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August 20, 2019
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Alpine Trials & Rallies-Mountain Motor sport 1910-1973

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Alpine Trials & Rallies-Mountain Motor sport 1910-1973

By Martin Pfundner
About the Author

Hardback. 96 pages. 190mm tall x 205mm. 90 pictures.

ISBN: 9781904788959

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Charts how the Alpine Trials spread from Austria to Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany ... Lists all the winners of Alpine Cups through six decades Details the French Alpine's itinerary Recalls the Rolls-Royce performance of 1913 in Austria Tells how Jaguar established its sporting reputation through the Alpine Rallies


The very beginnings of today's great sport of rallying


The predecessor of today's international rally sport, the alpine trials and rallies of 1910 onwards were an incredible test of endurance for early pioneers and their cars. Becoming ever more international, the event would continue in various forms until 1973. This book, written by a seven time Alpine Rally competitor, is an in-depth history of this incredibly demanding event. Illustrated with unique photographs and images of rally medals and trophies, this is an excellent book for the rallying enthusiast.

Independent Reviews

Review from The Sacred Octagon, June 2006

I am always looking for books that can expand my knowledge about M.G.s. I am always interested in competition results. so Martin Pfunder's new book Alpine Trials & Rallies is of great interest to me.

Alpine rallies and trials were the main testing venues for sports cars, and events were held in all of the mountain countries of Europe. This very informative book lists all the winners of the Alpine Cups through seven decades (1910 - 1973) M.G. did participate in several events with some distinction.

The photographs are excellent, and the book focuses on the essential material of cars and their performance in these grueling tests of drivers and their machines.

Review by Darren Galpin, June 2006

The Alpine Rally, the scene of some of Stirling Moss's earliest achievements, taking in breathtaking scenery and bringing to the world's attention places such as the Stelvio Pass, places now so famous for their sinuosity that people travel from all over Europe just to drive up them. It's a name which still lives on in the modern Rally Alpi Orientali of Italy, a link to a classic past. However, there was more than one Alpine Rally, and they were often run concurrently. This book sets out to explain this.

The book is a history book - it describes the history of the event, no more, and no less. Therefore I find the review of the book in the January 2006 issue of MotorSport to be slightly unfair. MotorSport says that "the author is clearly well-placed to write the Alpine story, having competed in seven of them in the 1950s; it's disappointing therefore that he doesn't bring his personal insights to the book". But that would have made it a very different book with a different aim, and it would have to be a far larger one too. It would be no good simply having the author's insights into the rallies in which he competed, as this would have stuck out like a sore thumb - you would need insights into many of the other 100 or so rallies as well, plus some alternative insights from other competitors to balance it out. This book sets out the structure from which others can hang the narratives of the events themselves - perhaps it could even form the start of a sequence of books on the subject by the author?

The book is nicely laid out, with many period pictures to flesh out the facts. If I have one criticism, it is that one of the diagrams is so small that you need a magnifying glass to view it and read the text in it. But this is a minor niggle - I just happen to like what the diagram was trying to show, as it detailed the peaks and heights of the route to be taken, rather like the route maps shown on the television coverage of the Tour de France with the gradient classifications. The picture reproductions are crisp and clear, and the text, although small, is nicely laid out and readable. What is also nice to see is that all of the names used are written with the appropriate accents, umlauts etc, unlike the usual English practice of ignoring them and thus in the end mis-spelling the names.

The book is full of facts and numerous pieces of side information, and covers a series events which are rarely covered elsewhere. It is not a book though to sit and read from cover to cover in one sitting - there is too much information for that. Recommended.

Review by Casey Annis for Vintage Racecar, March 2006

As a predecessor to the modern international rally, the Alpine Rallies of 1910 and onwards were a true test of endurance for early racers and their cars. As the years went by, the event spread to other countries and took on an even more international flare.

This book, written by a seven-time Alpine Rally competitor, takes a focused look at the history of this famed event from 1910-1973.

80 pages of narrative text are mixed with 90 black and white photos to tell the story era by era, including a section devoted to results and statistics.

Review from Classic Car Mart, January 2006

This 96-page hardback title is dedicated to the long-running series of Alpine Rallies that continued in one form or another right through to 1973. And despite the compactness of the title, it offers impressive detail throughout.

For classic motor sport fans, this is a great value read and well worth a look. It’s extremely specialist in nature, but is still a worthwhile buy.

Review from Octane magazine, December 2005

This cheap 'n' cheerful little hardback documents the progress of the Alpine Rallies that pioneered today's International events. Killed off by the 1973 oil crisis and Austria's environmental lobby, for the best part of six decades the 'Alpines' played host to a fascinating variety of cars, from the mundane to the exotic, many of which are pictured in the book.


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