Sports Illustrated Report On The 1956 Great American Mountain Rally

For some years I have been searching for information about the original runnings of the Great American Mountain Rally.  Recently Gary Hamilton found a report about the 1956 Great American Mountain Rally in the December 10, 1956 issue of Sports Illustrated magazine.  The readability of the document online was not particularly good, therefore I started a search for an original copy of this magazine.  I was surprised to find one on eBay quickly, so I bought it and it recently arrived at our house.  I have scanned a copy of this report and have shown it below.

From Sports Illustrated December 10, 1956

As can be seen from the listing of the top 10 finishers, this was the year that a Saab team won the event, with another Saab entry, driven by factory driver Rolfe Mellde, finishing in sixth place.  Another notable top 10 finisher was well known international rallyist Maurice Gatsonides in seventh place in a Triumph TR3.  The truly rally-addicted people might also note that the navigator in the ninth place finishing position MG Magnette was Captain H. E. Thomas.  Captain Thomas was the developer of the famous “Tommy Box”, which was a very early American rally “computer”.

Also of interest is that the first few cars were flagged off by multi-time World Driving Champion, Juan Fangio!

The Sports Illustrated report is a good one, but unfortunately car rally reports are not common in Sports Illustrated these days.  One thing that hasn’t changed in Sports Illustrated since December 10, 1956 is the publishing of pictures of attractive young women in bathing suits, but enough said about that.

If you have any additional information about the Great American Mountain Rally or know where I might find such information, then please let me know.  In 2019, a revival of this Great American Mountain Rally will be held on October 25 – 27 with a planned start in Saratoga Springs, New York.  You may leave comments or questions about this post, the Great American Mountain Rally, or the planned 2019 revival of this rally below, or you can send me a private email message at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot net

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