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Jeanne Eve
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Username: jeve

Post Number: 5
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Wednesday, 04 June, 2003 - 03:18 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hello everyone,
Welcome to the long awaited Celebration Alpine Tour based on the win by a Silver Ghost in the race of 1913.

But before I commence this motoring adventure through Austria, Slovenia nd North Italy, let me begin with the fleeting images of Austria through the plane window as we landed first in Vienna, with the early morning glory of mist-covered peaks, then onto Strasburg.

Forgive my lyrics but this country is so different to Australia;

Dark secret copses on clipped verdant hillsides, Large happy cattle and snow smattered summits. Bright coloured flowers all neat in their box,
These are a few of the Austrian things.

And let me not forget the melt-in-the-mouth chocolate which the Austrian and Tyrolean airlines were freely distributing.There go the kilos.

The three Australian cars which were trucked from Hamburg to Strasburg are still under the control of the Custom agents thanks to a general strike today. So the best laid plans were thwarted. Tomorrow the action will start when their custodians are more recovered from jetlag.

However the squealing of brakes, the honking of horns and the laughter in the hotel lobby heralded the arrival of a small contingent of Americans who had driven over from Felixtowe and two early models from Northern Ireland, safe in their towed cartrucks.

Today was warm with temperatures in the 70's and participants are discussing how they have brought clothing more suitable to the cooler climes. But that is ahead of us on the long steep Alpine passes and already conversations are focusing on two and four wheel brakes and the judicious use of the handbrake on the slow descents. One can sense the anticipation of seeing wondrous scenery tempered with challenging motoring, with some of the climbs on gravel roads. Excitement is mounting for this historical tour even though there are still two more days before the official start.Then you can also click onto the www.silverghost.com site for more detail and hopefully photographs. This used to be a pornographic site until the Silver Ghost Association came to an agreement. So now there are thrills for the true petrol-head and the lover of Silver Ghosts.

I will continue this later and am happy to answer any quetions. Auf Wiedersehen!
Jeanne.
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David Gore
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Username: david_gore

Post Number: 32
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Wednesday, 04 June, 2003 - 02:32 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi Jeanne,

Glad to hear you arrived safely and will soon be re-united with the Ghost, strikes permitting.

If possible and time permitting could you post the chassis numbers of the Australian Ghosts participating in the tour. Also would appreciate details on the number of cars by year of assembly if available.

In view of the concerns about braking efficiency and preserving one's piece of mind with a vertical drop-off on one side of the car; has anyone considered fitting an engine exhaust brake as a temporary addition to take some of the load off the brakes on the long descents? Works well on trucks so perhaps it could also be used for the two-wheel brake cars otherwise I would be reducing the weight in the vehicle as much as possible by judicious transfer of passengers and luggage to other more suitable vehicles on the critical sections. I will be interested to know if the handbrake option works on the long descents - my early driving experience on grossly overloaded old farm trucks suggests it does not work as continual friction keeps the brakes hot and they do not get the chance to cool down before the next time they are really needed - I used to rely on short periods of braking to slow down as much as possible; release the brakes completely and use engine braking through the gears to reduce the rate of acceleration as long as possible to allow the heat to dissipate. When things got really serious; a wait alongside the road until the brakes cooled was the only option. The problem for internally expanding drum brakes is thermal expansion of the drums reducing the ability of the lining to make maximum contact with the drum - external clasp-type brakes do not have this problem; they just drag continuously as the drum expands!!!!

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Anthony & Amanda van der Vliet
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Username: ant_and_amanda

Post Number: 1
Registered: 5-2003
Posted on Wednesday, 04 June, 2003 - 09:20 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi Jeanne and John,

Great to hear you are about to start this great experience. Sorry that our dates didn't line up as hoped, but we will be thinking of you never the less. (Might even try and give you a call, close to the end).

Enjoy yourselves, and see you when we are all back in Oz.

Regards, A&A
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Jeanne Eve
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Username: jeve

Post Number: 6
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Thursday, 05 June, 2003 - 03:43 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Great to hear from you and have a great trip A. and A. David, I will give you the Aussie chassis nos later and we will probably receive all details of participants and vehicles tomorrow evening. 56 cars are expected. So far the oldest one I have seen is a 1909 model. Transport strike was over so Customs released our cars today and all started first time. Just had to hand crank the engine six revolutions to check that valves were not stuck during transit, then it was a case of battery on, fuel on, pump the fuel pressure, have retarded ignition position, half throttle, ignition switch on on then press the starter - whoo, whoo whoo, brrerrerrre as the solid 7.5 litre engine rumbles without missing a beat!
Today spent on general maintenance, cleaning and greeting old friends from around the globe and meeting new ones.Still unusually warm but dry.
David - haven't heard of an engine retard - like to keep these motorcars original! John always uses the hand brake, on/off and rarely the foot one on descents and relies on using low gears. We have the four speed gearbox.
Time for dinner so until tomorrow, Cheers, Jeanne.

(Message edited by chrisg on June 23, 2003)
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David Gore
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Username: david_gore

Post Number: 33
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Thursday, 05 June, 2003 - 12:41 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi Jeanne,

Re the engine exhaust brake; now you can see why I have problems in Concours judging as I will always favour practical road use over standard perfection!!!

The device is easily fitted to the exhaust pipe as a removeable item when not needed. The exhaust whistle on Barry Gillings Ghost is a similar application as a warning device rather than a braking device.

Should I look at mortgaging my soul to buy a Ghost rather than a PI??
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Jeanne Eve
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Username: jeve

Post Number: 8
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Friday, 06 June, 2003 - 01:45 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

I really do think you need to consider the Silver Ghost David! Seeing all these wonderful machines lined up in front of the hotel is mindblowing! And of course the Silver Ghost Association is a fantastic group - just think of the international Wholly Ghost Tours which have occured in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, USA...

We've now received our rally packs and the detailed route notes. John and I have spent one and a half hours just plotting the road on the maps for five days only. To our delight we are following the same route that we did on the Peking to Paris Motor Challenge in 1997 for Austria and some of Italy.Only then the Stelvio Pass,2758 m., was closed because of snow. This time the Stelvio is an optional trip with its 48 hairpins- only recommended for two wheel brakers because of their tighter turning circle than the four wheelers.There is also terrific, challenging but optional mountain crossing roads which we hope to do.

