There are all kinds of unusual car events in the world, but one of the toughest may be the Liege-Brescia-Liege Rally. The event is geared towards small rally vehicles and has been going for 60 years. The 2018 rally saw 38 tiny cars set out on a marathon across Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy and Slovenia.
One of the most extraordinary stories from the event involved 83-year-old John Ducker taking on the race. Ducker drove a 200 cc Heinkel bubble car on the gruelling 2000 mile journey. Early in the race, Ducker parted ways with his navigator, though rally marshalls Clive and Yvonne were happy for their 13-year-old daughter Elinor to be a stand in.
Ducker and Elinor became the oldest and youngest participants in the race respectively. “She can’t navigate at all!” was Ducker’s original comment, but as the event wore on, he patiently taught her. Together, they were able to complete the Liege-Brescia-Liege Rally. The route followed closely to the original 1958 event, starting from Liege and carrying on into tough mountain passes. The 2018 event was won by Mark and Jane Smith, driving a Messerschmitts.
Ducker may have been the oldest driver, but he’s not the only elderly person to take on the rally. Former Spitfire pilot, Willy Cave, won the rally at the age of 91, navigating a Citroen 2CV.
Other stories from the rally include teams battling with ‘bush repairs,’ like a broken gear lever welded back on in a tractor workshop in Slovenia. The Irish-American crew borrowed welding gear from the Sporthotel Alpenrose in Carezza, Italy. Throughout the action, the RAC Rescue crew were on hand to make sure many cars could get through the event.
The next event held by the organisers is an 18-day rally for Jaguar XKs and E-types in April 2019. The 2019 Liege-Brescia-Liege Rally is going to feature Triumph TRs.