May 1913. James Radley set off from Brown’s Hotel in London’s Mayfair to embark on his most famous motoring adventure yet; the 1913 Alpine Trial. His aim was to raise Rolls-Royce’s profile within the hyper-competitive European market. And boy, did he do just that.

Tackling over 1,800 miles of some of the world’s most spectacular mountain passes, only 31 of the original 46 entrants even reached the finish line, and the Rolls-Royce driven by Radley was one of only four cars to have done it without penalty. His mission was complete: after the rally, sales across Europe boomed to match those in the UK and Rolls-Royce’ Silver Ghost became known to all as ‘The Best Car in the World’.

A century later, and the exact same Silver Ghost will set off for a 21st century re-enactment of the famous race. Not companionless, as more than 40 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghosts (part of the 20-Ghost Club, the oldest Rolls-Royce motor car club in the world) will also be in the line up. Many of the cars are over a century old and will be demonstrating their robustness (very elegantly, mind).

The start point is Vienna, 14 June 2013, and the rally will pass through Italy, Croatia and Slovenia before returning to Austria’s capital for a special evening hosted by Margraf Pallavicini at his Palais – exactly 100 years to the day since the finale of the original Alpine Trial.

“Strive for perfection in everything you do” is what founding father Sir Henry Royce implored his staff to do back in the early 1900’s, and it led to the marque creating an automotive with a blend of performance, quality, smoothness and quietness like no other. His legacy to engineering still lives on as does the spirit of those early days of motoring, and not just in the mountains of Austria.