The Monte Carlo Rally
Further Observations of this year’s Great Road Event
A report of the road-section of the 20th Monte Carlo Rally appeared in Motor Sport last month, and we pay tribute to the highest performers in an Editorial in this month’s issue.
It only remains to give a few facts about this very arduous event, which attracted enormous public interest, and to append the full results for record purposes.
There were 310 entries, and 282 starters. Of these, 100 fell by the wayside, leaving 182 to arrive at Monte Carlo, of which 62 were eliminated altogether as outside the ultimate time-limit. And of the 120 who did get in within the time-limit, only five, as recounted last month, won through this very tough and searching winter test with no loss of marks—one Hotchkiss, one Humber, one 1,090-c.c. Simca, and two 1,221-c.c. Simms. The fame of these makes is guaranteed for the remainder of 1950!
They alone took the stiff regularity test, in which Becquart’s Hotchkiss just beat Gatsonides’ more unwieldy Humber Super Snipe, winning the Rally. Quinlin’s 1,000-c.c. Simca coupé was faster than the beautiful Farina streamlined, all-enveloping 1,221-c.c. Simca saloons of Scaron and Chaboud. The final result was thus:—
1st: Becquart & Secret (3,435-c.c. Hotchkiss) … 45.2 Marks lost
2nd: Gatsonides & Barendregt (4,086-c.c. Humber) … 46.58 Marks lost
3rd: Quinlin & Behra (1,090-c.c. Simca) … 49.34 Marks lost
4th: Scaron & Pascal (1,221-c.c. Simca) … 50.30 Marks lost
5th: Dr. Angelvin & Chaboud (1,221-c.c. Simca) … 71.66 Marks lost
That, really, is all there was to it, for cars which lost marks on the road-section did not qualify to take the final test. The placings below, which we publish for record purposes, are based on marks lost on the road-section, in the test taken on arrival and in the examination for condition. Of the class winners, both sizes of Simca won deservedly, but Dyna-Panhard only by token. The latter applies-also to Mmes. Rouault and Gordine, whose 1,221-c.c. Simca won the Coupe des Dames, although this stout performance neatly seals the Simca success.
The highest-placed British car was the Allard coupé driven by Sidney Allard and Guy Warburton, which was placed eighth on finishing-markings. It was on time until an ignition lead fell off on the final run into Monte Carlo along the Nice coast road—wretched luck, although, of course, such a happening could delay an ordinary traveller far longer than the ten minutes which it took the Rally Crew to locate and fix it. In any case, Allard lost marks also because of a dented wing, but his fine showing in the test taken on arrival—two seconds better than anyone else—did not pass unnoticed. Harper and Evan Cook were placed next of the British car exponents, that is 15th, in one of the new 1,265-c.c. Hillman Minx, and they were the first arrivals at Monte Carlo from Glasgow.
In the Concours de Confort Britain won fairly and squarely, for the final test and road markings did not intrude. We nearly didn’t, however, because the magnificent Park Ward-bodied Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith saloon which Cooper, Scannell and Seyd had flown with over the Channel in a Bristol freighter aircraft, hit a lorry near Valence, due to a low-speed front wheel skid—we recall the front end of a Mk. V Bentley surprising us thus on wet wood blocks in Cheltenham during the war. However, it was repaired (expeditiously is the word) at Monte Carlo and carried all before it, as we ventured to predict in Motor Sport last month. Very creditable, too, was the winning of the 1½-litre class by a Hillman Minx, the other class victors on comfort being Ford Mercury, F.I.A.T., Panhard and, of Rally-special cars, Riley, the Minx again, and the F.I.A.T. The Mercury even had a lavatory-which must be so useful on a Monte Carlo Rally!
The real credit, however, when all is said and done, goes to Hotchkiss. Winner of the Rally six times, the sober-looking “Paris-Nice” saloon got through without a scratch, without loss of performance, and thus beat 282 cars to absolute victory.
Very bad luck was experienced by Brookman and Fletcher, whose A.C. saloon was inadvertently filled with vaporising oil instead of petrol at a Continental filling station.