Uphill Cresta & Lake Parade 2010
The Club Committee, acknowledging that centenaries are more important than 125th anniversaries, explained the reasoning convincingly. Club members had pointed out that they might not be in great shape for a really good bash in 2085. Celebrations began at London’s Hyde Park Corner last week, when a classic car rally set off for Switzerland. Several of the 50 cars were open to the elements, which were unkind enough to rain down most of the way through England and France. Undaunted, the crews pressed on from Knightsbridge to the first intermediate stop at Vinay, in the Champagne region.
Outstanding cars in the rally included a Ferrari 250 GTE, a Ferrari 365 GTC, a traditionally British Triumph TR2 and a Jensen FF, the latter proudly bearing the Cresta colours of maroon and orange. After Vinay, the second objective was Zurich and then it was on to the final destination, the legendary Sunny Bar of the Kulm Hotel, St Moritz, more than 800 miles from Hyde Park.
As toboggan racing continued on the Run, the rally-driving Club members gathered outside the Kulm and paraded through the streets of St Moritz, down and onto the frozen lake below. A nostalgic sight for Cresta veterans was the reappearance of the ancient Leyland transporter, the familiar ‘camion’ which in former times carried them and their toboggans back up the road to the start.
A notable addition among all the Jaguars, Ferraris, Bentleys, Porsches and lesser-known exotic machinery was an improbable, signal-red Citroën 2CV ‘Breadvan’. Owner Enrico Guggiari has had a Ferrari V8 engine installed in the innocent French machine, possibly as a curious tribute to that priceless, genuine classic, the Ferrari ‘Breadvan’ racing car. In contrast, showing impeccably decorous style, St Moritz Tobogganing Club President, Brian Williamson, was at the wheel of a magnificent 1926 Rolls-Royce, its Spirit of Ecstasy fittingly replaced by a sterling silver Cresta rider, frozen in mid-leap.
Down on the lake, the 4wd Jensen FF and Lancia Delta HF integrale enjoyed a certain natural advantage in such conditions. Nearby, a quest to discover how many ladies can get into a 1960s Fiat 500 was interesting to see but the result was uncertain. The unspoken dress code brought out a sea of Cresta scarves, plus-fours and other traditional clothing among the crowd. With the serious judging completed, there was applause for the owner of the winning car in the concours, a beautiful, light blue 1939 Delage D6 75. The formalities over, all concerned returned immediately to the Sunny Bar for drinks.
In the afternoon, the Cresta rally drivers were joined by the odd brave motorcyclist to compete in the eagerly anticipated Uphill Cresta Regularity Trial, held on the public road and starting near the finish line of the actual Run. The Uphill Cresta course rose steeply, crossing the Run by the bridge at Bulpetts Corner, before tackling a sharp hairpin next to the nearby bobsleigh run and going on to the finish, within sight of the real Cresta startline. Many more pictures of the Lake Parade and Uphill Cresta events can be found in our extensive gallery. Also, do visit the website of official Cresta photographer Ryan Larraman, www.crestaphotos.com, where you can order photographs and buy prints of the 125th anniversary celebrations.