Photos Of The Original Great American Mountain Rally Available

Recently I was contacted by Jeff Weeks who has come into possession of a number of photos that were taken during the original Great American Mountain Rally.  Many of these photos might never have been seen in public before.  Jeff is interested in selling these pictures or at least prints from the negatives that he has at the Great American Mountain Rally Revival that will be held from October 12 – 14, 2018.  This rally will start near Brewster, NY on Friday October 12, 2018 and end on Sunday October 14, 2018 at Hemmings Motor News in Bennington, Vermont.  Jeff sent me a couple of sample images that illustrate the type of photos that he has.

The Great American Mountain Rally was the first American rally to be listed by the FIA.  The event ran from 1953 to 1957.  It attracted many well-known international race and rally car drivers as well as top teams in the USA.

Jeff has reason to believe that the photos shown below were taken during the 1956 Great American Mountain Rally.  I am still collecting information on these rallies, but a clue to the date of the top photo is the Volkswagen in the upper right of the photo.  The year that this photo was taken must have had a Volkswagen registered as Car #14.

This Appears To Be A Photo Taken During Scrutineering

The photo below is rather easy to identify as there is another image of this car that appeared in the December 7, 1956 issue of Autosport.  This Jaguar was driven by Florence & Donald Blackburn.  It appears that they are passing a MG which has stopped for some reason on the exit of a bend.

Florence & Donald Blackburn In Their Jaguar Finished Third In 1956

Jeff will  have these and more photos available during the rally.  We are trying to maximize the opportunities to see and purchase these rather rare photos of American rallying in the mid 1950s.  We will have more information available as we work with Jeff to establish something that works well for all.

If you are interested in participating in the Great American Mountain Rally Revival then you can get information about the Great America Mountain Rally Revival by contacting Gary Hamilton at

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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Great American Mountain Rally Revival Now Open For Entries

I am pleased to announce that the Great American Mountain Rally Revival will be open to all entries as of midnight tonight.  Until now we only announced that entries were open to those people who had previously expressed interest in this rally.

The Great American Mountain Rally Revival will be held on Oct 12-14, 2018.  The Great American Mountain Rally Revival will be a SCCA New England Regional regularity rally of approximately 700 miles.  A descriptive format, similar to that used in the original Great American Mountain Rally, will be used for the route instructions supplemented by copies of the 1953 Mobilgas Road Maps of Southern and Northern New England.  This rally will be a revival of the Great American Mountain Rally which was the first FIA listed rally in the United States and was held between 1953 and 1957.  This rally is well suited for inexperienced as well as veteran rallyists.  The Great American Mountain Rally Revival will start in Brewster, NY on Friday October 12 and end in Bennington, Vermont on Sunday October 14.  Paved and unpaved roads are utilized.  The rally is hosted by the New England Region of the Sports Car Club of America (NER/SCCA).

All competitors will issued the following commemorative license plates and similar door stickers with numbers.

Great American Mountain Rally License Plate

Due to limitations in accommodation capacity along the route, the number of entries will be limited to 35 cars.

Final registration and scrutineering will take place on Friday Oct 12, 8:00AM-10:30AM at the Salem Golf Course in Brewster, NY.  Come to the final registration early, attend an optional rally school, and enjoy breakfast snacks.

The first car will be off at 11:00 AM plus car number in minutes.  The finish will be on Sunday Oct 14 at approximately 2:00PM at Hemmings Motor News in Bennington, Vermont.

The competitive classes will be based on the model year of cars: Original: <1958, Classic 1958-1989, Modern: 1990 to Present

Only roads appearing on the provided 1953 Mobilgas maps will used on the rally.

The use of rally odometers and watches/clocks will be the same for all classes and restricted to equipment similar to that used in the original Great American Mountain Rally:

  • Rally odometers with up to 2 distance displays are permitted; rally computers providing average speed information are not allowed, except for Halda Speedpilots which were used during the original rally.
  • Mechanical calculators and slide rules are permitted; electronic calculators are not.
  • Paper speed tables are permitted; electronic speed tables are not.
  • Clocks and stopwatches are permitted without restriction.
  • GPS mapping assists are not permitted.

The registration fee is $1,350 per vehicle which includes Friday and Saturday night hotels, breakfasts, dinners, route instructions, maps, rally plates, rally garments for the crew, door stickers, sweep truck services, rally school, and awards.  We had hoped for a lower registration fee, but some anticipated sponsorship funds did not materialize.  Also getting accommodation in the New England area at each location for one night only proven challenging due to competition from “leaf peepers”.

