During this special week, speed is not the question: most of the cars involved are true racing machines or sports
models. How powerful is the V12 engine? Enough, as every gentleman-driver should say. The real question to ask the
25 teams is how often do they get to drive their cars? Answer: Not enough!
Most of the time, a classic car rally bears almost no relation to our modern, highly regulated way of living. And the
Rallye des Légendes Richard Mille is even more special, because the aim is to offer an unforgettable tour of
Andalusia to active people who have almost everything but time. The programme is a subtle cocktail of roads,
culture, gastronomy and fun. We pass through some of the most beautiful places and scenery in Andalusia, including
the Road of the White Villages and the famous el Caminito Del Rey (the dangerous ‘Little King’s path’),
with the King Alphonso XIII bridge that was used to inaugurate an impressive dam in 1921. We enjoyed visiting
Ronda’s ancient arenas, which captivated Hemingway, and the old fortress of Antequera. We also appreciated the long
roads surrounded by olive groves, a unique landscape in which the most perfect olive oil is produced.
A fine tasting session with the famous starred chef Maria José San Román was organised for us during one of the
private dinners. And one of the most exotic and surprising places was Setenil de Las Bodegas, a troglodyte village
with the main street unfolding beneath overhanging mountain rock. It was quite an interesting challenge for the
Bugatti Type 57 Stelvio and our comfortable but large Alvis TD21.
An obligation to cover no more than 450 miles in five days means no stress — a precious gift to these active people
who, in their public life, are influential and busy. The rally’s organising team of Peter Auto, headed by Patrick
Peter, recommended not to overuse social media, in order to keep the event as private as possible. It gave the
meeting a different feel to the other great events Peter is used to organising, such as Tour Auto, Le Mans Classic,
the Classic Endurance Racing challenge, and the prestigious Concours d’Elegance Chantilly Arts and Elegance at
Chantilly castle, near Paris.
Details matter here. Indeed, true petrolheads would recognise what makes this classic rally so special. The Porsche
356 is not just a Speedster but a rare 1959 GT version. The letter R on the tail of the white Porsche 911 stands in
German for Rennen (Race), so it is one of the most desirable executions of the famous 911, the
racing version with the Carrera 6 Flat-6 engine from the Porsche 906. The 1953 Aston Martin DB 2-4 is one of only
three cars produced in the Competition Spyder line by the Italian coachbuilder Bertone, and the amazing 1955 Aston
Martin DB3S was driven by his owner in many major classic car events, such as the Mille Miglia or the races at
To experience them in different ways, the programme also included a stop at the Ascari car circuit. The circuit was
inspired by the greatest corners of Silverstone, Nürburgring, Brands Hatch, Le Mans, Daytona and Spa, and the man
behind it is Dutch engineer-inventor and tycoon Klaas Zwart, the amateur F1 racing driver and creator of Ascari
cars. The circuit was the proper arena for the wild animals of the Rallye des Légendes and a great
opportunity to look at the awkwardness of the Shelby Cobra 289 racing against a Ford GT40 and some of Maranello’s
beauties, such as a competition version of the 275 GTB or the 250 GT Berlinetta, also known as Short Wheel Base by
the Ferrari enthusiasts in the streets.
But, finally, one of the most exceptional moments we enjoyed was the private visit to the Alhambra at sunset. After
the noise of the racing engines, it was a privilege to hear the fountains of the gardens — the kind of luxury only
time can offer.
Read the full story in Issue 68 of The Rake - on newsstands 6th February. Subscribe here.