Dartz Century Run Relives 1912 Monte Carlo Rally

Offbeat

Famed for their appearance in The Dictator, two Dartz Prombron armored trucks are embarking on a cross-European odyssey to commemorate a hundred-year old rally.

The French Rivera has been organizing automotive events as far back as 1897, and following Prince Albert 1st of Monaco's desire to put Monte Carlo on the high society map, two members of the Automobile club de Monaco organized a European Automobile tour. What began as a car beauty contest with vehicles arriving by train, soon became an event where cars were driven all the way, and in 1911 the first Monaco Automobile Rally was held.

Europe's high society travelled through different cities showing off their elaborate cars and in 1912, 54 of the 65 entrants completed the rally. One such participant was Andrew Nagel as part of the Russo-Balt automobile team, founded in Latvia's capital city Riga. On 31 December 1911, Nagal and his crew set off from St. Petersburg before covering 3527 kilometers of icy cold European roads in 198 hours and 23 minutes, getting little sleep on their way to winning the Grand Prix of Endurance and a finish of ninth overall. A hundred years later, Latvian-based armored car manufacturer Dartz are celebrating the triumph by reliving the journey.

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Two golden Dartz Prombron vehicles have just set off from St. Petersburg as part of the special challenge named the Dartz Century Run; and their progress can be followed on the Dartz Century Run Facebook page. Another team in a Silver Dartz Prombron is also competing in the Africa Eco Race that ends in Dakar on 8 January.

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