The towns where we are staying for those of you wanting to view the route are:Lienz,Innsbruck,Merano,Riva,Penia,Villach, Lipica, Ljubljana,Graz,Gaming and finally Maria Torferi. The main alpine passes are Lueg,Tauern, Katschberg, Brenner, Reschen, Stelvio, Broccone, Rolle, Pordoi, Wurzen, Predil, Loibl, Radl, Semmering and Niederalpl.

The origin of cars for this Alpenfahrt are:
USA =22, UK= 21, Australia =6, N. Ireland =2, Hong Kong =2, Germany =1, Switzerland =1 and Portugal = 1. A great turn-up!

To recapture the historical essence for this tour let me quote from The Times 1913, '1,654 miles at high speed, over 19 Alpine passes including the precipitious ascents of Katschberg and Loibl, on the original supply of water without opening the radiator cap'.....'Remarkable achievement of four Rolls-Royces, 7 prizes captured by the R-R quartette - each car making a non-stop run, astonishing hill-climbing feats on gradients 1 in 3 1/2'

We are not racing, not following all of the original route but this tour will still test the reliability of the Silver Ghost and the skills of the driver especially on those winding mountain roads. Woohoo! Can't wait! Auf Wiedersehen, Jeanne.}
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Jeanne Eve
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Username: jeve

Post Number: 9
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Sunday, 08 June, 2003 - 12:15 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

The last two days have been hub tours to check radiators, temperatures etc whilst climbing a very steep hill used around Strasburg for car racing, interspersed with some sightseeing around Zum See and the historic village of Hillstadt. So been driving through avalanche tunnels, passing road signs re deer and travelling through cold long tunnels within the high hills. Our route notes are terrific and our trip meter tallies with the instructions.

Today we had our frisson of frustration because we split a tyre rim resulting in one very flat tyre on the descent of the above steep hill. Arriving in the centre of the Kapitelplatz with church bells clanging for our arrival of police - escorted 56 Ghosts, two police officers and an Austro -American tour organizer found us a welder on a Saturday afternoon, who took away the rim. Two hours and 50 Euros later we received a welded rim on our spare wheel. Not bad!

We leave tomorrow headed for Italy. So everyone has ironed out any minor problems such as radiators and electrical faults and now doing their own final servicing on their motor vehicles.
For me, I am about to polish out the marks left on the nickel for the headlights, radiator grill and brightwork left by the acid rain. Then hopefully a quick spray of Mr. Sheen will give some protection.

Welcome speeches by mayors and reception dinners in the majestic lakeside Schloss Fuschl (usurped by Himmel in WW11 who placed the original owners in concentration camp where they died)are now over. The Alpine Tour really starts tomorrow. I am not sure when I will next be able to send you a dispatch.
Auf Wiedersehen from the birthplace of Mozart,
Jeanne.
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Jeanne Eve
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Username: jeve

Post Number: 10
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Monday, 09 June, 2003 - 02:30 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Gutes Gott from Lienz, where I have just come back from drinking two glasses of champagne in the hot early evening sun at the mayoral reception in the Hauptplatz!It has been a superb motoring day with two passes: the Tauern pass at 1739 m. with gradients of 15% up and 14% down then the famous Katschberg pass. As our route notes stated: History buffs will recognize the Katschberg as the pass where in 1912 the Silver Ghost failed to proceed until the three passengers disembarked. It was this failure that led to the re-engineering of the Silver Ghost before the successful 1913 Alpenfahrt. Back then the gradient was 25% on dirt roads so we had it easy today but it was still lots of fun. Our car dropped 95 degrees (from 211 - 102 degrees F.) in two minutes from where we summitted then began the descent.

The scenery has been spectacular - Sound of Music valleys and mountains, fast flowing rivers, colourful wildflowers, fortresses some dating from 1077 and lots of villages. Lunch was at Gmund where some of us also visited the Porsche factory and birthplace of this clever man.

A shorter day tomorrow of only 105 miles. Today was pretty good at 150 miles. I believe all cars have arrived with only one having water pump problems.
Auf Wiedersehen, Jeanne.
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Jeanne Eve
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Username: jeve

Post Number: 11
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Monday, 09 June, 2003 - 02:46 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Correction please! Just want to make it clear that that tour has been a joint organization between the RREC and the SGA. Also jetlag befuddled my brain and this tour started in Salzburg, not Strasburg. Am now on track and can now navigate without error! Cheers, Jeanne.
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David Gore
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Username: david_gore

Post Number: 35
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Monday, 09 June, 2003 - 09:41 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi Jeanne,

Queen's Birthday weekend is now behind us and back to the everyday world for us - reading your posts is giving me "itchy feet" as your information is making me feel I should be there as a participant! I have an interest in recreation of historic events and your description of attacking the mountain passes in basically the same cars that did the first run 90 years ago is very evocative - I hope we can achieve a similar feeling in the NSW leg of the "Praeclarum Rally next year - perhaps we should look at a re-creation event of some kind for the benefit of participants whilst they are in Sydney to encourage public interest/attendance as well as participation by our members who are unable to participate in the Rally.

Just a thought to stimulate some additional discussion on this event!
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David Gore
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Username: david_gore

Post Number: 36
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Tuesday, 10 June, 2003 - 01:58 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi Jeanne,

Nothing about the 2003 Rally has appeared on the Ghost website as yet so you may wish to check with the organisers if they intend doing anything before the Rally concludes or will it be a summary after it is all over?
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Jeanne Eve
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Username: jeve

Post Number: 12
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Wednesday, 11 June, 2003 - 01:13 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi everyone,
Been a tremendous last two days driving along valleys and gorges on winding roads. The Autobahn arcing and soaring way above us. Cars going well wth people adjusting brakes, fixing magnetos and the odd flat tyre.Lat night was at Igles where many of us took the chairlift up to Patscherkofel mountain with a great view down to Innsbruck. This morning we had a walk around theold parts of the citywith its 15 and 16th century architecture, cupolas and fabulous wealthy cathedral with gold and silver altar. Early afternoon some of us drove the challenging but terrific road into Italy via Timmelsjoch at 2509 m with snow on edge of road under hot blue skies. The Ice Man was found in the Glacier nearby. Now in steamy Merano and soon there will be a drivers meetin for those who want to drive up the Stelvio tomorrow. Ciao, Jeanne.
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Jeanne Eve
Moderator
Username: jeve

