Back When Men Were Men… etc.


Yesterday’s post about the Lancer 1600GSR rallycar go to thinking about Japanese rally successes in the 70s. Here’s a clip of the 1979 World Rally Championship, which was contested by a rich variety of cars. On the one hand you had exotica like the Lancia Stratos and Porsche 911, and then you had stove-hot rally versions of boxy family cars like the Fiat 131, Ford Escort and Vauxhall Chevette. You also has some luxury cars in the form of the Mercedes Benz 450SLC and Saab 99 Turbo.

Japan was well represented by Ove Andersson getting on the podium once in the RA40 Celica and the Datsun Violet 160J nabbing three podiums and one outright win for Shekhar Mehta in the Safari Rally. Am I the only one thinking that rallying seemed a lot more interesting back then? Bring back rwd and carbs! Oh and by the way, check out the tandem drifting at 1’38.

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This post is filed under: motorsports, rally.

4 Responses to Back When Men Were Men… etc.

  1. Mr.L.J. Nordvik said:

    I’m with you on turning back the clock on rally car technology.This would not only make the sport more interesting,but would also make it more affordable,which is a key issue.

  2. banpei said:

    I think everything got worse after introduction of group B. That introduced special purpose built limited run cars (like the RS200) or heavily changed productions cars (like the Celica TA64) and 4WD cars (like the Audi Quattro). The power output was outrageous and the cars were literally missiles. It resulted in a battle in technique over driving skill: make up your loss in cornering or traction by an even bigger turbo, like they did on the Celica and Audi.

    If you still love this old action you should really look for local Irish rally drivers: they still do this in the same old style with old Escorts and AE86s! Also some Latvian and Finnisih drivers still drive the good old AE86 to a podium in local rallies.

  3. Nigel said:

    There is still lots of 2WD classes here in Canada also you will see everything from a Civic to a Corvette (Targa Newfoundland).

  4. Tedman said:

    Jean Todt’s come a long way since those days, eh? What is he now, head of Ferrari’s F1 team?