The ‘Greatest Years of Rallying Volume 1’, narrated by Steve Rider, features more than 78 minutes of intense rally action, with everything from Minis to Rolls-Royces taking on convoluted mountain passes, sliding sideways through narrow country lanes and contending with treacherous, icy conditions. It’s all very well sliding sideways in a modern WRC car, where the safety standards are incredibly high, but to drive fast in the 1970s meant forgetting how thin your Saab’s A-pillar was or that there were likely spectators onthe road ahead. This is rallying at its most raw, when drivers competed in lightweight helmets and check shirts, negating fireproof suits.
There are Alpine A110s competing against Ford Escort RS 1600s. There’s the British RAC rally, then held in the forests of Yorkshire, where a puncture for Tony Fall sends his Datsun 240Z upside down.
Then there’s Ari Vatanen. In the era when anything goes, when faced with a broken rear diff and no spare parts during the 1976 Scottish Rally, Vatanen’s team flagged down a passing 3.0-litre Ford Capri and requisitioned the required parts. Vatanen’s Mk2 Escort RS1800 back in the game, the Swede soldiered on. He eventually retired, but still managed to take the British Championship that year…
If you’re after authentic rally action, look no further. But prepare to mute your phone and block your diary as you immerse yourself in the thrill of yesteryear.
Welcome to Goodwood Elevenses, a mid-morning helping of motoring-related amusement to help break up your day.