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Monte Carlo Rally UK starts


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#1 JtP1

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 20:10

Further to a phone conversation, the following came up.

The Monte used to have a Glasgow start. what was the last year of the Glasgow start and after it moved to London what years did it start there?

The last UK start iirc was just down the road from the ferry terminal to avoid UK rally permit problems, what year was this and what was the port?

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#2 RS2000

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 20:55

Without doing a lot of research:
Dover first used 67
London 66?
London? or Glasgow? 65
Glasgow 63 (and 64?)

#3 Fred Gallagher

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 21:11

The start gradually moved south. First John O'Groats before the war, then Glasgow, London and Dover.

Controls on the way south were at times well removed from the obvious route; Stranraer and Llandrindod Wells spring to mind.

And it always seemed unfair to me that if the boat was late you would get penalized at the first control in France! Force Majeure I suppose.......

Fred

#4 RS2000

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 21:38

Confirm 65 UK start was London.
66 start is recorded as London Heathrow (of which I have no recollection whatsoever, despite living nearby - was probably in school hours so couldn't go).
Don't have 64 info but 63 and for many years previously was Glasgow.

Dover had the lowest start numbers the first year it was used, 67. No1 was Gordon King/Graham Marlow in Lotus Cortina JYN777D.

Most famous TC between Glasgow and Dover in earlier years was the Bell Hotel, Barnby Moor, which also featured on some RAC Rallies.

#5 RS2000

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 21:44

:-
Posted Image

("Verglas" then was Gerry Phillips)

Edited by RS2000, 30 July 2009 - 21:47.


#6 Carles Bosch

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 06:01

According to my database:

'11 & '12: no english starting point
'13 to '23: no rally
'24 & '25: Glasgow
'26 to '39: John O'Groats
'40 to '48: no rally
'49 to '56: Glasgow
'57: rally cancelled
'58 to '64: Glasgow


Carles.

#7 Graham Gauld

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 07:51



The reason for the original Scottish starts was that the Secretary of the Royal Scottish Automobile Club R J Smith received a letter from the Monaco Automobile Club regarding help with a start to their event in Britain. He handed the task over to his assistant, A.K.Stevenson who was later to become secretary and a legend in Scottish motor sport. "A K" was the man really responsible for the whole Glasgow, John o'Groats start.
I had started to prepare a biography of his amazing life just before he died but he told me an amusing story about the first John o' Groats start. He had the cars all lined up for the night start on the coast road and when they turned their lights on the coastguards further down the coast saw this row of lights and thought a ship had got into trouble and had been washed on to the rocks. They sent out the lifeboat only to find that it was the cars waiting to start on the Monte Carlo Rally.


#8 JtP1

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 16:18

Thank you all for your replies. It reminds me why BMC used to scatter their entries around to get slightly better start numbers on at least some cars, which could be an advantage with the weather on the run in. Start numbers to starting points were not selected till after the entries were in.

Graham, the discussion on the phone was over the Glasgow start of David Jack and Frank Inglis in a Sunbeam Rapier and you having this encyclopedic knowledge of Scottish motorsport. What year in the 60s was that?

#9 Graham Gauld

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 16:43

Thank you all for your replies. It reminds me why BMC used to scatter their entries around to get slightly better start numbers on at least some cars, which could be an advantage with the weather on the run in. Start numbers to starting points were not selected till after the entries were in.

Graham, the discussion on the phone was over the Glasgow start of David Jack and Frank Inglis in a Sunbeam Rapier and you having this encyclopedic knowledge of Scottish motorsport. What year in the 60s was that?



Jimmy
As I mentioned before I am in Scotland just now but get back to France on Tuesday night. Will see what I can find out about that . David Jack - he of the Sunbeam Talbot in purple and cream - you are really going back a bit now.

#10 JtP1

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 17:37

Jimmy
As I mentioned before I am in Scotland just now but get back to France on Tuesday night. Will see what I can find out about that . David Jack - he of the Sunbeam Talbot in purple and cream - you are really going back a bit now.


The Rapier was apparently gold, so an improvement in taste there?


#11 Mistron

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 18:31

My mum and dad grew up in Castle Douglas in the south west of Scotland, not that far from Stranraer. They both tell the story of the Local Doctor doing the Monte in the '50s (Dr Duck, I think - make your own joke about him being a quack......) and also of the time a competitior turned up in the shop my Mum was working in to ask if anyone knew who owned the Morgan parked outside. It belonged to the shop owner, and he ended up letting the guy have the fan belt off his car so he could continue.

Not a good start if you can't even get from Glasgow to Stranraer without needing outside help!

Still, that's a propper rally, not like the local run round the town they have now!

#12 Nick Wa

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 12:48

I seem to remember reading a book describing some John O'Groats' starts, I think one of Bill Boddy's. It seemed it would be a feat just to get to John O'Groats.
I think in the early years there was a bonus for the distance covered to Monte Carlo.

Controls on the way south were at times well removed from the obvious route; Stranraer and Llandrindod Wells spring to mind

.
I think this was partially to some degree to equalise route distances and stagger arrival times at controls when joining a common route.

And it always seemed unfair to me that if the boat was late you would get penalized at the first control in France! Force Majeure I suppose.......

I recall hearing of at least one competitor using Silver City airbridge to negate a missed ferry.

