So who won the Paris - Amsterdam Rally?
With a deep-rooted passion for veteran and vintage machinery, Rally Round has traditionally run a period-dressed event each summer to celebrate the heroic pioneers of early motoring. This year commemorated two significant anniversaries. It is 130 years since Bertha Benz, wife and business partner of automobile inventor Karl Benz, made the world's very first long-distance journey in a motor car, and 120 years since the running of the first international motor race, from Paris to Amsterdam and back.
1939 Ford V8 coupe outside the apothecary where Bertha Benz bought fuel, officially the world's oldest petrol station.
Unlike Bertha Benz, participants were not obliged to follow muddy cart tracks or find fuel in pharmacies, nor were they opposed by armed troops, as the 1898 racers were. Nevertheless there were plenty of exciting challenges as the rally followed thrilling roads through France, Luxembourg, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, with several classic race circuits thrown in for good measure.
Once again crews in the Vintage (pre-war) category competed for the Charles Jarrott Trophy, named after Britain's first motorsport hero, whilst the Classic (post-war, pre-1969-type) category had its own awards.
Remarkably, after six days of thrilling and sociable competition through five countries, all 46 crews and all but one of the cars that started out from Chantilly reached the rally finish in the pretty countryside east of Amsterdam. At a gala dinner and prize giving at the lovely Villa Vennendal, Charles Jarrott Trophy (Vintage category) winners Richard Dresner and Colin Mackenzie and Overall (Classic category) winners Steve and Julia Robertson were presented with their trophies.
Everybody's favourite! The Spirit of the Rally award went to John and Catherine in their 1917 American La France.
As always a fantastic mix of cars and wonderful, fun loving souls competing on the roads and race tracks of Europe.