I just got back from the 31st edition of the Coupe des Alpes as it crossed the Col de LIseran above the ski resort of Val dIsere. Seeing, listening and smelling these new and vintage cars is an assault on the senses. The wiff of unburnt petrol, the smell of a hot clutch, the classic sound of a Porsche boxer engine and the inevitable drops of motor oil from a leaky sump.
It got me thinking about what the cars people choose for rallies say about them.
If you want a reliable classic car you cant go wrong with a Porsche. From the old 356s to more recent 930 911s. Not only are they great to drive but you can guarantee you will spend more time experiences the surrounding and not under the bonnet.
For something with an Italian flair anything from Alfa Romeos past including Guilias Guillietas is a popular choice. Lightweight and fun although slightly more fragile.
Then you have those who choose a vintage Jaguar from the E-types to XK120 and XK150. By the time they get to the top of the mountain the sound of radiator fans at full tick and the drivers head stuck under the bonnet become a more common occurrence.
For the real risk takers you have a to choose something from one of the small British manufacturers. The Austin Healeys and MGs, however much I love the tiny proportions their wind in the hair character they always seem to be the ones haemorrhaging fluids when they come to a stop. Its called Character building.