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History of the Original Great American Mountain Rallye 1953-1957

The flag dropped on the very first GAMR on Thanksgiving Day of 1953 and the rally continued every November through 1957. Described in the April 1956 issue of Auto Age as “America’s longest, toughest, and coldest rallye,” the races attracted driving teams from across America, Europe and Scandinavia. Conducted the weekend of American Thanksgiving, the rally typically featured challenging snowy weather through New York’s Adirondack, New Hampshire’s White, and Vermont’s Green Mountains. Tire chains were an absolute must!

In its day, the Great American Mountain Rallye attracted top teams from around the world.  The Rootes team entered Sheila van Damm in 1953 and 1954.  The late great Stirling Moss also competed in this rally in 1954.  The great Maurice Gastonides, the 1953 Monte Carlo Rally winner, was a competitor as well.  One year, multi-time world driving champion, Juan Manual Fangio was the official starter.

Please enjoy and comment.

Gary J. Hamilton, Rally Master

New England Vintage Road Rally, LLC



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