CRITERIUM RALLY GOES BACK IN TIME

The last entire day of this rally will have as its theme the mountains. Not only driving in the mountains, but also some typical visits. 

Amillion was fresh, since we do a full check-up each day before we put her to bed. The fuel filter glass is especially something we need to keep cleaning. It surprised us how much dirt comes out of the fuel tank. During the start-up in the morning I get another nickname from Christophe Pund, Pilotessa. Apparently I gained quite a reputation with my driving style… 

The first part was much driving in tunnels. We did not put the lights on, because we had to be very economical with the use of battery. Though the battery was charged during the night in our hotel room, it was wise to use it as little as possible considering the mountain roads that were to follow that day, where we would also need the ventilator. So we got our priorities right. Luckily the tunnels were quite well lit. After a long coast route with tunnels we slowly got to attack the mountains again, the Dolomites. Up there is another world. Cold and basically just a bit like the Alps. Garda seems to offer a great variety and a multi-climate. 

The first stop was a shop with local products. It was a coincidence to meet some Dutch petrol heads who also happened to know Amillion! It seems the little red diva is quite popular. With a feeling of fame we continued again to the next hotspot of the Dolomites, the ancient and very pittoresque town of Rango – truly worth a visit. Rango is about a 1000 years old and used to be in ancient times THE connection through the Dolomites between Italy and Switzerland. It seems they still drive old cars there because one of the cars parked in a cave type garage was a Fiat Topolino Gardiniera. And not to forget all our cars parked in the main square. Such a great thing to see. 

Up next we had the opportunity to visit a cascade. However, we missed a right turn on a roundabout – as many others did – so we also missed the visit to the cascade. Instead we drove directly to our lunch location. There we had ample time to warm up next to the fireplace, having arrived way too early. All together we were inside this great chalet for four hours, including lunch. Personally I prefer to drive a lot more than sitting and eating. Luckily the company was excellent during lunch, sharing with our Bugatti (type 39) friends across the table from Australia and Italy many great stories, especially about Maharaja cars and that gigantic Indian car forum BHP. The best of all was the Indian accent of our Italian friend, hilarious! And for me it was also very nice that people speak English, because my French is still quite poor. 

I regret that I still see so few youngsters on these rallies. I would really love to see more young people participating or joining their parents. 

Something I really liked about this particular rally, and my dad also enjoyed this very much, was the navigation system. Each day the organisation placed arrows all along the route. Those red signs were easy to notice and all you have to do is follow them. My dad did not have to look into a road book, so he had enough time to enjoy the surroundings. Of course this system puts a significant burden on the organisation who have to put all these arrows in place before the first car passes and have to remove them again as soon as the last car has passed.

After this long day of driving I took the BMW and I was surprised how strange it was to drive my modern car again. The steering of Amillion has become heavier after the repair, so to feel that super light power steering of my BMW is a strange transition. I must say I really enjoyed driving a modern and comfortable car after doing a good 200 km in the mountains in my CGS. The switch between throttle in the middle in Amillion and normal throttle in the BMW is never something I need to think about. 

Four days in a row great weather and a well working Amillion – a super experience! Time to head back home but first a visit to a dear Amilcarist friend in Switzerland.