The following is a link to the Motorsport Registration page:

General Instructions will be posted on the New England Region website: www.ner.orgs

We are excited about the entries that we have received so far.  Jeffery Givens of Kansas will be driving his red 1959 TR3A with chrome wire wheels.  He has owned the car since 1969 and has put a little over 380,000 miles on it. About 20,000 miles ago it had a complete engine, trans, overdrive, and rear end rebuild.

Harald von Langsdorff is coming down from Canada with his 1972 Mercedes-Benz 350SLC which has a significant Great Race competition history.

Harald von Langsdorff’s Mercedes-Benz 350SLC

If you have any questions about the Great American Mountain Rally Revival then please call the Rallymaster: Gary Hamilton: 978-500-8039 or E-mail questions to: (preferred).  I will be the Rally Chairman.  I look forward to seeing you all there.  I will have more information about this rally in the following days.

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London-Sydney Marathon At 50

This week I got some information from David Scothorn about a recent meeting that was held to celebrate 50 years since the London-Sydney Marathon was held in 1968.  This was a major endurance rally of that era and had an enormous world-wide following.  The London-Sydney 50 meeting was held on July 29, 2018 at the British Motor Museum in Gaydon, England.

The meeting attracted people interested in the rally plus a few people who took part in the London-Sydney Marathon.  The picture below shows three people who were involved in the Marathon.  On the left is Alec Poole, a BMC Works driver and Paddy Hopkirk’s co-driver on the London-Sydney Marathon, in the center is Bill Price, the last BMC Competitions Manager and author of “The BMC/BL Competitons Department” ( I have an autographed copy), and on the right side is Paddy Hopkirk who was the driver in the 1968 London-Sydney Marathon.

Alec Poole, Bill Price, and Paddy Hopkirk At London-Sydney 50Story

They are standing next to the Morris 1800 Landcrab, registerd as SMO 226G which Poole, Tony Nash, and Hopkirk drove to 2nd place in the London-Sydney Marathon behind Andrew Cowan’s winning Hillman Hunter.

The Hopkirk/Nash/Poole Austin 1800 London-Sydney Marathon Car

The Hopkirk/Nash/Poole car was somewhat involved in one of the most dramtic endings in endurance rallying history.  At the beginning of the last two competitive stages (actually the last stage was quite easy) the running order of the rally was Lucien Bianchi in the lead, Andrew Cowan in second place and Paddy Hopkirk in third.  It looked like that would be the way the rally would end.  Bianchi had such a lead that he passed off the driving chores to his co-driver, Jean-Claude Ogier, on that 97-mile long second last stage and tried to catch some sleep.

Bianchi/Ogier In Their Citroen DS Only Ten Miles From Disaster

Four miles from the end of the stage Bianchi/Ogier collided head-on with a Mini driving in the opposite direction when the road was supposed to be closed! Lucien Bianchi was thrown against the windshield, suffering serious leg injuries, and was trapped in the car.  The Hopkirk/Nash/Poole Austin 1800 was the next car on the scene.  According to Bill Price’s book, they stopped and Tony Nash and Alec Poole jumped out of the car with a fire extinguisher and bolt cutters.  Paddy Hopkirk drove back up the road where he had seen some press men with a two-way radio.  As soon as help had been summoned and Lucien Bianchi cut from the wreckage the Hopkirk/Nash/Poole car continued on its way.

The wreckage of the Bianchi/Ogier Citroen is shown below.

Wreckage Of The Bianchi/Ogier Citroen

As a result of the accident, everyone moved up a position resulting in a rally win by Andrew Cowan in the Hillman Hunter with Hopkirk’s Austin 1800 finishing second.  Quite a dramatic end!

Other endurance rally competitors from that era were also present. In the Austin Maxi MCE 7G shown below are Bronwyn Burrell ( now the owner) and Tina Kerridge (co-driver).  They along with Tish Ozanne (now deceased) did the next major endurance rally, the World Cup Rally in this car in 1970.

Bronwyn Burrell and Tina Kerridge In Their Austin Maxi

The above ladies are shown below in their 1970 team finery.

Tina Kerridge, Bronwyn Burrell, and Tish Ozanne In The 1970 World Cup Rally

I understand that Burrell and Kerridge are planning on re-tracing the 1970 World Cup rally route in 2020 in this car.

Thanks to David Scothorn for sending me photos of the London-Sydney 50 meeting!

By the way, there was one American entry in the London-Sydney Marathon – a 1968 Rambler American that had been one of the winning team cars in the 1968 Shell 4000.  This entry was a finisher in Sydney.  The last I heard this car is back in America with little work done on the car since the London-Sydney Marathon, but has not been seen in public for years.

