Oldtimer Rally Gear

I mentioned a few posts ago, that my dad and I took part in an oldtimer endurance rally in Iceland last April. At the time I had conflicting emotions about the experience, because of a few personal things that happened around that time, but looking back it was a really important experience.

My dad was the driver and I was the navigator. I had never done something like this before, and it was hard work! I hadn't expected that. You get up early (as our car was the second-oldest, we were always second to start), eat a quick breakfast, look over the directions for that day, mark some important things (like gas stations!), put on 45341 layers of clothing and then off you drive! As the navigator I had to follow the instructions in the road book using a tripmaster (counts the miles you drive), use two stop-watches to time the regularities (certain sections of the route, where you have to keep a prescribed tempo for certain intervals, sometimes as short as 0.2 miles, with unpredictable check points, where every second you're off the prescribed time deducts points!) and tell my dad to drive faster or slower, navigate us through tests (small obstacle courses that are about speed), get our time-card stamped at check-in points and make sure we left on on time.

The first day we were awful! Late to everything, lost the trunk lid during a very bumpy regularity, overwhelmed by the regularities, freezing (because the car we rented from the rally organisation didn't have windows, a fact we only realized once we saw the car in person... and we were in ICELAND! In APRIL! haha)... I was feeling really grumpy around noon - I just don't like being bad at things! I told my dad "all this competition stuff is stressing me out, lets just ride along the route to see the country and enjoy ourselves and not take part in the regularities and all that". But my competitive side took over, and that night I spent two hours working through the road book, taking notes and calculating times.... and so our second day was much better! We still had a lot of car trouble (our car was an 1938 AC 16/80 March Special), with fuel suddenly leaking out of the motor, the constant use of headlights (mandatory in Iceland) causing the battery to die, the tripmaster not working, the speedometer not working... but I was getting the hang of the competition stuff, and my dad and I turned out to be a really good team! We'd make mistakes but then we'd just find a solution, and find our way back to the correct route. And all the participants were from around the world! A really interesting mix of people, all with a love of vintage cars. And even though technically it's a competition, it's more about the fun of it, exchanging stories etc., and whenever anyone has a problem, everyone tries to help as best they can, there's really a sense of "fellowship" :)

Iceland, of course, was amazing and beautiful. It's not the quaint, lush beauty of Switzerland, it's a raw, sometimes terrifying beauty, that makes you feel so small and inferior to nature.

A detail shot of the beautiful Hallgrimskirkja

A detail shot of the beautiful Hallgrimskirkja

Hraunfossar

Hraunfossar

Someones stone collection at a farm in Höfn

Someones stone collection at a farm in Höfn

Skogafoss!

Skogafoss!

This waterfall, Gullfoss, was the most impressive to me!

This waterfall, Gullfoss, was the most impressive to me!

The rally tok us all around the Island on Route 1. We got to see a lot, but I'd like to visit Iceland again someday, to take everything in with a little more time to enjoy it. The food was also really good!

After crossing the finish line at Harpa!

After crossing the finish line at Harpa!

I'm not sure I'm allowed to post official rally photos (they hired photographers, who would climb mountains just to take the perfect picture!), so if you want to click through there's an article with photos on sportscardigest.com. I'm just going to post one picture of my dad, me and the car in action:

Source: HERO; photos: © Francesco and Roberta Rastrelli and HERO

Source: HERO; photos: © Francesco and Roberta Rastrelli and HERO

All in all the Rally was a great experience, and I'm doing another on with my dad, this time in Scotland! I've never been, so I'm really excited :) We're renting the same "Arrive & Drive" Car from HERO, we might have fallen in love with it a little bit during our Iceland Adventure :)

But now to the real reason I'm posting about this: What to wear!

In Iceland, I'd bundle up in borrowed ski pants, layers, a thick down jacket, a scarf wrapped around my neck and face to cover my nose, and a wool hat. Getting dressed too forever, because I had to layer everything in the right order so it would stay put, plus have my phone, two stopwatches and pens stored away so I could access them quickly.

So in preperation for the Scotland Rally, I want to sew some things for myself:

I plan on making:

  • a very tight sort of tube scarf (jersey, reversible with the other side being grey, I might interline it with another layer of white jersey, to make it thicker and warmer) that extends upwards to cover the mouth, and has armholes to keep it from riding up (mint)
  • long sort of gloves to go over some nice leather gloves I plan on buying (green)
  • a thin, collarless quilted vest (silver)
  • a coat
  • a hat (salmon colored)
  • a halterneck collar-vest-thingy (blue) possibly lined with sheepskin or faux sheepskin

The color cloud in the middle is just a loose sort of color scheme, incase I can't find certain colors. On the right hand sketch you can see skin between the gloves and tube-scarf thing, but in reality that would be covered by whatever I'm wearing underneath (most likely ski underwear).

My inspiration was this Tamara de Lempicka painting:

so glamorous!

so glamorous!

Long time readers might have noticed that the coat is a reworked version of the Blanket Coat that I wanted to make. Because of school work, I'd never gotten around to making it, but since I'm on vacation now, I can finally do it! I still have the muslin, and will change the sleeves, so the horizontal seam is further up the sleeve (as it is in my new sketch above). I'm thinking about underlining the lower sleeve part with a thick canvas to help it keep its shape.

the muslin I made in the fall of 2014

the muslin I made in the fall of 2014

I'll add pockets, and the front closure will be hidden, fabric covered snaps (if I can find those!). I want to add an inverted box pleate to the center back at the nape of the neck, to give me more room to move. I want the coat to be a sort of cocoon.

I'm still researching ways to make it really warm, and so far it looks like I'll be ordering thinsulate from somewhere. Does anyone have experience with thinsulate? I think I'll interline the whole coat with it. I'm also thinking of ways to make the coat wind proof, since there's so much wind when driving in an open car, and the blanket doesn't seem like it'd be windproof. Does anyone have tips for that? I could use some sort of technical, polyester jacket fabric, but I want the coat to be breathable, and the layers are starting to add up - blanket, poly fabric, thinsulate, lining.

The other pieces shouldn't be too hard, the hardest part will be drafting the patterns. I haven't made many hats, so I'm excited for that one. I'll try to drape a pattern on a styrofoam head I have.

I'll try to post updates on this little side project of mine!