With apologies to the Group B fans, I’ve always preferred the pre-WRC rally era. The cars were closer to stock, and the stages were frequently open. The crews did not have a chance to recce before driving that day’s stage. The distances covered were often so large, as much as 500 miles in a day, that pace notes weren’t possible. Maps were the only way to get from time check to time check. The manufacturers offered little in the way of support. Danger, in multiple forms, literally lurked around the next bend. And sponsorship money wasn’t yet a gleam in a marketing man’s eye.
Being able to drive or navigate was only a small part of the job requirement. You had to be a good mechanic, who could improvise on the fly. You might need a strong back, or the ability to speak a 2nd or 3rd language. And for all your efforts, there wasn’t much money to be had if you made it to the winner’s circle. BUT, there was glory…..and the camaraderie of belonging to a small group of men and women with the skill to push a car harder and faster, over tougher terrain, than anyone else…….in the wurrld.
Which brings us to today’s video, produced by Ford, which will regale you with thrilling tales of rallying in late 1950’s and 1960’s and get you through that 1st cup of coffee. You wish you were there, don’t you.
Or view it here: The Golden Age of Rallying
[Image Source: Volvo Archive]