Post Number: 13
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Thursday, 12 June, 2003 - 12:31 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Stelvio Zig-Zag

This morning would have to be one of the highlights of my motoring hobby. If Royce is to Rolls then the Stelvio is to the touring motorist. One has heard so much about this famous road with its 48 hairpins up to the Passo dello Stelvio at 2758 m, with its patches of snow. John and I left at 6 this morning to beat the expected 30 degree humid heat and traffic and arrived at the summit, for breakfast with some friends, around 8. With the sun on our backs and only in in T shirts and jeans, we toasted each other with Cuvee Frattina at the hotel Stilfserjoch. Don't worry, there was little alcoholic content. The Silver Ghost rumbled up beautifully with only four back and tacks around the tight corners.Our temperature guage has three descriptions on its 1924 dial -Inefficient, Warm and Hot, the latter being around 200 degrees F. The needle did not pass Warm because the climb is over 16 miles and not as steep as the Katschberg Pass.

I have motored through spectacular mountain scenery in Tibet and in Norway, but the Stelvio, near the Italo-Swiss border, is the most dramatic. For suddenly you see the summit ahead of you with a machinist's zig-zag road ahead and think, 'Oh boy! That's the only way!'

This is now the second highest pass in Europe but it was king in 1913, as a gravel road. It was not used in the 1913 Alpenfahrt because the Swiss had banned motor vehicles from many mountain roads.

After today I want to climb the Triglav, the highest mountain in Slovenia, but I not sure if it is on this route. However we will be climbing the Loibl Pass in Slovenia, which will be the most challenging of all passes with its gradients of 17-29% ascent on only 3.2 miles up to 1367 m. And for us Stelvio virgins, we thought we had really achieved something today!

The alpine meadows have been terrific with their display of colourful wildfloweres scenting the air. In the villages with narrow cobbled streets, there are beautiful roses and flowers of the northern hemisphere. Picturesque, along with the summer hay - making activities of the local farms.

Tomorrow we leave for Riva. But right now it is time for me to stroll bck to the hotel and hope that John has finished polishing the car because we volunteered to park it outside the restaurant tonight! Ciao, Jeanne.
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Jeanne Eve
Moderator
Username: jeve

Post Number: 14
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Friday, 13 June, 2003 - 07:32 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Good evening! This will be short because I was just about to post my dispatch when the phone card ran out at the critical moment here in the hotel lobby. Give me a decent Internet cafe anytime!

Suffice to say that all 56 Silver Ghosts have arrived in Riva del Garde but we have had it easy so far. The excellent route notes indicate difficult roads ahead. No problem for these wonderful machines but maybe testing for some of the drivers who have not driven for more than 1-2 day tours. Also the 34 degree tropical heat is wearing some people down.

For the technical minded our car is doing 12.5 miles per gallon and with coffee stops and hairpin roads we are averaging 25 mph.

Today was difficult because of driving through cities and roadworks but we were following the original route. The spaghettini I had for lunch also reminds me of Italian driving - all over the place! However tomorrow we are climbing to over 3000 metres on mountainous roads which hopefully will bring cooler weather.

Lovely valleys with vineyards and orchards and old houses in different colours: yellow, aubergine, olive, blue, apricot,with ornate balconies and shutters.

Riva del Garde was the home town of Prince Borghese who won the original Peking to Paris Motor Race in 1907 in his Itala. For a potted history read my book, Rallying in a Royal Rolls-Royce, (Motorbooks in London, Sydney and RROC Inc.) There is also The Mad Motorists by Luigi Barzini who was the reporter in the Itala.

Must go and check the route notes for tomorrow.
Ciao, Jeanne.
PS The silverghost.com site is experiencing technical difficulties so no photos until the tour is over.
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David Gore
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Username: david_gore

Post Number: 38
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Friday, 13 June, 2003 - 09:59 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi Jeanne,

Good to hear everything is going well but the temperatures seem somewhat high for early summer in the Northern Hemisphere! How are the rest of the Australian contingent going and are the co-drivers doing their fair share?

Is anyone taking video of the event - this would be an interesting presentation at one of our meetings?

Please keep the posts coming; they are very interesting and informative.
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Jeanne Eve
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Username: jeve

Post Number: 15
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Saturday, 14 June, 2003 - 01:00 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi David, Thanks for the feedback- I sometimes wonder who reads these! The Aussie contingent is going well but we don't see much of each other because we are part ofsuch a large group. Must be well over 130 people.Not sure who has a video but I know that Barrie has a super camera with some video short clips.

Right now I can hear the bells tinkling on contented cows just across the road in this quiet ski resort whilst in the background are the dramatic and stark Dolomite Mountains. Bob, the proprietor has warmly welcomed us into his Dolomite Inn, Penia and let me use his office computer. Such generosity.

It's been a day of dramatic scenery as we left the lakes and steadily climbed up and down many mountains,gazing at the splendour of gorges, pine
forests, colourful wildflowers and wound through tiny villages narrowly missing careering vans and cars plus the occasional blue bus coming down the hairpins.

This morning John and I were on the road before 7 as it was a case of'Breakfast is not til 7.30, we have three passes, lots of hairpins and storms are predicted for this afternnon, so let's go and get breakfast on the road.' All went well until we passed a hand written sign with 'strata chiusa' on it which I chose to ignore on a road which was described as 'the road is narrow and has little traffic' Sure enough the road was closed due to landslip, so we detoured up on to a very narrow gravel laneway up through the pine forest. I felt as though I was in a rowboat out at sea with the swaying around but the Ghost engine reliably chugged slowly up then down. There were a couple of very tight and narrow hairbends and it is a credit to John as driver and our trusty motor that we negotiated all this without mishap.

We had a choice of routes today; those who wanted to follow the original route drove into Trento which is where the original cars were blessed whereas the rest of us chose the mountainous crossing.

The three passes today were the Brocan, Gommera and finally the Rolle Pass, the latter at 1984 m.All achieved easily with fantastic views as we climbed high above the tree line.

