The Alpine Rally was held on December 7-8.
ARC Round 7 – 1974 LCCA Alpine Rally
The 1974 Alpine was a traditional three division format based on Bright. Directed by Frank Kilfoyle and Ian Richards, the Saturday and Sunday daylight divisions used the extensive pine plantations around Bright, Myrtleford and Yackandandah. The 500 km night division initially transported to near Tallangatta with stages at Jarvis Creek, through Koetong, Cravensville, Mitta Mitta, the Omeo Highway and across the Bogong High Plains Road to Falls Creek before returning to Bright.
Of the sixty entrants, two thirds finished the relatively grueling rally.
Victorian crews made up the bulk of the field, and included 1974 VRC champions Garry Harrowfield / Geoff Boyd in their 2 litre Cortina, Bill Evans / Mike Mitchell in their 1800cc Datsun 120Y, and Tony Roberts with Bob Watson “sharing “ the Saab 99.
The town of Bright supported the event quite admirably, featuring a “spectator special” down the main street to begin the proceedings. And they donated Champagne for a number of forest stages, as well as a “lap dash” around the local dirt circuit.
The first Division, fully route charted, took crews out through the Merriang Plantation. Unusually Bonhomme’s Datsun ran out of fuel, whilst Bill Evans blew a head gasket. And the Saab was getting its exhaust welded up at the break at the end of the first Division.
Greg Carr / Graeme Elliott were leading the field on 17, closely followed by Colin Bond (18) and a couple of crews on 19 points lost. Ian Nalder / Paul Patterson were doing a superb job, in sixth place down 23 points.
During the long night division Greg Carr broke his gearbox, and Murray Coote had engine problems.
The final division through the plantations contained several Champagne stages, and it was a furious fight to the finish. Amazingly just a single point finally separated the top three placegetters!
Honours in the event went to Doug Stewart and Brian Hope in an ex-Southern Cross Lancer GSR, but they were ineligible for ARC points. These were shared by equal second placed Stewart McLeod / Adrian Mortimer and 1974 ARC winners, Colin Bond / George Shepheard. Adrian Taylor and John Suominen in the “giant killing” Honda Civic placed third in the ARC category.
Bond and Shepheard had done enough to win their third national title.