Friday, December 13, 2013

Elkhorn couple fastest in Cape Horn auto rally

Endurance drive in Chile, Argentina

Pam and Chuck Lyford pose next to “Fang.” Courtesy photo

     An Elkhorn-at-Sun Valley couple, Chuck and Pam Lyford, recently won the Endurance Rally Association’s Vintage Cape Horn Rally staged in Argentina and Chile.

     It is one of the most difficult car rallies in the world.

     The 20-day challenge ended for the Lyfords on Wednesday, Dec. 4 after broken parts, the angst of high-altitude climbs, gravel roads, the challenges of mountain snow in the Andes, ice, high winds, rain and 6,000 kilometers of not knowing what was next.

     For over a week, they maintained the lead by only one second and at the end, they won by a mere 62 seconds over the faster European Bentleys.

     After the first day, Chuck and Pam, in their car named “Fang” realized the “rally” was another word for “race.”

     They pushed their 1938 Chevrolet Fangio Coupe thru the mountains and deserts that made Juan Fangio famous when he set the original courses in the 1930s.

     “Fang” was originally manufactured in Argentina and restored at Chuck’s son’s racecar shop near Seattle, Wash.

     Thirty-five Vintage and Classic cars signed up to drive the epic 6,000k adventure from Buenos Aires to Cape Horn through Argentina and Chile.

     The final destination was Ushuaia, the capital of Tierra del Fuego, on the southern coast of Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego. It sits below the Martial Mountains to the north and is bordered to the south by the Beagle Channel.

     Pam and Chuck Lyford reside at 105 Safe Lane in Elkhorn.

     Chuck and his sister Ginny Asp of Sunriver, Ore. used to take the train to Sun Valley as young people during the 1950s. “We have loved it in Sun Valley all of our lives,” Asp said last week.

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