Alastair's Blog

Paris to Vienna Rally - June 2016

Alastair Caldwell - Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Amazingly having just got back from the Alpaca rally I launched into another one immediately! This one was the Paris to Vienna rally which started 14th June. For this one I drove my 1938 Alfa Romeo 6C SS Torpedino. this has an engine size of 2500cc and has 110bhp, 4 speed, no synchro on first or second gear.

Battery problem


It did not get off to a good start for us, as the car failed on the M25 on the way down and we had to get the RAC out to help get it off the motorway. Luckily an old friend and classic car restorer and fellow rallyist Mark Tipping's workshop was not far away, so with his help and a new battery we got underway again. But we got in late and were definitely not on top of things. But the next day was another day, so things, including the weather did improve, we did arrive in sunshine having been in all kinds of weather on the way. 

Here we are in Mark's workshop, trying to fix the Alfa.


Here's the car all ready to get underway again.


Battery problem......again


It was a bad day most of the first day, as the battery charging problem reappeared. So we spent some miserable, rain-soaked time trying to fix the car, to no avail for the rest of that day. We missed most of the morning's rally, which takes the pressure off a bit as we were no longer in contention.



Had a nice end to the day when, as a complete surprise, my friend Hayden's brother Brett was at our hotel and in my car! I had lent it to him to go sailing in Europe, with no idea where he was going. That's him with me and the Phev in the background, which we then used to charge the battery on the Alfa. 


A damp start


We got off to a very damp start the next day, by the lake. Note the zero weather protection! This was at the Hôtel Beau Rivage Gérardmer.


Lindau, Lake Konstanz


Amazingly it wasn't raining the next night, which we spent in Lindau on Lake Konstanz, a lovely spot. Here are some evening and night shots of the harbour entrance with lighthouse and a beautifully tiled tower with a rainbow; 





We had good roads following this and arrived in Austria to actual heat and blue skies. A remarkable change!



The finish


All too soon, the rally was finished! Despite our battery problems we made the end in good shape and had a great time. We drove through some atrocious weather just when the car had started to play up really badly but the car and the weather both improved after that. The car made the journey back home by truck as the battery wasn't charging at all. The following photos are courtesy of Fiona Easterby, showing the finish line, another competitor in an E-type and us travelling along in the Alfa.









About the Paris to Vienna Rally


You can find out more about the Paris to Vienna rally on their website. This year's rally was inspired by the heroic pioneers of early motorsport, and was a regularity competition in the spirit of the original Paris-Vienna race of 1902, an epic, 559-mile (900km) contest that included a daunting crossing of the Austrian Alps. Here's a photo of the original competitors from 1902. There's also an article in The Telegraph about the original rally.






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