PH Blog: Harris goes retro rally nuts


If watching rally videos on YouTube was an A-Level subject, these would be at the core of the curriculum.

This event was organised by the Welsh Counties Car Club, and yet contains more quality drivers than you could find on a modern round of the WRC. Waldegard, Mikkola, Ekland, Brookes and McRae Snr. to name but a few. Plus Murray commentating.

It's a kind of gravel hillclimb, like a mini Pikes Peak in the middle of an uncharacteristically dry Wales but run with an aggregate time on an uphill, then a downhill time.

But why is it so significant? Well, it brings together the most disparate collection of cars imaginable for a competitive, contemporary event. Honest front-engined RWD machines in the Chevette and Ascona, the loopy 290hp Rover SD1, mid-engined Stratos and then the 4WD Quattro.

This is the sport's past, present and future on display for a single, brief moment. It's like having Senna, Schumacher and Vettel in the same race.

It also represents a time when works machinery couldn't stop the likes of Terry Kaby, British champion in 1980, beating people like Bjorn Waldegard. Terry never quite made it to the very top level, not for lack of talent, and he's still coaching, testing and immersed in the sport today. What a legend.

I know these are quite long, grainy vids, and the dust is an issue. But the angle and language of the cars is mesmerising.

Chris

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

 

 

Comments (70) Join the discussion on the forum

  • AllNines 12 Jan 2012

    bobberz said:
    Noticed how the commentator pronounced Talbot as "Toll-Butt". I've always thought it was "Tal-Bow", with the last T being silent.

    Have I been saying it wrong all these years?

    Awesome vids, BTW; had no idea that they rallied the Rover SD1! It's HUGE compared to the other cars.
    Definitely a French thing. Because there was basically a French and a British Talbot in years gone by, all rolled up into one by the time that Peugeot resurrected the name in 1979, our friends across the channel think of it as their own and pronounce it as such, while here in Blighty we see it as a British thing, and the last 't' definitely gets pronounced (although the a can be short of long, depending on where you are from). The Sunbeam Lotus, by the way, has no French to it (apart from financing) so they can jolly well keep their hands off claiming that...

  • Zad 09 Jan 2012

    Well, you are in USA land, where anything vaguely French sounding gets Frenchified. e.g. Herbs.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hJQsvoY6VU

  • bobberz 09 Jan 2012

    Noticed how the commentator pronounced Talbot as "Toll-Butt". I've always thought it was "Tal-Bow", with the last T being silent.

    Have I been saying it wrong all these years?

    Awesome vids, BTW; had no idea that they rallied the Rover SD1! It's HUGE compared to the other cars.

  • garypotter 09 Jan 2012

    Awesome footage, What a selection of cars, F/Engine rear wheel drive, mid engine, 4wd all in the same class!!

    Interesting to note in a previous reply someone mentioned the year later most manufacturers went 4WD, did this have the same effect of bringing all cars within seconds of each other?? rather than minutes

  • Stack 08 Jan 2012

    I used to love Billy Colemans Rothmans 911SC , I think it was one of the first cars Prodrive ran ?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XDoDkWurUo


    This is one of my favourite rally clips

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlIcuP8EN44&fea...

    Part two has even more action ...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNPI4xYEGX0&fea...

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