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Rally in America




Freelan and Flora Stanley at the summit in their Locomobile, marking the first automobile ascent of the Mount Washington Carriage Road in August 1899.

L.J. Phelps sets the first official speed record at the Mount Washington Auto Road in August 1903, a year prior to the first Climb to the Clouds Automobile Hillclimb.  Phelps’ record time was 1 hour 48 minutes and he drove his own car, a "Phelps."

Evelyn Mull in her Jaguar XK 120 Fixed Head Coupe crossing the finish line of the 1953 Climb to the Clouds. Evelyn was the first woman to race the Climb to the Clouds.

Carroll Shelby rounds the Cragway Turn in a Ferrari on his way to winning the 1956 Climb to the Clouds with a new record time of 10 minutes 21.8 seconds.

Six-time Canadian Rally Champion Frank Sprongl ascending Mount Washington in 1998 in his 500bhp Audi Quattro S2, setting a record at 6 minutes 41.99 seconds.

Photos: Mount Washington Summit Road Company



First run in 1904, the Mount Washington Climb to the Clouds Automobile Hillclimb is one of the oldest and most challenging motorsports events in the United States. It returns in 2011 as part of the Mount Washington Auto Road’s 150th-anniversary celebration.


The 7.6-mile road to Mount Washington’s 6,288-foot summit (New England’s tallest peak) includes tarmac and gravel sections. Lower portions of the road are lined with trees, and drop-offs threaten any misstep on the way to the top. Clouds often obscure the top of the mountain, which boasts world-record wind gusts and the world’s worst weather.


Vermont SportsCar and the Auto Road jointly announced the return of the hillclimb June 22-26, 2011. The five-day motorsports festival will be sanctioned by RallyCar. These organizations hope the event will attract a 70-car field and the best drivers from around the world.


For more details, go to the press release about the event at


For more about the mountain and Subaru partner Mount Washington Observatory, go to


Also, read about the observatory in the cover story of Fall 2005 Drive at


Travis Pastrana Sets Record for Climbing Mount Washington


Photos: Lars Gange |

On September 8, 2010, Travis Pastrana and co-driver Marshall Clarke broke the record for ascending Mount Washington. Driving a 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI rally car prepared by Vermont SportsCar, the team beat the old record set by Frank Sprongl in 1998 by more than 20 seconds, climbing the mountain in 6 minutes 20.47 seconds.

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