SLOVENSKY CLUB RALLY
Sole British Entrant secures Premier Award
OF a total of 80 entries for the Slovensky Motor Club’s International Auto Rally, 70 started, 7 of the competitors being foreigners. The sole English representative was Mr. A. Dexter, who was accompanied by Mr. J. A. Orr Ewing in a Riley “9.”
They were successful in securing the premier award in Class ” G ” (under 1+-litres) covering a distance of 2,962 kilometres with the rather remarkable average speed of 44.9 kilometres per hour.
Mr. Dexter’s car, which was named the “Phantom Mechanic,” started from Glasgow on July 1st and their journey from the start was full of incidents. Driving throughout the night they encountered heavy thunderstorms and narrowly missed a collision with a 6-wheel lorry and trailer which had overturned. Having reached London in the afternoon of the same day, they proceeded to Dover. Crossing the Channel they found the road from Calais to Boulogne closed for repairs and it was necessary for them to make a big detour, but in spite of this they arrived in Paris at 11 p.m. Early next morning they left the French capital and after traversing appalling stretches of high roads they reached the Routes Nationales where they made splendid progress, covering 60 km. in the hour for several hours on end. Nancy was reached at mid-day, and Strasbourg, 282+ miles from Paris at 3.30 p.m. The German frontier was crossed at Kehl. Later they came to the narrow winding
roads through the Black Forest and here owing to poor marking of the route, they lost themselves for a considerable time, but after some difficulty they reached Proudenstat and made their way to Ulm via Tubingen and Routlingen.
At one village where they pulled up to enquire their way they received an overwhelming greeting, but again, through a misunderstanding they found themselves off their scheduled route and ran into what eventually degenerated into a cart track among the fields. Ulm was reached at mid-night.
After a brief rest, Mr. Dexter pushed on to Munich which was reached at 7 o’clock in the morning of Friday. From there they went to Salsburg, just over the Austrian frontier and then to Lambach. Here they encountered the dust which is universal in this part of Europe, and both the Riley and its occupants soon became smothered with the fine, white and extremely disagreeable substance. Previously the English competitors had wired to the British ViceConsul at Bratislava that they hoped to arrive at 8 p.m., but owing to the numerous delays they arrived some two hours later. The same night they continued over bad tracks, until at last they reached Buda Pest at 3 o’clock the following morning, having covered 92 miles, the major portion of which was over surfaces which were inches deep in dust, and full of potholes. At 8.15 a.m. the Riley checked in at the Hungarian Motor Club at Buda Pest, and after
a most cordial reception the crew started on their long trek again, heading for the frontier.
From there to the finish it was a case of really hard driving over execrable roads which followed the river Vach to Kral Lehota. By easy stages they then climbed to the plateau close to the Tetras mountains. They were now nearing their goal, and starting on their final ascent to Sturbach they climbed 2,570 feet before finally finishing at Tatranska Lornnica.
Mr. Dexter reports that the Riley stood up to the arduous conditions of the long run extremely well, and that at no time was any mechanical trouble met with. The equipment included oversize Dunlop tyres (which, combined with the Sorbo upholstery, made high average speed over such bad surfaces which were encountered, possible without serious discomfort). The car was also fitted with the Safety Brake Regulator, which automatically adjusts the brakes when required. This device proved extremely useful on the run and relieved the driver of the necessity of both checking and taking up any brake adjustment and saved valuable time.
At the Rally, the car aroused a great deal of interest, many being surprised at the power and speed of an engine of such small capacity.
Mr. Dexter informs us that he is continuing from Czecho Slovakia on a large itinerary throughout several other European countries on a business tour.