Route And Results Of The 1955 Great American Mountain Rally

This past week Jeff Becker, from New York, sent me a copy of an article that was printed in the New York Times in November 1955 about the 1955 running of the Great American Mountain Rally.  The story included the following cartoon outlining the 1,200 mile route that was covered in the two days of the rally.

Route Of The 1955 Great American Mountain Rally

From the New York Times article I was able to prepare the following table showing the top ten finishers.

Top Ten Finishers In The 1955 Great American Mountain Rally

Finish Driver Navigator Car
1 Donald D. Kriplen Charles W. Rickert 1950 MG TD
2 Stewart Blodgett John Baugh 1954 Triumph TR2
3 William Buick Emil Buick 1955 Austin-Healey
4 Wallbridge Bailey Inge Bailey 1954 Austin-Healey
5 William Baldwin W. J. Harrison 1951 MG TD
6 John Ryan Richard Turner 1956 MGA
7 Roland Gingara Clement Barnard 1955 Jaguar XK140
8 George Fog Peter Bullard 1953 Jaguar XK120
9 Buel Kinne Frank Neyland 1954 Austin-Healey
10 E. J. Schellenberg W. Ray Dewees 1955 Porsche Speedster

There were 57 finishers of the 61 cars that started the rally in New York City.  The Factory Production Team prize was won by the Hillman team, while the Team Prize was won by Austin-Healey.

I was pleased to get this information and once again I would like to thank Jeff Becker.  If you have information about the Great American Mountain Rally, then please forward it to me.  I have collected some information about the rally, but I am always on the lookout for more.

If you have any comments or questions about this post, then 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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Making Repairs To My Brantz Retrotrip Odometer

The Brantz Retrotrip is a reasonably popular electronic/mechanical rally odometer that is used where average speed rally computers are not allowed and car owners are looking for an older style rally odometer.  I have had a Retrotrip for a few years and have used it in several rallies.  However I began to notice that sometimes the numbers would not advance when they should have.  I did some testing and I discovered that this was happening with both displays, so I knew that I couldn’t trust either display.  As this had happened to me, I also used a similar Retrotrip owned by a friend of mine in a rally and I discovered that the same thing was happening with his Retrotrip.  I also found out from two other sources that the same thing happened to them.

The issue is that the counters, which are the mechanical part of the unit, will wear out.  In an exchange of messages with Michael Bruns of Germany, I was told that the counters can be changed either by sending the unit back to Brantz or doing it myself.  Therefore in order to restore my Retrotrip to a new condition, I decided to change the counters myself.  This post describes how I did it and hopefully can serve as a guide for others.

You’ll Need a #10 Torx Screwdriver, Needlenose Pliers, And A Small Slot Screwdriver To Change The Counters

Remove the back cover of the Retrotrip odometer.

Remove All Five Screws From The Back Plate

The light shade on the top of the Retrotrip needs to be removed to get access to the top mounting screws on the counters.

Remove Top Light Shade

Once the top light shade is removed, then the two screws holding the counters in place can be removed.

Remove The Screws Holding The Counters In Place

The photo below shows the two counters.  Note that they are manufactured by a company based in Brazil – Veeder-Root.  The model number of the counters is important to note – 779185-207.  I live in Massachusetts and I found a dealer in Connecticut, Walker Industrial, who imports and retails these counters.  I am sure that there are others similar distributors throughout the country.  Be sure to get the model numbers exactly the same.

The Two Existing Counters Appear To Have Been Built In May 2007

I ordered the two new counters and about 3 to 4 weeks later, the two new Veeder-Root counters arrived.  The only difference between the existing counters and the new counters is that Brantz had added a decimal point to the clear plastic display cover to identify the distance to two places of decimal.  I will have to add my own decimal place and the plastic cover that protects the numbers in the display.

One Of My New Veeder-Root Counters

As shown in the photo below, the two wires from the Veeder-Root counters are inserted in two connectors at the back of the Retrotrip unit.  The wires from the existing counters can be removed from the connectors by depressing the little orange tabs, while pulling out the black wires.  I made notes so I would not forget which wire went into which side of each connector.

