“Ode To a Rally Driver.”

By Mo Crabtree

He zoomed along the darkened roads,
His spotlights all ablaze,
His secret weapon no-one knew,
They glared at him amazed.

R. C. just stared and Timo too
They could not take it in,
Who was this man who’d passed
Them all and left them looking dim?

What was that car that he was in,
How could it go so fast?
He’d dealt their egos such a blow,
This rally would be their last.

Perhaps I should have told them all
The secret, but heck why?!
They’ve had the glory for so long,
I’ll keep it till I die.

And it was such a simple thing,
No science or fancy fads,
He’d simply bunged his exhaust pipe
With a pair of Brillo Pads!


Originally published in “Tyred Topics” April 1977

Englishtown Autotest

By Eric Ritchie

As those of you who attended Englishtown Autocross will have noticed, there was a distinct lack of grass and mud. As you will appreciate, the original intention was to hold a Grass Autocross but the weather on the previous two weeks put paid to this idea. However, Jim Taylor being the good fellow that he is kindly loaned his farmyard to stage one of the most unusual events we have had for a long time. Actually the real reason was that Jim didn’t want to take the Opel into the field!

Farms being what they are, it did make for some interesting spectating. First to come to grief being Jim Vevers in the Escort when he attacked the slurry pit! Amazing how quickly you can lose friends when you smell like a slurry pit!” On home ground, Jim Taylor set the ball rolling with 1.20 in the “Massey Ferguson” prepared Opel. From the outset it was obvious that the event was to be fast, Bob Harrison managing to get the Toyota to sound like a swarm of pregnant bees as screamed down cowshed straight. My apologies to John Walker, who I have been trying to convince to enter an S.M.C. Autocross for months. Knobblies and concrete are no the best combination! However, who worries about tyres when you corner on the door handles. Certainly not Geoff Steel. Spectators, cats, dogs, cows, all fled as the Peugeot powered Mr. Steel hurled about like a man possessed. Pity you went the wrong way Geoff! Chairman Brian  and Michael Coward both Escort powered were separated by only 8/10ths of a second after the first round. Colin Rowntree in the Avenger took almost 13 seconds off his firts round time to turn 1.19.8 and finish 9th overall. Japanese ingenuity and the strength of John Johnston’s arms kept the Mazda estate on the track, sometimes he even managed to keep it straight. Not an easy car to turn in a time of 1.16 with.

Eric Ritchie

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Ralle Sport Quiz

Remember when answering the questions, you’ve been magically transported back to June 1977.

  1. Name the race track which has cost 1.8million.
  2. Winners of the circuit of Ireland.
  3. Malcolm Wilson’s navigator.
  4. Winners of the 3rd Tour of Cumbria.
  5. Make of car they were in.
  6. He had a monumental accident in Egypt.
  7. Peter Handy’s driver.
  8. Formula 1 champion for 1976.
  9. Welshman who lost his life in Formula 1.
  10. Nickname of Jaguar XJ5.3C
  11. Name of winners on Silver Jubilee Safari.
  12. Airport for Drag racing.
  13. Sponsor of Barry Lee.
  14. What happens at Hednesford?
  15. What colour is Davinder Singh’s turban?
  16. Make of Andy Cowan’s car.
  17. Name of new Lancia.
  18. Author of “Sideways to victory”.
  19. Name Malcolm Wilson’s sponsors.
  20. Whose is the Morpar Avenger?
  21. Who won last year’s R.A.C.?
  22. Whose is the Escort 1300 BOA in Brampton?
  23. Who won the Virgo Galaxy Egypt Rally?
  24. Start of the 3rd Tour of Cumbria.
  25. What does B.T.R.D.A stand for?

Total points available 35. Pint for the highest score*



Tyred Topcis – June 1977

* virtual pint that is…