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Snapshot, 1954: There’s snow stopping Gilberte Thirion

It’s 1954, and in the alpine village of Sestriere in Italy, Gilberte Thirion takes a moment in her snow-battered Porsche 356 to regain her composure ahead of the next stint on the female-only ‘Rallye Paris - St. Raphael Féminin’…

A premier women-only motorsport event, the ‘Rallye Paris - St. Raphael Féminin’ ran, on and off, from 1929 until 1974. Its heyday was in the 1950s and '60s, when Works teams and the most famous of female drivers contested the rally, the latter of whom included Belgian Gilberte Thirion. Here, she looks deep in thought having tackled a particularly snowy stretch into the Italian village of Sestriere. Her concentration will pay off ­– Thirion is set to finish third overall, and claim victory in the 2,000cc class. Later in the year, she will be rewarded with her first solo overall win. 

Photo: Porsche Archive

Relive the good old days with our series of vintage snapshots.