Depress The Orange Tabs In Remove Or Reinstall The Wires From The Counters

The installation of the new Veeder-Root counters is just the opposite of the removal.  It is really not particularly difficult.  I should have shortened the wires coming out of the back on the new counters as I wound up cramming at lot of excess wire inside the Retrotrip box.

I want to thank again Michael Bruns who gave me the idea to fix the Retrotrip.  I now am heading in a different direction with respect to older odometers, so I just might put my Retrotrip up for sale, but now I know that it is in “new” condition and I can pass it along feeling good about the Retrtrip.

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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Stevens Rally Indicator: A Useful Circular Slide Rule For Rallying

Based on some discussions that were on Facebook recently, I wondered how many people remembered about the Stevens Rally Indicator or as it is often called, the Stevens rally wheel.  The Stevens rally wheel is a circular slide rule that was commonly used in the USA rallies in the 1960s and 70s until the electronic calculator became available in a useful size and at an affordable cost.

Stevens Rally Indicator

The Stevens Rally Indicator is a circular slide rule that was a handy means of doing time-speed-distance calculations.  It also allows for calibration of the car’s odometer which is a problem when using the car’s standard odometer or perhaps when using even a Halda odometer, if the correct gears are not available to get a suitable calibration with the rallymaster’s measured distance.

The instructions for using the Stevens Rally Indicator are printed on the back of the unit, so you never have to worry about leaving the instructions at home.  It only takes short time to learn how to use these units.

Instructions Are Included On The Back Of The Unit

The unit has three arms that are adjustable, but when they are set up, then the arms are locked into the same relative positions allowing for simple and fast time-speed-distance calculations.  English and European navigators will note that the Stevens Rally Indicator provides time based on a decimal minute.  In other words, the minute is divided into units of 0.01 minutes rather that seconds.  Use of a decimal minute allows for much easier calculations when compared to the base 60 mathematics that must be done when working with 60 seconds to a minute.

I have enlarged an image showing the instructions on the back  of the Stevens Rally Indicator which explains how the unit is used.

Enlarged, More Readable Instructions

The Stevens Rally Indicator provides incremental times only, therefore if there are changing speeds along a regulatory stage then the navigator has to add the time calculated by this unit to the total elapsed time at the beginning of the section where the Stevens Rally Indicator is being used.  These units essentially provide the same information as provided in standard rally tables, but have the advantage of allowing for an odometer that needs to be calibrated to the rallymaster’s distance.  Standard rally tables only provide times for the exact distance noted, not for the distance shown on an odometer that is not in sync with the rallymater’s distance.

Stevens Rally Indicators were available in two sizes.  The smaller unit is 6-inches in diameter, while the larger unit has a diameter of 9 inches.  I have two of the large diameter units, but I have never used a 6-inch diameter unit.

Occasionally these units are seen for sale on eBay.  They are useful to use if the rally rules forbid use of electronic calculators and while they are not as powerful as the Curta calculators, they are much easier to use and not nearly as expensive.

There Were 6-Inch (shown here) And 9-Inch (shown above) Diameter Stevens Rally Indicators

If you have any questions or comments about the Stevens Rally Indicator or this post, then 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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Great American Mountain Rally Revival To End At Hemmings Motor News Headquarters

Gary Hamilton and I are pleased to announce that the folks at Hemmings Motor News based in Bennington, Vermont have agreed to allow the Great American Mountain Rally Revival to use their facilities as the rally end location.  Hemmings Motor News is the world largest collector car marketplace.

Whether you are looking at buying your dream car or selling a classic or collector car, Hemmings has thousands of premium classics for sale in their online inventory. American classic cars, muscle cars, exotics, and late-model classics are available from vetted private sellers, specialty dealers, and collector car auctions located in the United States and abroad.  In other words, when it comes to collector cars, if you can’t find it in Hemmings, then you don’t need it.

