Rolls-Royce enthusiasts reenact a historic grand tour of the Alps

“This wonderful re-enactment, marking the 110th anniversary of [the 1913 Alpenfahrt], is a tribute to… the engineering excellence of these historic Rolls-Royce motor cars,” says Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös.

It has been 110 years since Rolls-Royce completed the 1913 Alpenfahrt, a daunting 2,600-kilometer odyssey through the Alps. This year, the members of the 20-Ghost Club, a group of enthusiasts who own the world’s oldest Rolls-Royce units and are devoted to models built before 1940, made a triumphant reliving of the journey, spending 16 days through the mountains before returning to Salzburg, Austria.

Bespoke models of the marque’s Ghost and Black Badge Ghost models, created at the home of Rolls-Royce at Goodwood, accompanied the members through their adventure. The facility itself also celebrated its 20th anniversary this year. 

The 2023 rally closely followed the route of the original event, taking in some of the highest roads in Europe. Among the cars taking part were Silver Ghosts, including one of the original motor cars that formed part of the original 1913 Works Team that helped seal Rolls-Royce’s reputation as ‘the best car in the world’.

Although today’s drivers were engaged in a more leisurely tour rather than a fiercely fought contest between powerful commercial and sporting rivals, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars added a further touch of competitive authenticity by awarding its inaugural ‘Inspiring Greatness Trophy.’ Judged and presented by Ken Forbes and Nick Naismith, it recognizes the 20-Ghost member who embodies the marque’s central value, ‘Inspiring Greatness.’

“The dominant performance by the Silver Ghosts of the Rolls-Royce Works team at the 1913 Alpenfahrt confirmed Rolls-Royce as ‘the best car in the world’. This wonderful re-enactment, marking the 110th anniversary of that landmark event, is a tribute to their achievements, and to the engineering excellence of these historic Rolls-Royce motor cars,” says Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.

“That so many examples remain not only fully operational, but able to undertake the same extraordinary endeavors they did more than a century ago is a testament to their devoted owners’ meticulous care and attention. These remarkable people and their magnificent motor cars inspire greatness every time they take to the road. I’ve been honored to be part of this unique adventure.”

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