Ray Bell, editor of the Berkeley Enthusiasts Club Newsletter, took time from the Liège-Brescia-Liège Rally to post this update on the Berkeley Yahoo Site.
Thursday morning (17 July, 2008) :
"Well, last night we arrived in Brescia to a fantastic civic reception in the fabulous historic central square, and enjoyed a heady mix of food wine and car talk. I say we, but unfortunately my B105 is still in Bolzano, waiting for a new stub axle to arrive. (Mike Rounsville Smith in England has found one and it is being shipped out by DHL.)
"The first car to arrive at Brescia was of course a BERKELEY! - Graham Higgs SE492 hardtop, which has run faultlessly all the way. So far, my car and the B95 driven by Jamie Pfeifer have been the only Berkeley casualties, but I'm pretty confident that mine will be back on its wheels tonight. Sadly Jamie's car is back on a trailer heading for England with a badly failed big end on its Royal Enfield engine.
"Yesterday the big challenge of the rally, the Stelvio Pass, was closed due to landslip caused by a heavy storm earlier in the week but some intrepid souls took the back route via Switzerland and managed to get to the top. Todays route will be revised slightly, as there was meant to be a return visit. Instead we will have a bit longer to idle around at the Mille Miglia museum.
"The total rally distance so far is somewhere around 1400 miles - many of us take two years to cover this mileage and some unusual faults have shown up! Enough material to fill several newsletters. A final thought - there are still four Excelsior 492 triples still running strong, and showing the way ahead to a field of pretty tough cars. These engines can be built to run the distance, with the help of needle bearings and electronic ignition. Maybe we need to reassess our views on the supposedly fragile triple!
"Off for breakfast now. More later if I can get online again."