Saturday, December 8, 2012

Driving In Germany

Alright, I admit it.  I'm not sure it's from Germany. but it's printed on Agfa paper and it's a Mercedes Benz 220 SE  "Fintail" Saloon Series 111.

So why the number?  In an effort to rebuild it's brand, after the war, Mercedes began sponsoring road rallies.  Rally sports go back to the beginnings of the automotive industry.  Basically, a bunch of car enthusiasts get together and see who can get from point A to point B in the least amount of time. Some rallies are one day affairs, others run multiple days and legs.  In 1908, there was even a New York to Paris rally, across North America to Nome, Alaska, a ships crossing to East Cape, Siberia and then on to Paris.  The rally was won by an American team driving a 1907 Thomas Flyer.

 There are rally associations that have rules for every race  they sponsor.  If the leg is 500 miles and the speed limit is 50 mph for the whole length, arriving in under 10 hours might add time to the total.  The rules might involve staying on a set route or merely hitting certain way points.  Of course, an informal rally might be nothing more than a few friends or a local club getting from San Francisco to Chicago.  First one wins.

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