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Swiss 10th Anniversary Rally Report

Standard Club Schweiz - 10th Anniversary Rally 2002

Ten years ago, Werner Maurer started the Swiss branch of the Standard Motor Club, and organised a most successful Swiss tour in 1997 to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the Club. Aanother tour was scheduled for 2002. Phil and I were invited and decided to make this our summer holiday.

Thursday 26th July, an early start to make our Sea France ferry sailing at 9.30, the 1934 10 was safely on the trailer to be towed to Zurich. No real problems on the way, except for a strap holding the car on the trailer becoming unfastened . We had a crossing like a mill pond and glorious weather which all helped us to get to Reims, where we spent an overnight stop at the Campanile Hotel.

Friday 27th July meant a further long drive through France over the Col de Bonhomme and the Alsace wine area to the Swiss border at Basel, here the Customs guards  relieved us of 40 Swiss francs for each of the three vehicles, our towing car, the trailer and, with some disbelief, for the 1934 10. This would allow us to take each vehicle on the Swiss motorway network without being arrested during the next few months til the end of the year, pity we were only there for just over a week! After negotiating the Basel road works we went on the Volketswil, with only minor deviations due to motorway closure in the Zurich area. We arrived to a warm welcome Swiss Style. by Werner Maurer, and his wife Heidi, who had organised the Tour and invited us to join in the fun. An overnight stay with Werner, including dinner at a local Restaurant and a reunion with Werner and Heidi’s son Guido, with his wife Outi, finished off a very long day in a pleasant way.

Saturday 28th July, woken at the crack of dawn for an early start, Werner’s boiler isn’t working so a cold shower started the day off in a "refreshing" sort of way!

Ewold owns this fine original condition early "long door" Vanguard with left hand drive

Ester drives this "baby Vanguard"

The team at a village filling station

We unloaded the 10, checked a shock absorber,   fluid  seemed to have been leaking. (Shock absorbers go up and down, even when the car is on a trailer!) After breakfast Armin and Margrit joined us with "Samantha", a ’35 10, very similar to our own. Werner and Heidi locked up the house and we set off with  their  Flying 8 leading the convoy. Shortly, we met up with Franz and Barbara and Hera the dog in another  Flying 8 Tourer at Hurden, and Esther and Ewold in a Fiat 500 and a Vanguard respectively at Sargans. Later we were joined by Eddie Erni, another Swiss Standard owner, but driving an MGB on this tour. He hopes to have his "14" ready soon.

We travelled through wonderful scenery and over mountain passes which were very impressive. The Standard 10, bless her, got a bit hot and bothered going up some of these and needed several drinks of water. Eddie stayed close behind us to make sure the 10 was OK. The Swiss Standards are obviously  more acclimatised to the conditions and didn’t have too many problems. Eventually we arrived at Silvaplana, neighbouring viillage to St. Moritz, for the first two days stay of the tour. 168 kilometres covered today!

Armin finds that talking to Samantha improves the car's behaviour

On the train to Italy, the crew finds Swiss Railways have reserved a compartment for their VIPs!

Werner's Flying 8 also needs liquid refreshment

The next day was to be a rest for the cars and drivers since we were to use public transport. Starting with a bus ride to St. Moritz, then over the Bernina pass by train to Tirano in Italy, giving a chance to relax and enjoy the scenary. Lunch in Tirano in the sunshine but no shopping opportunities since it was Sunday, and then back to Silvaplana with dinner in our hotel. Phil and I took the opportunity to have a nap on the train back.

Monday July 29th. We left Silvaplana after saying goodbye to Eddie, and drove over the Malojapass through Italy to Chiavenna and Gravedona,and along Lake Como to Menaggio, Porlezza and Gandria. Some of the party made the planned visit to the Smuggler’s Museum, but we were hot and tired and went on to our hotel at Lugano, accompanied by Amin and Margrit. After a bit of a tussle with one way streets we got there and cooled off on this very hot afternoon. A street thermometer told us it was 37 deg C. and we believed it!

Reuniting with the group in the evening, we went for a pizza, and a little wine,  in the restaurant over the road and retired quite late!

Tuesday July 30th was to be another non driving day, we boarded a ferry boat and spent time on the lake of Lugano, disembarking at Capolago to get on a cog railway train up Mount Generoso. The journey was enjoyable and the views were brilliant. Lunch at the top was folowed by a walk to the highest point by the more energetic of our party, including Hera the dog. A relaxing ride on the train, followed by the boat and the funicular railway finished off this perfect day. Elisabeth, driving a modern car joins us in the evening.

The differences between trhe 1934 and 1935 10Hp models are easily seen here

Vanguard and 1934 10

Lynda at Swiss Minatur

On Wednesday July 31st, we drove through the Valle Magia admiring the Tissin stone villages to San Carlo.  Here we took a tele-cabin (cablecar) 11km up to Mount Robiei. The brave amongst us made the walk round the lake, which started off a stroll and ended a rocky scramble. Lunch at the lakeside restaurant was most welcome.

Thursday August 1st is the Swiss National day and a bank holiday. We started by a drive to Melide and a visit to Swiss Miniature. All the famoius buildings in the land are recreated here. We continued our drive round the lake, with an excellent lunch stop on the way. The weather became humid and as we got back to Lugano thunderstorms loomed. We were to go out at 5.45, in the torrent of rain which was falling. After debates we ended up in taxis to the station and the mountain railway up San Salvatore for a special meal courtesy of the Swiss Standard club, then back to Lugano for a spectacular National Day firework display over the lake, followed by a walk back to the hotel.

Friday August 2nd was a day for driving, over Monte Ceneri, the Val Blenio and fortified by our lunch we tackled the Luckmanier pass. After spectacular driving we ended  up at Disentis for the night. It was Heidi’s birthday and we all congratulate her, Franz finds a shop selling roses, which are well appreciated

The 1935 10 in splendid scenery

The montains around Lake Robei

Lynda waits for the ferry on Lake Lugano

Our last day is August 3rd, we set off over the Oberpass to Andermatt, and over the Schollenen past the amazing rock which is called the Devil’s Bridge. Through Altdorf, Brunnen and Schwyz. Elisabeth and Rosemary join us for lunch. We said goodbye to our fellow travellers along the way and arrived latish in the afternoon at Volketswil.

Four of the cars and their owners near Distentis with a Glacier in the background

It is always somewhat of an anticlimax to say goodbye after a shared experience, we really thank Wermer and Heidi for their hospitality and for arranging the tour. We had covered 800km in Switzerland and Italy

Two days later we were home, the 10 was pleased and a little smug to have got over all the passes, we were happy to have been involved in such an active and friendly event. Will the 10 get round our next challenge , the Llangollen rally, time will tell. Its certainly getting used to mountains!

Report by Lynda Homer, Sept 2002.

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