Travelling sideways at rather ridiculous speeds and seemingly at the very limit of control, while navigating narrow roads or even mere tracks covered by loose gravel or snow and ice, and just to add to the excitement often lined by either mountainous drops or thick forrest. All in a days work for a rally driver. And that’s why rallying is perhaps the most challenging and therefore also the most exciting segment of motorsport.
Many will tell you that Group B of the early and mid eighties was the pinnacle of rallying. In fact, I believe I too might have written words to that effect on these very pages. In terms of the technical specifications of the rally cars and in terms of sheer speed it’s difficult to argue against it. But just because it’s the pinnacle, doesn’t mean it has to be our favourite era. Bring on the seventies thank you very much…
To me personally, I think the seventies provided us enthusiasts with the very best of rallying – at least from an entertainment point of view. It was the decade where rallying became a proper professional sport with some serious financial investment from several Works teams, thereby giving us some truly stunning rally machines to drool over. Yet, there was still a thoroughly pleasing grassroot atmosphere to the whole thing. True grit and a desire to overcome any obstacle. In many ways, it was the era of rallying which gave us the best of both worlds. It is in my opinion also the era which gave us the biggest names within rallying: Roger Clark, Björn Waldegaard, Walter Röhrl, Stig Blomkvist, Ari Vatenen, Markku Alen and Sandro Munari to name but a few. Well, and seeing as we at ViaRETRO love sharing great automotive video’s with you, I really don’t need much more of an excuse for this next one.
It’s a marathon of a video though! So find a quiet corner where family and work won’t interfere, make yourself comfortable in your favourite armchair with a G&T or maybe even a Single Malt, and sit back and enjoy this cavalcade of 1970’s rallying.
It’s probably highly unlikely… but should you after this massive injection of seventies rallying still be longing for more, I can highly recommend a revisit of Claus’s adventures from the co-driver seat of a hard-charging Skoda 130 RS. Read the impressive story here.
And if all of this has you thinking that you simply must do something similar with your life to make it worth living – well, then firstly I salute you Sir! And second, let me point you in the direction of our very own rally-junkie, Dave, and not least his introduction to Historic Regularity Rallying right here.