Alpine Trails & Rallies: Mountain Motor Sport 1910–­1973

by Martin Pfundner

Although well established among Europeans as the pinnacle of endurance tests for touring cars, the Alpine Trial’s real international breakthrough is directly related to the publicity Rolls-Royce created after its triumphant results in the 1913 event.

Throughout the event’s life, and never more so than in the early days of motoring, it was a badge of honor for a particular car to have acquitted itself well in this challenging and often dangerous event. Success here lent undeniable marketing cachet—“Bred in the Alps” boasted, for instance, Sunbeam-Talbot in 1952.

While there already exist a number of marque-specific accounts, written from their perspective and concentrating on mainly their product, there had prior to this book been no general-level overall history. It is only a small book, to be sure, as are all the other (now 11) titles in this publisher’s “Those Were the Days . . .” series but it is amazing how much information is crammed into these slim volumes.

The book represents a first-ever attempt at sorting out the well over 100 Alpine Trial events hosted by a multitude of national automobile clubs (Austria, Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany) between the first 1910 event hosted by the Imperial Austrian Automobile Club and the final international races in the 1970s.  It is based on magazines, newspapers, and race sheets. Although the author is a seven-times rally participant (1950s) he keeps his own experience out of it and presents here a strictly historical, chronological synopsis so as to give the reader a basic understanding of the nature and scope of the event through the years.

Throughout, the book is well illustrated with b/w period photos. Appended are results, winners, and basic event stats.


Copyright 2011, Charly Baumann (

Alpine Trails & Rallies: Mountain Motor Sport 1910–­1973
by Martin Pfundner
Veloce Publishing (December 24, 2005)
96 pages, 90 b/w illustrations, hardcover
List Price: $24.95/£12.99
ISBN-13: 978-1904788959

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