1932 Alpine Trial: Commemoration Run 1982
In 1932 the Team Prize in the Alpine Trial was won by a team of three Talbot 105s who lost no points in 1,600 miles of motoring in six days in the Alps. To commemorate this special occasion, seven Talbots set out for the Alps with the aim of covering some of the passes which were part of the route in 1932. The cars were a 1931 90 of Paul Davies, a 1933 90 of Tony Hull, John Dodd and Rod King both bad 105s, James Wheildon had a 95 saloon, Dave Hamson had a 105-engined 75 and Keyth Richardson had his 75 saloon. The journey down through Belgium, Germany and Switzerland was accomplished with the cars not running in a convoy, as this can be dangerous, but in ones and twos meeting up en route and at the hotels. This free wheeling non-organised system worked well, the only mishap being a BMW which took exception to Richardson’s 75 finally wearing the correct front wings and so drove into it at 80 m.p.h. The BMW literally bounced off with daylight under its wheels but the Talbot suffered only bodily and was so able to continue.
On arrival in Italy a chance of good weather tempted Tony Hull, John Dodd, Rod King and Keyth Richardson to do the Stelvio pass; the highest road in Europe in 1932. In order to approach it from the right side these cars did two other passes and then wound up the classic hairpin road from Spondigna all the way to the top, 9,045 ft. Two cars had lagged fuel pipes and climbed with no problems but one 105 and the 75 both had fuel vaporisation due to the extreme heat although the 75 paused on the second to last hairpin whereon those at the top cruelly took photos. After cooling off, the car made it to the top, beating John Dodd’s 105. The social highlight was lunch at the Palace Hotel in St. Moritz 50 years to the day after the Talbot Team had had a rest day there. The hotel laid on a special meal for the Talbotists and the cars were drawn up outside the most well-known hotel in the town. The owners of the hotel dined with the party and were presented with a commemorative plaques as a “thank you”.
The Talbots went on to do more passes including the Bernina, Julier and Fluella all with no problems at all. The cars arrived back in England having done about 2,400 miles each and the total spares used were 4 fusrs and a replacement fan belt. This was all done without the need of modern back-up cars or sponsorship. Crediton KEYTH G. RICHARDSON