The 1962 Shell 4000 Rally In Canada
One of the more impressive cars in the rally was a 1954 Lancia B20 Aurelia GT. This was one of the top rally cars and GT racing cars of the 1950s. In this year’s Rallye Monte Carlo Historique the navigator in this car was Willy Cave, who is over 90 years old!
1954 Lancia B20 Aurelia GT
Nothing says French rally car more than the blue Renault Alpine A110 shown below. These were the top rally cars of the late 1960s and early 1970s. When you see these cars in person, they seem smaller than you would expect.
1969 Alpine Renault A110 1300
The rally day at the Rallye Monte Carlo Historique ended back in Valence. After we parked the car in parc ferme there was a hosted party for rally participants nearby in a special tent where we enjoyed some glasses of wine with the Sunbeam Tiger crew of Jeremy Holden and Angelica Fuentes. I believe at Dan’s urging, a local TV reporter interviewed me, but I’m not sure if any of his French audience would have understood what I said.
After several glasses of wine we took a shuttle bus back to our hotel where once again Dan arranged a great steak dinner. We got to bed fairly early to get a good night’s sleep as tomorrow was going to be a long day. About an hour of sleep there was a knock on the door. As Dan’s room was across the hall, I assumed that he had got some important news about the car. When I opened the door I was very surprised to see this young woman standing there. Evidently she was just as surprised to see me standing there in my underwear. She abruptly turned and disappeared down the hall without saying a word. I went back to sleep.
If you have any comments or questions either leave a comment below or contact me privately at my email address: shanna12 at comcast dot net