Part Of The Display At Hemmings

The Great American Mountain Rally Revival will be held from October 11 – 14, 2018.  The rally will be based on the original Great American Mountain Rallye that was held from 1953 to 1957.  The rally will start in Eldred, NY, head up to close to the Canadian border, and then return south to end at the Hemmings headquarters in Bennington, VT.  Route Instructions will be in a style similar to those used in the original rallies and all roads will be as shown on the 1953 Mobilgas maps of New England which will be given to every competition crew.  Car classes are only based on the age of the car, with a special Original Class for 1957 cars or older that could have competed in the original Great American Mountain Rallye.

For more information about Hemmings Motor News check out their website by clicking on the link below:

For more information about the Great American Mountain Rally Revival 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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The Upcoming Absolute Zero and the Route Of All Evil Rallies

I got an interesting email this afternoon from Frank Beyer.  Frank is an excellent car rally competitor, nice guy, and further, Frank likes the put interesting rallies together.  So when Frank says that he is working on a couple of rallies for this year, then I pay attention.  The two rallies that Frank is working on are the Absolute Zero and the Route of All Evil.  The flyer below provides an outline and dates for these rallies.

At this time, I only know two things about these rallies – what is in the flyer and that I am going to try to compete in one or both of them.

For more information about these rallies, it is best to contact Frank as outlined in the flyer above.  If you have any comments about this post, then 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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Mille Miglia 2018: North American Entries

The organizers of the 2018 Mille Miglia have published the list of accepted cars and crews for the 2018 running of this prestigious event.  There are 450 entries that have been accepted.  Of these 38 entries have at least one North American in the car.  It should be pointed out that getting accepted into the Mille Miglia is quite an achievement in itself.  This year 725 cars applied to enter the Mille Miglia, but only 450 were accepted.  Note that in recent years the organizers have increased the number of accepted entries.

The Famous Mille Miglia Arrow

The 2018 Mille Miglia car rally will take place from May 16 to May 19.  The Mille Miglia will begin and end in Brescia, Italy.  The 2018 route is shown below.


As I noted before, it is difficult to get accepted into this event.  Many of the applicants have very prestigious cars.  The number of applications for entry always far exceeds the number of available positions.  The number of applications for every year since 2013 is shown below.

Annual Number Of Applicants To The Mille Miglia

Year Applications Countries Of Origin
2013 626 30
2014 619 35
2015 617 42
2016 665 40
2017 705 43
2018 725 44

As can be seen from above in 2018, 725 entries were received for the Mille Miglia.  Of those 725 applications only 450 were accepted by the organizers.

These applicants are made by people from all over the world.  The following list shows the nationalities of the competitors in the 450 cars that were accepted.

The variety of the people entered is shown by the following table showing the nationality of the 900 competitors sitting in 450 cars that have been selected to take part in the rally.

Nationalities Of The Competitors

Austria 10 Giappone 26
Australia 5 Kuwait 2
Brasile 1 Lussemburgo 6
Belgio 54 Marocco 1
Canada 4 Messico 8
Svizzera 28 Olanda 129
Cina 1 Nuova Zelanda 1
Repubblica Ceca 1 Polonia 5
Germania 74 Repubblica Argentina 7
Danimarca 4 Repubblica San Marino 1
Spagna 3 Russia 7
Ecuador 1 Svezia 1
Francia 9 Singapore 2
Liechtenstein 1 Slovacchia 1
Regno Unito 62 Tunisia 1
Isola di Man 1 Stati Uniti 51
Gibilterra 1 Uruguay 2
Hong Kong 1 Not Stated 134
Italia 254    


Below is a list of the 2018 North American Mille Miglia entrants.