To finish off I am going to give you three place names to say aloud and hear this beautiful Italian language; Paneveggio, Predazzo and Campitello.
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David Gore
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Username: david_gore

Post Number: 40
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Saturday, 14 June, 2003 - 09:01 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi Jeanne,

You will be surprised to know who reads your posts - they are just reluctant to put fingers to keyboard and comment. I hope readers will comment so Jeanne knows her time and consideration is appreciated however posting is restricted to members only so this may be the reason.

Ed Albert from the USA put the following post on the US Open Forum for your interest.

"Date: 13-Jun-03 14:12
Author: Ed Albert
Subject: Alpine tour - thanks

David,

Thank you for passing on the link. Great of you to help. Friends, Doug and Mary White from North Carolina, are on the tour in their Ghost so I'm enjoying the updates.

Ed Albert Charlotte, NC 1934 RR GAF70"

Just for the record, your last post has escalated my "itchy feet" problem to record levels - I am visualising the scenery and the feeling of driving a classic car in these surroundings - a once in a lifetime experience I am sure.

PS. I tried your Italian language test but failed miserably!!
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Jeanne Eve
Moderator
Username: jeve

Post Number: 16
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Sunday, 15 June, 2003 - 06:45 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi everyone,
This will be quite long because I am not sure about facilities in Slovenia. But before I start I want to say that Mary White along with her colleagues have done a tremendous job with the organization of this tour. I am sure it will go down in history as a great 90th celebration.

Last night, just as John had put back both rear wheels, after loosening the toggles holding the new brake drums which were binding and making horrible hollow noises, the rain fell. Heavy cold drops which dramatically turned into small hailstones. Thunderclaps echoed off the sheer Dolomite cliffs, mist swirled around the lower spars and white waterfalls suddenly gushed forth. Many of us dashed outside to the verandah to marvel at this sight. And it bacame blessedly cooler up in the Austrian ski resort. No damage was done to the cars although the acid rain marked all the nickel and blistered the varnish on the wooden bodied Silver Ghost limousine from UK.

Each day reveals more dramatic scenery and this morning´s drive over the Pordoi Pass (2239 m)and the Falzarego Pass (2105m) did not diasppoint. The Dolomites peaks soared up to 3000 metres and were starkly silhouetted against the clear blue sky. Í am really pleased to know how my Silver Ghost just chugs up all the passes. Back home it will be boring driving now!´`Isn´t this just fantastic?´´We´re so privileged to see this` were some of the comments floating around.
It must have been an adrenalin charged time to race in 1913 on these exciting and challenging roads. I urge anyone to drive and really expore this scenery. You can now get a chairlift to the peaks and walk around the top of this part of the world.Easy!

Last night´s rain had caused some minor mudslides on the Pordoi which required snowploughs and bulldozers to scrape off the road. However the dairy cattle were enjoying the moist green grass and mooched across the hairpins, one resting its haunches against the fender of a Silver Ghost leaving behind sticky hair but no damage.

A couple of cars are experiencing electric problems with magneto and coil and another had its headlight break off from its bracket. Luckily it was caught in the bodywork and remains no worse for its fall and is safely esconsed within luggage.

To date we have had informal days travelling at our own speeds and stopping when we wanted for coffee or lunch or to buy oils in hardware stores.
But today was the start of planned activities. At 8.30 am, the townspeople of Penia farewelled us all, with a particular group dressed in their national costumes generously handing out books on the Dolomites and badges. Later it was lunch at the Grand Hotel in Toblach/Dobbiaco which was where the 1913 Alpenfahrt stayed overnight. After speeches by the mayor and various dignitaries and a light buffet lunch, it was time to again follow the original route back into Austria, with its houses of painted religious frescoes on the wall, tractors and honest rural smells, and into the town of Villach.

Tonight our hosts were a couple who also belong to the RREC and the 20Ghost Club. Ten years ago they hosted the 80 year Alpenfahrt celebrations and indeed a toast was held for all those people who were here in 1993 - about twenty people but not necessarily in their current Silver Ghosts. Three of them were Australians. A huge effort went into the peparation for tonight where we heard the Wernberger Buam Folk Music, Corinthian Folk Dancers and the Villach Folk Singers at the Josenfinenhof hotel. I was told that the women´s national costumes are handed down and one of them dated from 1850. They looked new.

It has begun to rain again and thunder is rolling around. We have parked our cars on a grassy paddock and wonder whether we will need a tractor - pull tomorrow morning. It is supposed to be an early start for the drive into Slovenia.

Auf Wiedersehen, Jeanne.
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Jeanne Eve
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Username: jeve

Post Number: 17
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Monday, 16 June, 2003 - 06:22 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

DobrodoŠli everyone! (welcome)

What a way to enter Slovenia from Austria with a steep hill with gradients from 12-18 % through forests and thin mist. Up over the border having to show passports and car insurance and then there was the choice of taking the original route via the Predil Pass (1165m)or an alternative. We took the latter which entered the dramatic Triglavski Narodni Park on the Vrsic pass (1611m) which was a road built by Russian prisoners and completed in 1915. On 24 of the ascending hairpins there were symmetrically laid flat cobblestones in an arcing pattern which provided a really good grip. So I appreciated the pain and sweat of those road makers.The mountains were sheer - sided and stark with snow pockets up high in rugged and stark country. It was an exhilarating drive with a total of 50 hairpins including the descent into Reca Soca.I will make no comment about the fast oncoming traffic which mostly kept to its side of the road although we missed one small white car by centimetres.

So I was closer to my desire to climb the steep slope of Triglav at 2804m and view the world from its summit. Another time. I am no mountaineer but have walked to the top of Kilimanjaro.

The sheer joy from this drive was quickly extinguished by the visit to the moving and simple WW1 exhibition at the Kobarid Museum which was the site of vicious fighting and much misery by the Austro-Germans and the Italians. Ernest Hemingway, who was an American volunteer with the Italians in a Red Cross ambulance, wrote his grim books,Farewell to Arms and For Whom The Bell Tolls. I walked out feeling sick at the photographs, at the futility of so much despair and death and how humans have and will always fight each other.

Soon we could relax at lunch at the Kromberk castle which was rebuilt in 1609 after its original construction 400 years earlier. Delicious local food included smoked ham with pumpkin seed oil, oat grain with porcine mushrooms, boar and home made apple juice.
And it was 37 degrees and we were all melting in the heat.

