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Andrew Martin of Club Triumph in ex-works Vitesse tries out the snow at Auldgirth

Mike Helm of Club Triumph likes the snow too.

Ye Olde Bell passage control at Barnby Moor

Clunk on rear !at side of A1

Busted bearing that made the noise

Dover ferry beckons crews to France.

Andrew Swanston Saab before blowing the engine on the way to Valence

Lots of snow at Valence

Graeme Gallaoway's Anglia
Rallye Monte Carlo Historique On Route - 26th Jan - 1 Feb

After the big send off from Glasgow the Monte Carlo Historique cars headed for the first welcome point at the Auldgirth Inn near Dumfries.

Along with the Historique crews were the CCHMSC Ecosse to Monaco tour entries who followed  a separate route to Monaco, non competitively, and also managing some respectable overnight stops, unlike the Historique crews who would have only one nights sleep on the way to Monte Carlo.

CCHMSC also ran a Heritage tour of around 40 classic cars following the above as far as Dumfries to take in a taste of running in a 'Monte' . Another 30 classics headed up to Luss.

The welcome point at Dumfries saw the arrival of the first snow on the route, giving the cars and drivers an opportunity to try out those brand new winter/snow tyres, which Ron Adam and Duncan Massie in their MGB/GT took full advantage, as you see here. It proved too much for one of our Ecosse to Monte crews who retired at this point with mechanical problems. From Dumfries the next stage to Barnby Moor, a passage control used in many past 'Monte's, headed down to Preston and over the Pennines on the A66, which had been closed due to snow only days before, to Scotch Corner. From there it was an easy run down the A1 to Barnby Moor in Nottinghamshire.

It was at this point that more troubles started to kick in. The Australian Holden 48-215, that was the older green machine, had started a noisy rear end rumble which transpired to be a rear wheel bearing. This could have spelt disaster. Where do you find a spare in Partco? Aussie grit and initiative came to the fore and luckily a spare had been packed. So at the side of the A1 the team stripped the back hub and changed the bearing using the trolley jack handle as a drift to ease the old one off, with of course a hammer. Funny how worldwide the hammer is the most useful tool in the box! Meanwhile the Ecosse to Monaco tour headed down to Dover for the overnight. France tomorrow.

Sunday 27th and it was wet but the crews got on to the 1015 ferry for Calais. Our Aussie colleagues had decided to keep going and jumped on the 3.30am sailing and caught a few zzzz's in Calais. The Monaco tour headed direct for Reims and then the passage control at Sezanne, Bar-sur-Aube, and then the overnight in Troyes.

(Anderson Special made it to Monte)
We chased the Historique cars, which kept ploughing on to Valence through the night, on Monday 28th.  At 417 miles this is a long day in anyone's book. At Valence the tour crews saw the Historique cars head out on the special stages up into the Alps. By now the crews were getting used to the snow.

Tuesday 29th and once again met up with the Historique cars before the Ecosse to Monaco tour headed of to Gap, a short hop of only 122 miles. The Mercedes 380SLC on the tour retired with exhaust problems after striking some rocks on route. Change of scenery for the overnight, a monastery, Notre Dame du Laus.  Two roads lead up to the monastery, which now takes guests, and one was snowbound. Much texting to try and warn the crews which route to take, and despite some communication problems all reached the venue safely.

On the final section now, Wednesday 30th and the Ecosse to Monaco tour continued via La Bollene and the famous Col de Turini, before startring the descent through Sospel to Nice and Monaco. Only 174 miles today, and everyone arrived intact this time. The crews then went to see the Monte cars at Parc Ferme before their stages around Monaco.

Thursday 31st was a spectating day for the Ecosse to Monaco tour crews, who either rested from their marathon drives or headed out to some of the selected viewing points around Monaco.

Meantime our Aussie Holden crew were suffering yet again with another wheel bearing fail, Unable to locate a spare bearing in Fance, they used true Aussie style when they decided to build their own and purchased two nearly correct bearings. After some interesting conversations in Fringlish (French/English), and use of a panel shop, a bearing was created and the car was quickly transported to Park Ferme ready for Friday's stages.

Friday 1st February and the Historique cars challenged the final stages up into the Maritime Alps behind Monaco and the tour crews ventured up the mountains to see them. It was touch and go but thankfully the Holden wheel bearing held out
over 250km of winding mountain roads which claimed a number of cars, and both the 48-215 and the Commodore made it to the finish, with some tender loving care from the drivers, at their alloted time of 3.30am.
Gary Poole, Richard Davison, and Craig Lowndes
                                                              celebrate success "We made it"

The Ecosse to Monaco tour crews now head for home, no doubt exhausted but having had a great experience in the process, leaving the Historique finishers to enjoy their final Gala dinner and prizegiving at Club Automobile du Monaco HQ tonight.

If there is a prize for 'spirit of the rally' my vote goes to the Aussies for sure. Getting a piece of 60 year old technology over one of the most challenging rallies in the world is no easy matter. With Australian V8 touring car champion Craig Lowndes, Richard Davison son of Lex who completed the rally in the same car in 1953, and Gary Poole, Australian hillclimb champion, they had the best crew to make it succeed.   

Will Glasgow be chosen as a start point for the Monte Carlo Historique in 2014?  It would be a great start to Glasgow's Commonwealth Games host activities.  Watch this website for news as it happens.

Craig Lowndes and Richard Davison
enjoy a 'glass' as their fruits
of victory for a job well done. 

Updated 1 February 2013