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The 'first 48-hour RAC rally'?


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#1 acbuckland1953

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 11:29

The information I have been given by the family of the first owner of an AC that I am restoring, have told me that the car competed in the "first 48-hour RAC rally". Their words of course, but I'm having trouble working out exactly what year that may have been? Are they correctly referring to it by that description, or do they perhaps mean a different event? Some history of the car (if interested) can be found on this post I started this morning http://forums.autosp...howtopic=179452, but I'm keen to find some sort of record of the rally involvement if possible. First I need to track down the year (and confirmation of the event of course), which is where I'm hoping someone with more knowledge than I can help!
Many thanks

Edited by acbuckland1953, 03 January 2013 - 11:30.


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#2 AAGR

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 11:38

The information I have been given by the family of the first owner of an AC that I am restoring, have told me that the car competed in the "first 48-hour RAC rally". Their words of course, but I'm having trouble working out exactly what year that may have been? Are they correctly referring to it by that description, or do they perhaps mean a different event? Some history of the car (if interested) can be found on this post I started this morning http://forums.autosp...howtopic=179452, but I'm keen to find some sort of record of the rally involvement if possible. First I need to track down the year (and confirmation of the event of course), which is where I'm hoping someone with more knowledge than I can help!
Many thanks


Please tell us what year the Buckland was first registered, then one of us might be able to help you ....

AAGR


#3 acbuckland1953

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 11:46

Please tell us what year the Buckland was first registered, then one of us might be able to help you ....

AAGR


The car was first registered in 1953 and competed from 1953-59 in the hands of the first owner and his daughters.

#4 arttidesco

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 12:12

I'm guessing your talking about HF Day, I can't find any reference to him finishing any RAC Rally which is not to say he did not start, but I did find this entry at Goodwood which you may find interesting.

#5 acbuckland1953

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 12:41

I'm guessing your talking about HF Day, I can't find any reference to him finishing any RAC Rally which is not to say he did not start, but I did find this entry at Goodwood which you may find interesting.


Thanks. Yes, HF Day. The Goodwood entry is one that I'd also like to find out more about. If you look at my previous post http://forums.autosp...howtopic=179452 you'll see that I'm fortunate enough to have a picture of Harold at Goodwood on 25 July 1953. His entry was the first ever AC to compete at the circuit according to the ACOC which, seeing as the car is currently in my garage undergoing a VERY slow restoration, makes me quite excited! I recently also found an original race programme from that event which features some other very interesting (and far more famous) names.

#6 Fred Gallagher

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 14:32

I'm guessing your talking about HF Day, I can't find any reference to him finishing any RAC Rally which is not to say he did not start, but I did find this entry at Goodwood which you may find interesting.


There is no Day driving an A.C. in the programme entry lists for the RAC Rally 1953 to 1959.

Fred

#7 acbuckland1953

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 15:07

There is no Day driving an A.C. in the programme entry lists for the RAC Rally 1953 to 1959.

Fred



Hmm. Thanks Fred. I think they must be getting confused. The daughters spoke to me about the family doctor prescribing Benzadrine(?) in order to keep them awake for the duration of the rally, so I have no doubt that they participated in some overnight event - they even showed me the dent on the body that was picked up when they left the road and went through a hedge into a field before returning to the route!

#8 mgtd

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 16:03

Yes Martin, Benzedrine was a trade name for amphetamine sulphate, a well known "upper" most commonly prescribed for aircrew in Bomber Command...better to die happy I suppose!
No doubt Fred will tell you they were never used in the 60's or 70's (before his time!) but how on earth did they stay awake for a 48 hour stretch on the RAC or Liege-Rome-Liege?
Namby-pamby modern rallying has no need of such stuff.

Stephen (former pharmacist)



#9 Vitesse2

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 16:24

Who put the benzedrine in Mrs Murphy's Ovaltine? Don't miss the double entendres! :lol:

We now return you to our regular programming ...

#10 Graham Gauld

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 16:31

Yes Martin, Benzedrine was a trade name for amphetamine sulphate, a well known "upper" most commonly prescribed for aircrew in Bomber Command...better to die happy I suppose!
No doubt Fred will tell you they were never used in the 60's or 70's (before his time!) but how on earth did they stay awake for a 48 hour stretch on the RAC or Liege-Rome-Liege?
Namby-pamby modern rallying has no need of such stuff.

Stephen (former pharmacist)


In the late 1950s and early 1960s benzedrine figured but all of us had friends who were doctors and I know I tried a few samples that drugs salesmen had left with a doctor friend. Only effects they had on me were that on one occasion I saw the headlights green when driving through the night in Wales and on another occasion I am told I answered the telephone after going to bed at the end of the RAC Rally and having a sensible conversation with a friend of mine. He only twigged that I was talking in my sleep when I said I had to go because I was due to check out of a control that had taken place two days before!!!!! To this day I still do not remember the telephone call. To be honest I found that over time you could do 48 hours straight without taking anything but 3 am on the second night was usually the killer period. Don't you agree Fred ?