Another treat was in store when we arrived to end the day in Lipica. the home of the famous white horses and here we saw a half hour show. Perhaps the horses were also hot because we saw exacting walking and slow dance steps and control rather than the dancing and rearing from these horses originally bred for fighting.

There appears to be the SARS virus of magnetos affecting some of the Silver Ghosts as people work on their cars in the carpark. Maybe some of them forgot their woes in the Casino here where they won local Slovenian tolar!

Time for me to say nasvidenje from the Rollce R ojce tour. That is goodbye from the R-Rs.
Jeanne.}
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Jeanne Eve
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Username: jeve

Post Number: 18
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Tuesday, 17 June, 2003 - 08:40 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Good morning,
It is after midnight and I have just returned from a fantastic restaurant here in Ljubljiana with terrific food and wine equal to any fine venue in Sydney. You do not believe me ? Then you will be as surprised and chauvinistic as I was to discover a young and vibrant population who will surely benefit from when Slovenia joins the EU in May, 2004. Yet about ten miles out of town, I saw two elderly women in scarves, long skirts and aprons, hand cutting the grass for hay in the centuries old agrarian custom. There is a sense of transition in this country - never one subjected to communism but rather to the old Austrian -Hungarian regime whom the Turks overlooked in their invasion. Roman Catholicism is strong today with churches dotted around and little religious shrines and figures on the roadside.

Today was a great day but the presence of mishap is always lurking around every corner. Today there was a stretch of road between Predjama Castle, which I will tell you more about later and to the reception in Vipava. It was a picturesque narrow gravel road winding through new forest. A truck with a trailer was barrelling down with no intention of stopping. We met it on a blind corner and with skidding back wheels John managed to stop our car on the edge of the road, the bumper in vegetation. And he is naturally a slow driver especially with our heavy limousine motorcar. Not so lucky was the Australian Silver Ghost from W.A. who now has no headlights and a bent fender. Tonight we also noticed it had a radiator leak but thankfully no one was hurt. A shock and wake up call to us all.

However Predjama Castle was a delight and this little corner of the world was apparently used in Neolithic Era and was a necropolis for the Romans. It was also thought to be a refuge for some in the Middle Ages. Today there is a restored castle nestling in a complex of limestone caves - well protected with a water supply and cave entrances plus the usual drawbridge. Fascinating.

Apart from the group photos taken this morning and the visit to Vipava with its attractive large town square, the main topic now concerns the drive over the gravel, famous Loibl Pass tomorrow. There will be a ceremonial cutting of the ribbon at midday because the Loibl is being opened just for us and spectators will be lining the ascent. Perhaps they can push if necesary!The Slovenian Auto Club has done much preparation and diplomacy on our behalf. At the Drivers meeting tonight, it was suggested that this pass was unsuitable for the older and heavy Silver Ghosts and also for those with tool boxes which extend to below teh running board because they may catch on the tight gravel hairpins. The drivers will need to watch for rear wheel slip on the steep gravel road. Sounds like 4 -wheel rally driving but in pre- war sedate motor cars.Perhaps we can pretend to be racing a la 1913 Alpenfahrt!

One Silver Ghost has retired from muliple failures but the final straw was the oil pressure pump.

We have air conditioning in our hotel, the 1903 Grand Union Hotel, so we all expect to get a good night sleep, unlike the awful heat and humidity last night. So it is sweet dreams from me. Jeanne.
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David Gore
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Username: david_gore

Post Number: 43
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Tuesday, 17 June, 2003 - 11:34 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi Jeanne,

Your last post disturbed me greatly as I became very concerned about the possibility of an accident similar to the one on the Peking-Paris Rally after reading your Monday post about the oncoming traffic but did not comment for fear of creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. We can be extremely thankful that only bodywork was damaged and no-one was injured.

Perhaps the organisers should consider getting some of the co-drivers into some rental cars to act as "sweepers" to precede the cars and warn oncoming traffic of the presence of the bulky cars with restricted manouevrability. Some UHF radios,if mobile phones do not work, could be used to warn the oncoming cars of maniacs so they have time to find a safe pull-off area until the idiots pass by.

I am also concerned about the acid rain problem and its effects on the older cars - I would like to talk to you about this in more detail when you return as it may be worthwhile investigating the use of strippable protective coatings for future events. The mechanical problem rate does not seem to be excessive given the age and use of the cars - one retirement from 56 cars so far is very good in my opinion given the nature and duration of the Rally.

Will mention your progress at the Club Meeting tomorrow night. Safe driving and have a Slivovitz for me if the opportunity presents!!
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Bill Coburn
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Posted on Tuesday, 17 June, 2003 - 10:36 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Jeanne

May I say that your accounts have been awesome (a much overused word these days). The scope and ambition of the organisers and the participants I find really a bit hard to grasp but at the risk of patronising you, John's and your presence there must give a frisson of pride to all Australians reading your lines. Continue to be careful and enjoy yourself and thank you for sharing your impressions with us.
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Jeanne Eve
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Username: jeve

Post Number: 19
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Wednesday, 18 June, 2003 - 10:00 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

You are too generous but I appreciate your comment Bill. - we are just one of 55 Silver Ghosts taking part in an international event but yes, there is an extra bond with the other Aussies. On that note, Con's car is going well after he sealed his radiator with silicon rubber. Now has a dinted fender and no headlights but that is no problem. Yes, I too wondered whether it would be better to have scouts, especially on the particularly narrow lanes which were blocked, but then short of closing the road there is not much we can do about public traffic. And it really is preferable to driving on fast roads. Just part of the scene.

Now to let you know about yesterday which was a particularly long and tiring 9 hour day resulting in all of us enjoying a rest day here today, in the UNESCO culturally protected town of Graz, Austria with its wonderful 16 century architecture. Lovely example of Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance features.

Yesterday involved departing and arriving in city navigation and traffic, two public receptions with two mayoral speeches and the exciting Loibl Pass.

Leaving Ljubljana early we all arrived and parked our cars in a narrow town square in the gracious town of Skofia Loka, one of the oldest settlements in Slovenia. The sun was shining and I wished I had the technology for you to download the sound and images of the day. A complex modern waltz was blaring from the speakers and then suddenly in English we heard, 'Love me tender, love me true ' from the one and only Elvis Presley. Why this choice, I thought as I sipped on the complimentary bottle of lemon water? Reference to these men and their motor cars or was the rock and roll music referring to the marque (sorry, groan!)