List Of 2018 North American Mille Miglia Entrants

Driver   Navigator   Car
Henry Nassau USA Catharine Nassau USA AC ACE 1954
Lorenzo Vascotto I David McWilliams USA AC ACE 1955
Martin Gruss USA Michel Brogard USA ALFA ROMEO 6C 1750 GRAN SPORT CASTAGNA 1933
Gustavo Evoli Canadian MEX Paloma Evoli Canadian MEX AUSTIN HEALEY 100 1955
Robert Davis USA TBA BMW 328 1938
Mark Gessler USA Kurt Gessler USA BUGATTI T 40 1927
Oriol Vilanova E Shawn Till USA CHRYSLER 75 1929
Eric Schigiel USA TBA CHRYSLER 75 1929
Donald Beherens USA Maximilian Beherens USA CISITALIA 202 S MM SPIDER 1947
Guy Gervais CDN Louis Grenier CDN CITROEN DS 19 1957
John Devine USA Jeoffrey Gore USA FERRARI 500 TESTA ROSSA 1956
Andrew Hurwich USA Mark Hurwich USA FIAT 600 1957
Timothy Brosnan USA Walter Frome USA FIAT 8V 1955
Ramiro Garza MEX Carlo Barel Di Sant’albano I JAGUAR XK 120 1950
Christopher Fountas USA Walter Yager USA JAGUAR XK 120 1953
Ken Marlin USA John Herlihy USA JAGUAR XK 120 1954
Phillip Sarofim USA Randy Simon USA JAGUAR XK 120 1953
John Houghtaling USA Franco Valobra USA JAGUAR XK 120 M COMPETITION 1952
Jeff Urbina USA John Recca USA JAGUAR XK 120 OTS 1952
Ted Marlow USA Kent Thirley GB JAGUAR XK 140 DHC 1955
Stephen Brauer USA TBA JAGUAR XK 140 MC 1955
James Helfrich USA Jack Helfrich USA JAGUAR XK 140 OTS 1956
Victor Humberto Evoli MEX Enrique Umberto Evoli Canadian MEX JAGUAR XK 140 OTS 1954
Tom Sargeant USA Mary Catherine Sargeant USA LANCIA APPIA GTZ 1957
Augustin Figueroa MEX Lukasz Noras MEX LANCIA AURELIA B24 S 1955 Rubinetterie
Francisco Lopezguerra MEX Josè Humberto Artigas del Olmo MEX LANCIA AURELIA B24 CONVERTIBILE 1956
Jeff Lotman USA Joshua Grozier USA LINCOLN CAPRI 1954
Joe Hayes USA Maggie Hayes USA MASERATI A6G/2000 AD 1955
Stephen Dixon GBM John Gautrey CDN MG A 1955
Joseph Hurwich USA Lisa Hurwich USA MG SA 1938
James Montgomery Gingery USA Tony Brooks GB OLDSMOBILE SUPER 88 1954
Stephen Brooks USA TBA OLDSMOBILE SUPER 88 1954
Charles Nearburg USA James King USA OSCA MT4 1350 1952
Balaji Ramamoorthy USA Ashely Ramamoorthy USA PORSCHE 356 1500 1953
Robert Davis USA TBA SIATA 208 S 1953
Marc Behaegel B Lorraine Rosenblum USA ZAGATO FIAT 8V 1955

For a complete listing of the accepted entries for the 2018 Mille Miglia click on the file below.

Accepted Cars

Best wishes to all of the competitors and if any of them should read this post, I would love to get some photos of the Mille Miglia that I can share with other readers.

If you have any questions or comments about this post or the Mille Miglia 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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Paris – Prague Rally Book Provides Nice Memories

This past week I was out in Montana on business and when I returned home I was very pleasantly surprised to find a souvenir book from the Rally Round folks who put on the Paris-Prague car rally last June.  In that car rally I was fortunate enough to be the navigator for Michael Eatough of England in his 1965 Mercedes-Benz 230S fintail sedan.

The book is a high quality book filled with photos of the competitors and their cars.  I have included copies of some of the photos of Michael and I that were included in the book.

Michael & I At The Rally Finish

Michael’s Mercedes-Benz is a rally-tough car.  Mercedes-Benz cars tend to be over-engineered and over-built and Michael along with his mechanic Owen Warboys have improved on this.

Michael Eatough’s Excellent Mercedes-Benz Rally Car

The route of the Paris-Prague rally included many nice scenic mountain roads through Austria.

On The Road In Austria

I am pleased to have this book as it is a great reminder of the car rally and the people that we met during the rally.  I hope to meet these people again somewhere.  This rally was the first rally that Michael and I competed together and it solidified our plan to compete together as a team in the 2019 Peking To Paris Motor Challenge.

If you have any questions about this post or the Paris-Prague rally 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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