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Hugo's first view after 50 years. Note the steering wheel from my Jup since it would hae been impossible for Hugo to get in with the normal one.

Driving over to Nordwijk I noticed clutch slip. So I investigated in Hugo's garage to find the box was leaking through the front due to overfilling. This cleared itself on the 1000 km drive to Aix, especially when we detoured for 5 hours into the Col de Ballon to get Hugo used to 50km average and mountain driving. Not that he needed to as he seemed to be as fast as he was 50 years ago, with unusual lines through the mountain bends, getting every bit of speed both uphill and downhill. Some vibration indicated a layrub had started to shred so we managed to contact Jaak who gave us one off his spare car when we diverted to his house in Peer. Amazingly the layrub did not get worse and I did not fit it.

  A handshake before the start outside Hugo's house. The friendship was strained at times but strengthened through the next 10 days.


The poster.

Some of Hugo's rally plates.

The start in Aix. The door handle broke off just as I got in! A good start. This caused problems at controls where I had to rush out to get  a stamp and then had to re-enter by the back door if I had not remembered to leave the window down.

The first day lunch halt in Alpe d'Huez


Another view at Alpe d'Huez. Hugo was very pleased with the performance of the car and the navigator on the first day as we only dropped some minutes due to traffic light delays, but also made a difficult hill climb on time by just a few seconds. Thrilling rallying. He appreciated me calling the bends which was not done in the 50s. Something I could do with the 1:50000 maps I had for this leg but did not have for subsequent legs. The detailed maps are a must have.

Much of day 1 was cancelled due to snow and avalanches on the proposed route.

Hugo not respecting the road signs as usual.

Hugo and Franz Eschauzier reunited after 50 years in a Javelin on the finish ramp.

Hugo started singing as conditions got worse in the snow and hailstones on the Col de Schluct. He was really enjoying the road holding of the Javelin on the wet pine needles down some winding passes, when he overtook some in the touring class leading the way for the other sporting drivers. He also did the same with a herd of cows, making their milk into butter. However, subsequent competitors had a problem getting passed them.

Rain in the forest on Day 2. The water on the plugs caused misfiring and then the car refused to start after we stopped to get a stamp just before the lunch halt. A kind Volvo competitor towed us to the top the hill (an amazing clutch) and we restarted on the downhill. But we had lost 20 minutes. Previous to that we had also dropped 10 minutes due to the battery strap coming loose and rubbing on the road.  So with a max 30 minutes lateness we had to cut some sections. I decided not to go into the forest section as without good maps we were in danger of loosing a lot of time. We also cut the last section to assure we arrived at the end of leg within 30 minutes maximum delay that would have attracted maximum penalties for the whole day.

The Madame of Malbisson end of day 2.


Low cloud in the passes. More time was lost in the forest sections where the 1:200000 were inadequate. Cars were going in all directions trying to find the correct road.  Brakes by now were very bad.

Beautiful Riquewihr at the end of leg3.

Hugo was talking about the engine while I was contemplating lack of brake shoes which had been down to the rivets all day.

Some of the casualties of leg3.

Luxembourg end of leg 4. The brakes were even lower, so were adjusted for the third time.

End of leg 5 in Tournhout, where we were met by Jaak Jacobs,  Tom and Pauline Chapman in their Jupiters. We had taken it easy this day making sure of a finish.

The finish ramp. We came 3rd in class being beaten by a 1958 MGA and a 1959 Alfa Sprint. We were 132nd overall out of 138 finishers and 161 starters in the sporting class. We were the second oldest car with the oldest driver. We managed to clean some of the difficult stages every day which is an achievement. John Blankley did a marvellous job preparing the car. It had taken a real hammering at the hands of a driver not conversant with the needs of a 50 year old car. The revs were seldom below 3500 rpm and the brakes were always vigorously applied in the early days after which the gearbox and overdrive did the job of slowing the car down. But it showed what a Javelin could do. Hugo is convinced if he learns some co-driving skills and we get some detailed maps the Javelin can win.

My reward from Gerda De Bruyn, with Hilda and Jaak Jacobs, Pauline and Tom Chapman and Chris and Clara Van de Vaart.

We cunningly chose table 50. This is Hugo being quizzed by Chris.

The 1953 award.

A lesson on the Internet where we found details of his Le Mans exploits in the R1.

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