Happy Birthday to my eldest brother Dave,
who has honored me with yet another guest blog,
this time, a true story from Germany:
Our Monte Carlo Rally
Many of us dream of some day participating in a major motoring event but few of us have the opportunity to experience such a dream. My luck was considerably better and much more than I deserved.
In December of 1981 I was stationed in Neu Ulm Germany with a Pershing missile unit. My wife and I read in the local paper that the Porsche dealership and the city were to be the host of one of the intermediate stops for the Monte Carlo Rally. We tried like everyone else to find out the exact route that the rally would be taking through town but this seemed to be a closely guarded secret for some reason.
That December the weather was cold but more importantly there was a very heavy cover of snow on the ground; and the day that the rally was to come to Ulm, the snow was coming down in big soft gentle flakes, forming huge drifts at all intersections.
After some deliberation, my wife and I decided to just go cruising around the area near the dealership and see if we could pick up the trail and work our way back a bit until we found a place where we could watch the contestants come into town.
We patrolled back and forth for nearly a half an hour when suddenly we came upon an intersection that was completely blocked by pedestrians and under the nominal control of the Polizei. We approached the intersection very slowly hoping to ask one of the cops for more information. Imagine our surprise when he suddenly dispersed the crowd and waved us in and indicated we were to turn to our right.
Suddenly we found ourselves driving down a snow covered street with huge crowds on both sides, cheering madly and yelling for us to go faster, faster, faster. I looked at my wife, shrugged, grinned and gave our 1977 Porsche 911 her head. We roared down the street doing 50 mph or better, slithering around corners at the direction of more cops.
Then before we could react we found ourselves plunging underground into an underground parking garage. Very serious officials descended on our car asking where our Rally signs were and preparing to give us new ones under the assumption that ours had gone adrift somewhere on the course.
Sheepishly we found ourselves explaining the way we had found ourselves into their rally. We expected the wrath of the German officials and at least a fine of some type. Instead, they showed a true sense of humor and laughed heartily at our infiltration. After some good natured kidding we were shown the way out of the back of the garage but not before being given a complimentary toast of champagne!
As we drove slowly home that late afternoon in the gathering gloom, we still couldn't quite grasp what had happened over the previous four or five hours. I even suggested to my wife that perhaps we should have tried to brazen it out pretending to speak no German and representing ourselves as American privateers. She snorted and said that only I would be insane enough to try such a stunt.
Years later, I still wonder.
Dave the Brummbaer