Soon we were on the way to the infamous, gravel Loibl Pass, with its 25% gradient on its steepest parts. Lining up at the entrance we stopped and cooled our engines ready for the incline. Sipping coffee or eating bread rolls we waited until midday when the mayor welcomed us, organizer David Dudley, UK gave a speech , this time in Slovenian, before cutting the symbolic ribbon with a pair of scissors and a champagne bottle was neatly de-dorked with a sword by a young Slovenian woman. Neatly done! I admit to a case of mild 'butterflies' not really knowing what to expect. Was there a degree of scaremongering at the drivers meeting last night? Because there were some participants who had driven it ten years ago who said that all one had to do was to get into low gear and go.

Our car was in the first group of ten to go up. The gravel road had a good surface and had been recently graded. It was especially opened for us to traverse it. Cheering spectators were sitting on the corners and this was exciting! We could not see around the hairpins as trees were growing up the side so could not appreciate the steepness ahead unlike the Stelvio. Around the first hairpin, then we suddenly saw a stationary Silver Ghost to one side and worse, another one blocking the road. 'God, that's just what we want!' I exclaimed as we had to wait on the side, watching as the engine temperature rose and people started to push the second car out of the way. On our way again and it was a case of being in low gear and marvel at how the car just continually climbs the ascent without a grumble. However the gear lever did jump out and John had to hold it in place with his knee and use the hand throttle for any acceleration. Slowly we climbed up without wheel slip and each hairpin became steeper. How much steeper is this? when suddenly around the corner were the two pillars before a small plateau, at the Slovenian-Austrian border. A brief stop with glasses of champagne and then the organizers asked us to move on because the following cars needed room. We were near the back and watched in amazement as the front cars did not move. Honking of horns and revving of engines did not stir them as they either waited for some formality or were ill- prepared and still pumping up their petrol. People's driving habits and preparation reveals a lot about their personalities and there simply is no room for selfishness or lack of consideration for others.Am I being critical? You bet I am. It is a basic safety issue. I was not alone later in the day when a European participant suggested that some people should stay at home. Imagine coming up to the top of the Loible and finding no room to stop and park but on the steep incline...On a positive note, special congratulations needs to go to John and Kay M. who have driven the Loible now three times in their Silver GHost, back in 1973, 1993 and yesterday.

On the seat are some hand - made crepe paper flowers and a brochure on a small village of Podijubelj. They were thrown to us by a cheering and laughing group of kindergarten children, patiently waiting in the sun for each car, as it approached the Loibl.I am always deeply moved by the enthusiasm of the public and the Slovenians have been the most responsive. When small children are involved I become a sentimental old sook. Wiping away the tears we pressed on. Later I heard that one of my close UK friends had given some of the kids a ride in his car and Diana J. had given the teacher one of her last koala bears. I had left behind at home the packs of playing cards with Australian animals. Never mind.I will write to them on my return to Sydney. I stongly believe that these car tours assist international relations. We have been flying an Australian flag - not that we are particularly jingoistic or nationalistic- but there have been several people coming us to us excitedly saying how they have family members living in Australia.

Well it is time for me to go and enjoy the remaining rest day. Only few more days adn we ahve already driven 1500 miles on some incredible winding and narrow roads in spectacular scenery. The Silver Ghosts are really living up to their reputation and I will now reread the descriptions of the 1913 Alpenfahrt when there was snow, fog and rain and the Loibl was a rutted dirt road with no safety barriers of any kind.
Auf Wiedersehen, Jeanne.
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David Gore
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Username: david_gore

Post Number: 44
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Wednesday, 18 June, 2003 - 11:35 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi Jeanne,

Have just returned from the Club meeting; I gave a brief summary of your posts and David M-M had a printout available for our non-internet members to read.

I respectfully suggest your posts will be most useful for a follow-up to your Peking-Paris book! Perhaps one of the readers may be able to suggest an appropriate title for consideration.

Safe driving and keep posting - we eagerly await each message from you.
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Margaret Gillings
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Username: margaret

Post Number: 2
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Thursday, 19 June, 2003 - 09:38 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi Jeanne, I stopped reading your messages after the first couple of days because I was getting so damned jealous but I came on line again this morning. What a fantastic trip. I could hardly wait to scroll down to read the next bit! I' sorry to hear about Con's trouble but it could certainly have been worse and at least he's able to continue. With your permission I will be taking some extracts from your postings to make up the President's column for the July L&D. I hope to make it sufficiently tempting to lure a few more members on to the web site. I know you and John will drive safely and I hope all the others will as well. Continue to enjoy it and we'll continue to enjoy your bulletins. Cheers Margaret
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BRYAN INDER
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Post Number: 1
Registered: 6-2003
Posted on Thursday, 19 June, 2003 - 10:18 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Dear Jeanne and John,
We are all very much enjoying the account of your Alpine experience. The best Michele and I could do last weekend was the scenic walk over cliff tops along Sydney Harbour between Manly and the Spit Bridge.
We all wish we could be with you on this fantastic adventure. Please pass on our best wishes.
Kind regards
Bryan Inder and Michele Bussell
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Jeanne Eve
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Username: jeve

Post Number: 20
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Friday, 20 June, 2003 - 12:14 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Thanks everyone for your kind words and I will pass on good wishes. Barrie and Lyel are fine Margaret, and I am sure that Barrie will remember the day of his 69th birthday!I have every confidence that David ran a tight meeting and that the committee is continuing well without me - at this rate I can go away more often!!Use whatever you like for L& D. I thought that David could write a V.P. column instead of mine for the July issue?

After a much desired rest day it was onto Gaming on easy roads through the Austrian countryside.The road followed a river for most of the way until we came to the mild Feistritzsatte and Niederralpl Passes both at around 1200 metres although the latter had a gradient of 22% - nothing for us old hands now. Just sit back, relax and know that the engine will rumble up with no problem.Then down through a craggy small gorge with pine forests looking like tapestry in the pale mist. For today was much cooler with cold winds and a heavy shower at the end of the afternoon.'This was the weather we were expecting!' many have commented. Indeed at one point I was glad of the heat from the engine, on the other side of the firewall, at my feet.

