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Morning Qualifying – Wild Kingdom edition

Jennings R. Scroggs, Jr. July 12, 2011 Morning Qualifying 14 Comments

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Rallying is the toughest of all motor sports, and the East African Safari Rally was the toughest rally of all.  Desert heat, chocking dust, rock and boulder strewn roads (if you can call them “roads” at all!), torrential rain and the mud thereof……and monkey police officers lurk around every bend.  During the “dry” years, a modest percentage of competitors finished the race.  If it was a “wet” year, perhaps one in every twenty drivers who left Nairobi on the first day would endure to the finish.  The Safari Rally was more than just a race, it was an adventure straight out of Hemingway or Conrad.  Here are a few interesting moments from Safari Rally’s past.

Nice kitty....good kitty...(whisper).....Lars, roll up your window up.


Must go faster! Must go faster!


60, line into 2 right minus over flat crest, watch out for giraffe crossing


  • The East African Safari Rally was originally called the Coronation Rally. The organizers had tried for several years to get funding and permission, but to no avail. Upon the death of King George VI and the coronation of Elizabeth II, the organizers pitched it as the Coronation Rally to celebrate the new monarch of Britain and her territories of Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. The name change came in 1960 after it had become well established as one of the premier rally events in the world.

  • tonyola

    The freedom-loving elephant is trying to stamp out that commie Moskvich.

  • TurboBrick

    "Allo monsieurs, would you care to surrender some cheese to a fellow primate?"

  • P161911

    Jocko Flocko has gotten a lot bigger.
    <img src="http://www.timflock.com/images/Jocko.jpg"width=500&gt;

  • dukeisduke

    It's a shame they dropped the East African Safari, but the organizers couldn't come up with the money that the FIA wanted. The Greek and Turkish rallies have been a poor substitute.

    • scroggzilla

      The Acropolis Rally has as much history as the Safari, and is only slightly less destructive (less mud and wildlife, but more rocks and boulders) to the vehicles participating in it. I'd hardly characterize it as a poor substitute.

      I was under the impression that the political situation in Eastern Africa over the last 20 years had much to do with the Safari getting dropped from the WRC schedule.

      • dukeisduke

        Yes, the Acropolis has been around for a long time, and it's brutal, just not quite as brutal as the Safari, and it doesn't have all the cool wildlife. The Dakar moved out of north Africa because of the wars and the rebels – it even got so bad that they had to ferry the motorbikes though part of one country (Mali?) by plane one year, and then it was finally shut down due to direct threats made against it by al Qaeda. The Safari finally folded because the FIA wanted twice as much upfront money as the year before (the FIA greedy? Unheard of!), and the organizers couldn't come up with it.

    • dragon951

      I have mixed feelings about that. Now that it is a classic, it's attained an atmosphere similar to the Panamericana. It makes me want to go see it more so. Also, should I somehow find myself super rich, I know what race I will be entering.


  • sportwagon

    If only Peter sellers was driving the DS.

  • joshuman

    There is a clip that I have never been able to find showing in-car video of a 1990s or early 2000s WRC car as a giraffe gallops along outside the co-driver's window. It is close enough that you can only see the legs and not the body of the giraffe. One feature that I always enjoyed seeing is the additional spotlights mounted on the mirror. Their purpose was pierce the dust ahead so that others could see them coming and not for visibility of the driver.

    <img src="http://www.sportrallyes.com/noticias/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Rally-Safari-2001-Sainz-Moya-Ford-Focus-WRC.jpg&quot; width=450>

  • Dan

    great pics. FYI, Fran Hernandez took a few Mercury Comet Calientes to the rally in 1964. Of the five (some sources say 10) cars he took, just two finished:

    • scroggzilla

      You should check out Fran's Facebook page. There's some amazing NASCAR, Trans-Am and Pikes Peak photos there.

    • Armand4

      One of them is still active in West Coast vintage racing, and always puts on a hell of a show.

  • FuzzyPlushroom

    Scroggs, that's not an Amazon, it's a Serengeti.