London starts:- '65 Chelsea Barracks, '66 Heathrow (the hotel used for later R.A.C.s)
In '66 a continental entrant being forced by the scrutineers to remove some humourous sticker as it was judged to be both political and advertising. Two cars back is Elford's work's Porsche with a 7oaks & District Motor Club transfer badge in the centre of it's rear window. Advertising again and ordered to remove it. Vic. refuses and calls in Jack Kemsley who was in charge of the start. I am sure :) Jack's decision to overule the scrutineer had nothing to do with the fact that he was president of Sevenoaks. Cue for previous offender to complain of differential treatment, Jack's answer "Yours was in bad taste".

Note:- I believe all cars used by Vic carried a 7oaks badge, certainly the sports and CanAm cars, a very big one on the Chaparrals.

#13 Graham Gauld

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 20:06

My mum and dad grew up in Castle Douglas in the south west of Scotland, not that far from Stranraer. They both tell the story of the Local Doctor doing the Monte in the '50s (Dr Duck, I think - make your own joke about him being a quack......) and also of the time a competitior turned up in the shop my Mum was working in to ask if anyone knew who owned the Morgan parked outside. It belonged to the shop owner, and he ended up letting the guy have the fan belt off his car so he could continue.

Not a good start if you can't even get from Glasgow to Stranraer without needing outside help!

Still, that's a propper rally, not like the local run round the town they have now!



I think the man you are talking about was Dr Mitchell from East Lothian who competed in a few Monte Carlo Rallies and failed to get out of Scotland twice. He holds, I think, the record for the shortest Monte Carlo Rally for in 1956 there was an early morning 5.00 am start from the side entrance of the Royal Scottish Automobile Club heading downhill. I think it was the year he was in his Wolseley 1500. He left the start and at the first junction he managed to hit a bus that was returning to the bus garage. His rally was about 250 yards. I remember our astonishment and running down the road to see the damage. He was the typical enthusiast of the time who wanted to share in the excitement of doing the Monte Carlo Rally and remember back then we had something like 300 British entries alone. As the rally became more professional the "minnows" tended to drop out which was a pity really because they created many interesting and amusing stories.



#14 Carles Bosch

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 20:20

In '66 a continental entrant being forced by the scrutineers to remove some humourous sticker as it was judged to be both political and advertising. Two cars back is Elford's work's Porsche with a 7oaks & District Motor Club transfer badge in the centre of it's rear window. Advertising again and ordered to remove it. Vic. refuses and calls in Jack Kemsley who was in charge of the start. I am sure :) Jack's decision to overule the scrutineer had nothing to do with the fact that he was president of Sevenoaks. Cue for previous offender to complain of differential treatment, Jack's answer "Yours was in bad taste".

Note:- I believe all cars used by Vic carried a 7oaks badge, certainly the sports and CanAm cars, a very big one on the Chaparrals.



This should be in 1967, first year of 'Quick Vic' with Porsche, 'cause in 1966 he was @ the wheel of a works Lotus-Cortina.


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#15 RS2000

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 20:34

London starts:- '65 Chelsea Barracks, '66 Heathrow (the hotel used for later R.A.C.s)


Was that the Forte's Excelsior Airport Hotel? (the one used for 65, 66 and aborted 67 RACs and 65/66 Gulf, not the one used for 68/69/70 RAC further west on the airport side of the road). I guess school meant I had no chance of being at that start of 66 Monte so it's disappeared into a black hole in my memory.

I believe Vic Elford is still Vice President of S&DMC. On the 66 Monte he would have been in a works Gp1 Lotus Cortina (actually NVW242C, a red car which was not the same white/green stripe one with that reg no that Roger Clark used later on the 66 Alpine and RAC).

On the 69 RAC, car 1, the works Triumph 2.5PI of Cowan/Coyle, had a window sticker removed (from the co-driver's side rear window) at scrutineering. I'd seen it earlier and it was extreme right wing political in nature...

Edit: crossed with Carles' post.

Edited by RS2000, 01 August 2009 - 20:35.


#16 Vitesse2

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 21:45

I seem to remember reading a book describing some John O'Groats' starts, I think one of Bill Boddy's. It seemed it would be a feat just to get to John O'Groats.
I think in the early years there was a bonus for the distance covered to Monte Carlo.

Mike Couper's book "Rallying to Monte Carlo" is a good read - I got one very cheaply on eBay recently. After he gave up racing in 1938, he decided to have a crack at rallying - starting with the '39 Monte! He continued through to the mid-50s - some of the incidents he describes are by turns scary/hilarious/bizarre/thrilling/just plain daft!

In the 30s, if you seriously wanted to win you had to start from Athens: it was the only place which offered the maximum 500 points and virtually all the top drivers used to choose it.


#17 Carles Bosch

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 12:41

In the 30s, if you seriously wanted to win you had to start from Athens: it was the only place which offered the maximum 500 points and virtually all the top drivers used to choose it.



Anyway, choosing Athens as starting point was a little bit risky, 'cause depending on the weather the route leading from Athens to Monte-Carlo through the old Yugoslavia was pretty impossible, following the bad state of the 'roads' encountered there. IIRC, there was @ least one year when none of the Athens starters reached Monte-Carlo...


Carles.