I believe today is the religious festival of Corpus Christi and in one town we had to stop whilst the procession walked slowly up the hill to the church. Then in Mariazell, we were advised to park where we could and take a stroll. However 100 Harley Davidson bikes were on the way for the 2003 H.D. Charity Ride so we left early to pass them as they came downhill. Vroom, Vroom, Vroom as they roared past in their black leathers and headlights on, exchanging handwaves.An impressive convoy.

We are now in our second last destination for the next three nights : the 600 year old Kartause Gaming, an old monastery still with all the spartan decorations and religious icons.

Ahead of us are hub tours with optional routes including a castle visit, a boat ride and walk throught the village of Durnstein where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned.At this stage I beleive all cars and participants are fine.

Gute Fahrt and Auf Wiedersehen, Jeanne.
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Ed Albert
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Username: evalbert

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Registered: 6-2003
Posted on Saturday, 21 June, 2003 - 06:11 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Jeanne,
Great reports. Do hope you will do a book. Say hello to Doug and Mary White.
What an adventure you've allowed us to share.
Ed Albert
Charlotte,NC
20/25 hp RR GAF70
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Jeanne Eve
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Username: jeve

Post Number: 21
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Sunday, 22 June, 2003 - 01:07 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Good to hear from you Ed and I will certainly pass on your regards to the Whites.
O dear - I wasn't going to write a book because I don't believe that there is a big enough market. Instead I was hoping that the S.G.A. and the RREC would put out a good long article/magazine issue. Maybe someone could organize and find a publisher and distribution rights for the 100 year celebration in 2013? Lots of time for that and to sort out issues such as copyright and privacy...I will return in a few moments to write up the last couple of days. Cheers, Jeanne.
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Jeanne Eve
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Username: jeve

Post Number: 22
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Sunday, 22 June, 2003 - 01:39 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

I am the first to admit that I was a trifle frustrated with staying in one place for hub tours because I thought the momentum of this Celebration Tour had slowed and I queried the purpose. However this afternoon, after the tremendous reception and enthusiasm which we received in Scheibbs, a small town nearby, I realize that I was mistaken. Our motor cars provide pleasure to so many people and we need to be generous.

So in the last couple of days we have driven over the best of the picturesque roads in lower Austria, around gorges and high above on the manicured green of alpine farms. We have visited Plankenstein Castle with its labrynth of rooms and cellar hewn into the foundation rock. Also there was a fascinating private collection of African artefacts and masks for ceremonial, dancing and witch doctor activities especially from Zaire and Nigeria. I camped throughout several countries in Africa twenty five years ago, so spent some time viewing it all. Also of interest were the carpets, wall hangings and coats from Afghanistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Last night we were on a boat ride down the Danube stopping off to hear a short organ recital in the highly decorated abbey of Durnstein before continuing down river where there was a terrific firework display - the bangs reverberating off the hills and the colours reflecting off the water. This was an early Sonnenwende celebration - for the summer solstice tonight organized by Jo Willenpart.

This computer is in high demand so will continue tomorrow after we end up in Maria Tafrel after visiting the Melk Abbey.
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Mark Babidge
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Registered: 6-2003
Posted on Sunday, 22 June, 2003 - 11:51 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Jeanne
Please pass our best to Con & nayda and wish them a safe return to Perth. Looks like the "Grasshopper" was not flight of foot enough to miss the aliens!
Cheers
Mark & Merilyn Babidge
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Jeanne Eve
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Username: jeve

Post Number: 23
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Monday, 23 June, 2003 - 12:36 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi Mark, Some of the aliens were buzzing bees!Will pass on your best wishes to Con and Nayda in a couple of hours time.
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Jeanne Eve
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Username: jeve

Post Number: 24
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Monday, 23 June, 2003 - 01:10 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Today was the last day for this historic celebration tour and the day dawned cool and sunny with the ever present church and clock bells. Nearly every morning one can hear them. So much for sleeping in.

And the route did not disappoint with long curving roads down to the Danube and along its banks to the grandiose Melk Abbey. From here it was up in the hills to reveal far reaching vistas across the valleys with a twist in the tail just out of Maria Taferl, with a couple of hairpins and a short descent into this historic village on a poor road surface. All the Silver Ghosts have arrived, bar the one mentioned earlier and are parked in splendour.

A few are looking a little ragged around the edges with a bent fender and one or two sound like boy racers with leaking exhaust manifolds, but they have all performed magnificently. A leaking water pump here, a non - functioning magneto there, they have lived up to their reputation. There are tales of falling off the road with the car resting at a 45 degree angle onto a soft muddy edge in order to avoid a minibus and needing many hands to be pushed back with no resultant damage, of reversing into a boggy ditch which required a tractor pull - out, of a wobbly wooden wheel on an early Ghost which was spotted by the following vehicle. It was proposed that the very hot weather had dried the wood and so loosened its bolts. More tales of split wheel rims and flat tyres, hairy descents in the wrong gear or inadvertently with the handbrake left on. And no doubt there will be more, especially tonight at the final dinner.

It will take a while before this experience is assimilated and recalled in detail. But here is a snapshot of my perceptions only.

Best scenery: Timmelsjoch
Exciting drive: the Stelvio
Best culture: the Scheibbs Chamber Orchestra conducted by Herbert Schloglhofer with the mezzosoprano, Sylvia Kummer

Most enthusiasm: the Slovenians everywhere

Greatest surprise: the extent of German as the lingua franca and availability of apfelstrudel.

Biggest navigational query: Are we really expected to go on this narrow road in this tiny village?
--------------------------------------

We have driven from the Katschberg to the Loibl, from the Alps to the Danube and had lots of fun. It is easy to hop into the car, look at the route notes and simply follow the instructions and enjoy what the world can offer. The preparation has been magnificent and thanks are extended to Mary White, Jacqui Boynton, David Dudley, Jo Willenpart,Tony Dyas and Allan Glew plus everyone else on their team.

These Silver Ghosts can truly be driven anywhere!

Now who is going to organize the 2013 tour?!

