The Tribute Tour by Adrian Martin (Part 2)

The Terre di Canossa Rally


The Italians are, of course, well known as being very enthusiastic about anything on wheels, especially if they live in the area of Emilia-Romagna, which is known as Terre dei Motori or Motor Valley, which includes Modena, Maranello and Imola. 

The local car clubs organise many Regularity rallies which are not speed events but an opportunity to drive the wonderful roads in the area at a sensible pace.  We decided that we would have a go at the Regularity competition but it is quite possible to give the regularity part a miss and just follow the road book.

Friday morning

After a very sociable welcome dinner of some 250 people at the 10th Century Castello di Tabiano, we are starting off the next morning in heavy showers:  Not quite what we had expected! 

There are a total of 98 cars on the entry list with the majority being post-war through to 1973. The oldest is a 1925 Lancia Lambda. Apart from the three MG T-Types there is an MGA.  Other British cars include TR2s, Jaguar XKs, E-types, and Austin Healeys.

Left: The two TBs, a 1937 Lagonda and a 1923 Bentley Le Mans starting ahead of us. Right: We are off. The Police follow us along the whole route to ensure that we are not held up!

The cars leave at 30 second intervals and we have 93 km and nine pages of the Road Book to follow before our coffee stop.  The route takes us straight into the mountain area and up to the Santa Donna pass at 935 metres above sea level.  Even in the showers, the landscapes are wonderful as we climb further along the SS 21 to the Centro Croce pass at 1055 metres.

There is an organised stop for an Espresso and an “Amor” dolce pasticcini at Borgo Val di Taro and the weather doesn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the locals.  As we head down into Liguria on the SS 523 there are a fair number of hairpins and some breathtaking views.

Left: The three T-Types on the way to Bardi. Centre and Right: Coffee stop at Borgo, which is famous for its mushrooms.

After the little harbour of Le Grazie we reach Portovenere, our destination for lunch.  The town has been cleared of all traffic so that we can all park in the centre of this idyllic port which is at the end of the Cinque Terre.

Lunch stop at Porto Venere on the Ligurian coast.

Saturday start from Barga

In the mountains

Driving through Lucca in Tuscany

A traditional welcome on the city walls of Lucca

Castelnuovo di Garfagnana

Sunday Start from Barga to Forte Dei Marmi

Sunday storm caused the route to be shortened via the Autostrada

The finish on Sunday

Tribute to the winners – my wife and the TC!

Editor’s note:   Adrian’s trouble free 2,500 mile run into Italy and back is testament to the ruggedness of the TC.

As will be noted from one of the pictures, there was quite a lot of rain around over the Apennines and this is where the Continental 155 70 19R 84Q radials came into their own.

Adrian has been experimenting with tyre pressures. The recommended pressures for these tyres on the heavy electric BMW i3 is 33 to 36 psi on the front and 41 to 44 psi on the rear, depending on load. Adrian feels that these pressures are too high and has tried 28 psi all round at the lowest and 35 psi at the highest.