CRITERIUM RALLY LAKE GARDA

After a long silence it is a good moment to start writing again. Amillion, the Amilcar CGS, is now in a good condition, so today it was the supreme test to attack the Dolomites around Lake Garda in Italy. 

A fine group of cyclecars and Grand Sports gathered for the desirable Criterium rally. The cars vary from Bugatti type 35 to Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 to Amilcar CGS, CGSs and C6 and several handsome BNC’s. 

The day before the rally started my dad and I went to a friend who worked on the brakes of Amillion. It was more than needed, because this rally has many very steep descends. Once started with the brakes, it appeared that my CGS was in very poor shape. No wonder that I had so much trouble with the car so far. It was actually that bad that I was driving a dangerous car. I am lucky not having had any accidents.

After a month I did the first test lap, and this was the first time I experienced Amillion with brakes as they should be. I told my friend who fixed Amillion that he is a perfectionist with impressive knowledge, but he did not completely agree. He told me that this is how it has to be and no less. Everyone who restores old cars has the lives of their clients in their hands. If they make a big mess of the car, and the client gets involved in a crash due to the lack of professional work… You can fill in the rest by yourself.

Amillion is also a bit ‘tuned’ now, having a CGSs sump and also CGSs brakes not only to the rear but also the front. Especially the last is very important, because Amilion had the smaller CGS brakes at the front, whereas powerful brakes for front braking is the most important. In addition the old CGS front brakes happened not to work at all and the rear brakes did, but only partly! What a mess. When driving in the mountains there is nothing worse than a car that barely brakes and unpredictably. The hand brake was also not working, but has been fixed and now works as it should.

The tour today was truly magnificent. We left the hotel, which is located directly on the shores of Lake Garda, early in the morning and soon we were climbing the mountains. It was very cold, much steering but almost no traffic. Also the steering column of Amillion has been returned to original condition. There is no play anymore whatsoever. The heavier steering is all of a sudden hard work. So now, while writing this report, I feel tired but in a most satisfied way. 

After a good tour thru the mountains and a lengthy lunch in Riva del Garda we took the eastern side of Lake Garda. We crossed the lake by ferry to return to our hotel at Bogliaco. Fortunately we didn't experience any breakdowns so far on this rally, The only time we stopped was for the planned stops like the usual casse croute and lunch and of course to fuel. 

Let’s see if the other three days will also remain without any issues. Perhaps Amillion is now finally healthy and reliable, though you can expect there will always be something to improve or fix again. When we arrived at the hotel it was time for a quick check up. Amillion was thirsty for some lube oil and the fuel filter glass was extremely dirty. You can see on the photo’s how important it can be to clean that little glass before the dirt gets into the carb!

More reporting tomorrow after another 200 kilometers and a visit to the Riva restoration works.