If you have any questions or comments about the London-Sydney Marathon or 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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2019 Peking To Paris Disappointment

I am disappointed to post that I will not be taking part in the 2019 Peking To Paris Motor Challenge as I had previously posted on this website.  Until recently I was entered as the navigator for Michael Eatough, but this is no longer the case.

For about a year I had been working with Michael to get ready for this great event.  Michael has a very well prepared Mercedes-Benz sedan.  Michael wanted to enter the recently completed 2018 Trans America Challenge as a preparation rally for the Peking To Paris, but as I was Route Coordinator for the Trans America Challenge, I could not be his navigator.  As a result, Michael asked his son, Marcus, to be his navigator for the 2018 Trans America Challenge.  Marcus had no previous car rally experience, but he applied himself well, sought advice from navigators, and got lots of encouragement.  The result was that Marcus had fun, did a credible job, and he and Michael got a very respectable finish.

After the completion of the 2018 Trans America Challenge, Michael decided that Marcus had earned the navigator’s seat in the Peking To Paris Motor Challenge.  While I am disappointed in not being able to take part in this rally, I fully understand Michael’s decision.  I wish Michael and Marcus the best of luck and I look forward to following their progress on this rally.  I think that they will do well.

As I result, I now have time to follow other opportunities, which might be equally challenging, so the adventure continues.

If you have any questions or comments 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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Mark Donohue’s Elva Formula Junior Car

I got a comment last week about an image of an Elva Formula Junior car that was once owned and driven by Mark Donahue.  The commenter was not able to load the photo, but I was able to get a copy of the image that the commenter was trying to forward.  This photo is shown below.

An Elva Formula Junior Car Once Owned By Mark Donohue

I had difficulty finding the racing record of this car this car but once again Gary Cassaboom came to my rescue.  He provided the racing record of this car while in the ownership of Mark Donohue.

Mark Donohue’s Racing Record With The Elva Formula Junior Car

Date Location Car # Result Comment
12/10/1961 Nassau Bahamas Speedweeks 000 P-4 New car. First open wheel race
2/11/1962 Daytona FJ Preliminary 00 DNF Engine
3/23/1962 Sebring FJ Preliminary 28 Q-1 but DNF Frame cracked (patch repair)
4/15/1962 Marlboro Nationals 00 P-2 Spent summer on frame fix
8/4/1962 Lime Rock 000 DNF Still concern about frame
1/6/1963 Marlboro 100 P-1 Sold to Charlie Hayes at track
1/7/1963 Marlboro DNF Charlie Hayes

From the above record it appears that the car only was moderately successful while in the ownership of Mark Donohue.  It seems that the car’s frame cracked    on the notoriously rough surface of the Sebring track.  Donohue spent a great deal of time and money fixing this car, especially the car’s frame.  Then when Mark Donohue won a race at Marlboro, it was the time to sell the car, so he immediately sold the car to Charlie Hayes right at the track and Hayes raced the car the next day at Marlboro.

The car is shown below while Donohue was racing the car at Sebring in 1962.

Beginning of the Formula Junior race (Photo: Tom Bigelow)

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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2019 Rallye Monte Carlo Historique Regulations

The Automobile Club of Monaco has announced further details about the 2019 Rallye Monte Carlo Historique.  Entries for this great event will open on August 27, 2018.

2019 Rallye Monte Carlo Historique Poster

The rally regulations are also available.  I have attached a copy of the regulations below.  The early part of the regulations are in French, but for those who need to see the English portion, then these are available starting on Page 20 of the regulations.

2019 RMCH Regulations

The regulations provide information on the overall schedule, the starting cities, and the eligible cars, as well as the specifics relating to the running and timing of the rally.

If you have any questions or comments about the 2019 Rallye Monte Carlo Historique 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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Endurance Rally Association Now Part Of The HERO World

I got an email this morning saying that following successful discussions between the Endurance Rally Association (ERA) and Historic Endurance Rallying Organisation (HERO) about the future of ERA events, contracts have been exchanged between ERA and HERO for HERO to take over all of the events organised by ERA.

This was a surprising development that changes the endurance or long distance rally scene considerably.  As I did some work for the ERA for the 2018 Trans America Challenge, I had the opportunity to get to know many of the ERA staff and associates.  They are a great team and I wish them the all the best in the new situation.

Contracts between the two firms have been exchanged, with completion of these documents set for the near future.  Apparently more information will be provided at an industry event to be held in the autumn.

HERO has a great deal of rally event experience and a strong commitment to rallying, thus combining this with the ERA’s event savvy should result in a very successful and invigorated organization.  Best wishes to all!

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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