#11 Graham Gauld

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 16:31

Yes Martin, Benzedrine was a trade name for amphetamine sulphate, a well known "upper" most commonly prescribed for aircrew in Bomber Command...better to die happy I suppose!
No doubt Fred will tell you they were never used in the 60's or 70's (before his time!) but how on earth did they stay awake for a 48 hour stretch on the RAC or Liege-Rome-Liege?
Namby-pamby modern rallying has no need of such stuff.

Stephen (former pharmacist)


In the late 1950s and early 1960s benzedrine figured but all of us had friends who were doctors and I know I tried a few samples that drugs salesmen had left with a doctor friend. Only effects they had on me were that on one occasion I saw the headlights green when driving through the night in Wales and on another occasion I am told I answered the telephone after going to bed at the end of the RAC Rally and having a sensible conversation with a friend of mine. He only twigged that I was talking in my sleep when I said I had to go because I was due to check out of a control that had taken place two days before!!!!! To this day I still do not remember the telephone call. To be honest I found that over time you could do 48 hours straight without taking anything but 3 am on the second night was usually the killer period. Don't you agree Fred ?

#12 D-Type

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 16:35

Just a thought: when the daughters said "first-ever 48 hr RAC Rally", rather than referring to The RAC Rally perhaps they were referring to first "RAC-sanctioned", ie "official", 48 hour rally. Over the years with the way family folklore evolves I can easily see the distinction becoming blurred.

#13 mgtd

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 16:37

Who put the benzedrine in Mrs Murphy's Ovaltine? Don't miss the double entendres! :lol:

We now return you to our regular programming ...



Novel use of the portable wind-up gramophone.
Bit of a pain to lug that lot about when you wanted "perking-up".

#14 AAGR

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 21:38

** Benzedrine ? Ah yes, we all used them. By the way, they were still legal in the 1960s - I got my supply from my family doctor ....

[But 'they' (whoever 'they' were) used to say that Pat Moss's supply, something to do with horses, were the most effective of all ....]

** Re the '48 Hour rally'. If it wasn't the RAC itself - thanks Fred - then maybe it was the MCC National Rally, which was held in November in the 1950s, and certainly lasted for that length of time without a rest halt.

Happy New Year, to all TNFers.

AAGR



#15 Fred Gallagher

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 08:52

To be honest I found that over time you could do 48 hours straight without taking anything but 3 am on the second night was usually the killer period. Don't you agree Fred ?


I don't think I ever did any leg of an event longer than about 40 hours (mid-eightied RACs) and was lucky enough to do all of those in works cars with comfortable motorhomes to grab a few minutes sleep while the car was being serviced.

Dakar was tough but I only recall one occassion when we drove in the dark. The Safari was relentless too but there were very long regroups so if you were running at the front sleep was not a problem.

Now at the age of 60 I'm much more concerned about next weekend's VSCC Measham Rally that goes from 9.00pm to 6.00am! And I'm about to call Stephen about the Concentration Section of the Monte Carlo Historique that lasts just over 20 hours......

Fred

#16 arttidesco

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 21:07

I'm about to set off for a 00:08 start at Cirencester in the Exeter Trial, not sure when exactly it finishes but I have a non prescription chicken fried rice with satay source, 2 flasks of soup and a 4 pack of Snickers to keep me awake for the 12 plus hours of the event :blush:

#17 RS2000

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 21:42

Maybe it is an age thing. I can't speak for the 50s or the first half of the 60s but in the second half of the 60s "we" certainly didn't all use them. 68 saw what was probably the most arduous (ie.tiring) rally ever run in Britain. The last Gulf London ran for 4 days and 3 nights with a few 1 hour halts and one 3 hour halt in the middle - and in the hot summer, not in the bracing, wake you up winter temperatures of the RAC. C of C, D S-M openly claimed to model it on the Liege.
I was "fortunate" enough to experience it as a very (very) young service crew member on a first International. From later experience on the RAC etc, driving was easier fatigue-wise than co-driving. Servicing (the way most private entrants' support crews had to do it) was worse, partly because of no regular adrenaline boost on the stages. The days of free roadside servicing meant harder driving on the road sections for the amateur service crew than for the competitors, then hard work whenever it stopped, no resting. There were probably some using bennies or dexies as late as the 71 RAC (the last with 2 consecutive nights without sleep) but most known to me were not. You could sometimes tell who was by the style of their road driving as the effect lessened...
GG has it spot on. The low point was always about 3 am on the second night without sleep and dawn on the third day somehow gave the will to live back.

#18 RCH

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 10:44

I seem to recall reading that Fangio's "wakey-wakey" pills were considered the best being something that was used on the long South American road races of the day.

My own experience of rallying from the late '60's was I guess fairly limited, a bit of marshalling, a bit of servicing, a few road events but mainly what were known at the time as Daylight Stages and I don't think I was ever awake for more than say 24 hours, if a couple of hours snatched sleep in the back of the car counted.However the greatest stimulus I always reckoned was seeing dawn coming up. To the best of my knowledge nothing was being taken at that time. It has just occured to me that my interest in rallying started at Leicester Poly which had a very large Pharmacy department, yet, again to the best of my knowledge, there was never any thought of any "stimulants" being produced.