Farewell from Jeanne Eve in Car 50.
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David Gore
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Post Number: 47
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Posted on Monday, 23 June, 2003 - 04:52 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Jeanne,

A very big thank you for the time and effort you put into these posts - you will be a hard act to follow for those of us who participate in future Federal Rallys let alone world events such as the Alpine Tour. The story of the cars is also very relevant given the number of split rims you mention; perhaps we need to do an article on dye-checking the rims for cracks if it hasn't already been done elsewhere.

Hope you get back in time for the "Highland Fling", Malcom rang yesterday and it was sleeting in Moss Vale so hopefully there will be a log fire for us to sit around and hear more.
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Bill Coburn
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Posted on Monday, 23 June, 2003 - 09:11 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

And I must have my fourpence worth. I have never even ridden in a Silver Ghost let alone driven one. Regrettably until now (as far as I am concerned) they have retreated to the realm of icons to be written up in great tomes or displayed in aseptic surroundings for mere mortals driving later cars to drool over. For years we have been regaled with historical accounts of Ghostly achievements and tiresome apocrypha of who sat where on the back seat and whether some aristocrat did indeed own a particular car. As if it bloody well mattered! What Jeanne and John have shown us is what stuff these cars are made of and what they can do when in the hands of real enthusiasts. My faith is restored and perhaps I can break my driving virginity so to speak on one of these chassis. Yes I can handle a crash box since I taught many National Servicemen on Studebaker and GMC 6x6's to get their Army licence, whose only driving experience was handling a fully synchromesh gear box on their little Corolla! My thanks to Jeanne and John. Like Margaret Gillings I swallowed my jealousy but I must confess to a good deal of subsequent dyspepsia.
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Chris Gillings
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Username: chrisg

Post Number: 10
Registered: 5-2001
Posted on Monday, 23 June, 2003 - 11:35 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Bill, your lament re riding or driving a Ghost leaves me horrified. That one who has been in the movement for so long has been deprived of such an experience is an awful revelation to me.

At the risk of creating another convert (how many cars have you to trade for a Ghost? ;-) I would like to offer you a ride and drive of SG 1492 - "Christopher" - when you're next in Sydney.

Drop me an e-mail, will you? Cheers.
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David Gore
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Post Number: 48
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Posted on Tuesday, 24 June, 2003 - 08:55 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Chris,

This situation is more widespread than people realise as most members are reluctant to ask owners with early cars [which obviously have the greatest attraction] for a ride let alone a drive for fear of either imposing themselves or worse being embarassed by a refusal or an obviously reluctant agreement. The problem is compounded for the owners of more modern cars as they are unable to reciprocate with a ride/drive of a vehicle that the owner of the early car either owns or has driven previously.

Chris, you will no doubt remember my happiness at being given a drive of Brian's Phantom I at the Federal Rally - this was an unsolicited offer from Brian as I would NEVER ask anyone for a drive of their car no matter how well I know them for fear of putting them in an awkward situation - perhaps I am old-fashioned and not pushy enough but that is the way I feel - I think Bill probably has a similar approach.
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Bill Coburn
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Username: bill_coburn

Post Number: 26
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Tuesday, 24 June, 2003 - 03:26 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

No David I am not backward about coming forward. The earliest car I have driven was one of Malcolm John's Phantom 1's (with a Weyman body I think. And that was superb. I suspect its a question of a time and a place. But now with Chris' offer my deprivation will be corrected - thank you Chris, I will take you up on it. And you are welcome to drive the new Spur anytime you like!!!
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Patricia Anne Aiosa
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Registered: 6-2003
Posted on Wednesday, 25 June, 2003 - 12:20 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Dear Jeanne
Thank you so much for such a wonderful account of the tour. You really made us feel like we were there with you. You mentioned at one stage that you would have liked to capture the whole scene on film. Well I for one always reckon the book is better than the movie.
Cheers to you & John
From Patty & John Aiosa
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Ed Albert
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Username: evalbert

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Registered: 6-2003
Posted on Wednesday, 25 June, 2003 - 05:38 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

What a wonderful word tour you have given the rest of the RR community. Thanks for sharing your experience.
Ed Albert
Charlotte, NC
RROC of USA member
1934 Rolls Royce GAF70
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Chris Gillings
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Username: chrisg

Post Number: 11
Registered: 5-2001
Posted on Thursday, 26 June, 2003 - 11:21 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

(It's about time we moved this thread to its own area, don't you think?)

The Edwardian Silver Ghost is a remarkable creature. I have lately taken to describing it as having "an agricultural heritage". By this I mean it is a great big, solid, robust piece of machinery which can take more punishment than anyone - not least its builder and designer - ever anticipated.

This means that it is extraordinarily difficult to damage a Ghost simply by operating it. Other vehicles and their impacts notwithstanding, it will take a ridiculous amount of punishment without lasting effects. You only have to look at the Silver Ghost Armoured Cars which saw service in wartime for evidence of their amazing durability with little or no modification from factory specifications.

1910 SG 1492 ("Christopher") is a particularly salutary example of this. The late great Bert Ward learnt to drive in it. Quite a number of people - many of whom are now luminaries in the RR and wider motoring movement - learnt to drive in 1492 while it was in the care of George Green in the late fifties and early sixties. You can imagine what such service could have meant for any car, yet it has survived. We are proud that it has not been hors de combat for longer than six weeks in its entire life.

I can't resist telling a story about a friend (alas, now deceased) who was reluctant to drive 1492. I waited until we were trundling along a nice, quiet, straight, flat road. I surreptitiously set the governor to the current road speed and then simply stood up and stepped in front of my friend. He had no choice but to slide in under the steering wheel and drive the car! I sat down and enjoyed the ride from the passenger's seat he had just vacated.

So be warned. Ask or be thrust into the driver's seat! As I always say: "She's a big girl and she can handle it."

(Message edited by chrisg on June 26, 2003)
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David Gore
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Post Number: 49
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Posted on Friday, 27 June, 2003 - 09:55 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Chris,

As the Alpine Rally has finished and I doubt if there will be further posts, we should close this thread after allowing Jeanne a final "say" when she arrives home. This will be a most useful archive for someone writing a future update on the history of the RROC[A].

This thread has been a most worthwhile and practical illustration of the benefits to members and the public at large from our website and the Forums in particular to provide information immediately no matter where you are in the world.