The starting idea for ALPINESHOWROOM lies in 1995, thanks to the finding of the book «The high-roads of the Alps» (1911), “travelogue” of an explorer, journalist and writer, member of the Royal Geographic Society, a founding member of the Royal Automobile Club, a friend of the French Panhard, Ferdinand Porsche (that followed during his first races) and Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, man of confidence of the co-founder of Rolls Royce, Charles Stewart Rolls.
Charles Lincoln Freeston - that the author's name - for over forty years was also director of major British newspapers, worked in American motoring magazines and dedicated his life to design technical changes to the car and to devise suggested tours on the Old Continent.
Already in the last decade of the nineteenth century, after discovering the Alps by bike, he started climbing the main passes, coming there back again several times, until he scored, from 1906 to 1910, over one hundred and seventy Alpine passes aboard a Napier and a Sheffield Simplex.
His challenge, soon emulated (although with less significant outcomes) from other travelers, mainly British, could join eight European nations, from Monte Carlo to Venice, before the Great War mutated its boundaries. Then he went elsewhere, from the Apennines to the Pyrenees and up to North Cape, but never forgot the beloved Alps, where he returned in 1921 to retrace the route, noting the many new roads opened for military reasons and the new names of countless Alpine passes, after the state borders had been changed by the war.
The beauty and modernity of the writings of this "explorer of the four wheels", who always joined the observations on the places visited (from landscapes to social life, from art to wine) with technical advices, have ensured that, from immediately, the publisher Andrea Lazzarini would want to propose it to the attention of the general public, especially the mountain & motoring enthusiasts, getting in the meantime an impressive collection of texts from the same period and many accompanying documents like no other, including hard to find vintage images, rare posters, reports and precious chronicles, unrepeatable shots of characters and events that have marked the history of motoring in the Alps.
Today, a hundred years later, the publisher aims to republishing the original work in large format, in two languages, English-Italian first and French-German later on.
Next to the text of Freeston and the reconstruction of the pioneering era of the first trips by car, all the material collected by Andrea Lazzarini in twenty years of research will find space in a dense and exciting storytelling: always on the footsteps of the versatile British hero, the book will present undertakings from other motor sport fans, with the beginning of the national and international competitions, technical improvements of cars, the birth of museums and veteran car clubs and all the official events concerning classic and sport cars along the Alps, from 1895 to today.
The work © Driving through the Alps will be divided into two volumes, for a total of 800 color pages and subsequent digital integrations of chapters, marked by the author and reportable by the readers through special QRcode.
But the tribute to the great Alpine automobile does not end here. After having personally retraced the routes indicated by Freeston in a number of car trips from 2009 to 2013, the creator of the project, Andrea Lazzarini, animated by the desire to find even today that important thread through the various Alpine countries that was the passion for the mountains and the engines, aims to realize a dream never conceived so far in the Alpine macro-region: an international tour of vintage and sports cars on the same roads opened by the pioneers, up and down the mountain passes and through the eight nations then ideally united from Charles Lincoln Freeston.
Principality of Monaco, France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Slovenia and Lietchenstein, again united: this is the intent of the 5000 miles of the Alps. Today's telling and images will be integrated with those of a hundred years ago, thus helping to return to the thousands of fans around the world an epic piece of the Alps and automotive history.