A Saab 96 In The 1975 Canadian Winter Rally

Recently I posted some photos that Paul Madder had taken during the 1975 Canadian Winter Rally.  I found out from Paul that he used to take some photos for “Wheelspin News”, a racing newspaper that was published in the Ontario area starting in the mid-1960s.  In the 1960s and 1970s “Wheelspin News” became Canada’s top auto racing publication.

Paul noticed that I owned a Saab at one time and subsequently sent me a photo of a Saab that he also took at the 1975 Canadian Winter Rally.  This additional photo is shown below.

1969 Saab 96 Crewed By Crawford/Drafft

This 1969 Saab 96 was crewed by John Crawford/Walter Drafft who had come to Ontario from the USA to enter the Canadian Winter Rally.  They finished 15th Overall and 9th in Class B.  I do not understand the class structure used for this rally, therefore I don’t know what made a car fit into Class B.

As with the other photos sent to me by Paul Madder, original copies of these photos are for sale.  Please contact me if you wish to purchase any of Paul’s photos.

If you have any comments or questions about this post or the Canadian Winter Rally, then please leave a comment below or you can send me a private email message at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot net

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Book About The BMC/BL Competitions Department

This week I acquired another good book about car rallying from the 1950s to the 1980s.  This book, “The BMC/BL Competitions Department” was written by Bill Price who was the Assistant Competitions Manager  and subsequently Competitions Manager at BMC/BL for most of those years.

This is a well-illustrated book filled with facts, figures, and lots of stories.  During this period the British Motor Corporation and later British Leyland were at the pinnacle of international rallying.

I have picked out a couple of photos from Bill Price’s book that I found quite interesting.  The photo below shows the Morley brothers stopped with wet ignition problems in their Works Austin Healey 3000 rally car during the 1963 RAC Rally.  You can see how muddy the conditions were during that RAC Rally.  The Morley brothers went on to finish 9th Overall and 2nd in Class at this rally.  The big Healeys were the dominant rally cars of their day.

The Morley Brothers With Ignition Problems During The 1963 RAC Rally

The reason that I was interested in that picture is that in December I will have the opportunity to take part in the LeJog rally in England as the navigator for Simon Arscott in this very same car that the Morley brothers drove in the 1963 RAC Rally.  This same car is shown below in its current state.

Works Austin Healey 3000 Rally Car

Another photo that interested me is the picture below of Tony Pond/Fred Gallagher in the Triumph TR7 V8 which they are driving to victory in the 24 Hours of Ypres rally in 1978.  I just had the privilege of taking part in the recce for the 2018 Trans America Challenge rally with Fred.  Fred had a very successful career as a rally co-driver on the world rallying stage over many years including some years with the British Leyland Works Rally Team.

Tony Pond/Fred Gallagher Winning The 1978 24 Hours Of Ypres Rally

This book is quite detailed and a very good source of information about rallying in this era.  It was first published in 1989 and then reprinted in 1998 with minor amendments.  I would recommend it to anyone interested in rallying.

If you have any questions or comments about this post or the BMC/BL rally team, then please leave a comment below or you can send me a private email message at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot net

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Photos From The 1975 Canadian Winter Rally

This week I was pleased to get an email message from Paul Madder of Barrie, Ontario who sent me some photos that he took at the 1975 Canadian Winter Rally.  Paul has asked me to note that he is interested in selling the original version of these photos.  Contact me if you are interested in purchasing these photos.

Randy Black/Doug Woods In A Datsun 1600SS

As can be seen in the above photo of Black/Woods, not only was there lots of snow on the roads, additional snow was falling during the event.

The photo below is a little difficult to identify.  I believe that the car number is 12, which was assigned to Doug Leverton/Ken Humphrey.  I concluded this based on matching the car number with the listed car descriptions in the event results.

Doug Leverton/Ken Humphrey Catch Air In Their 1971 Datsun 510

In 1975 the Canadian Winter Rally started from a garage at Centennial College, in what was known as Scarborough, Ontario at the time.  Scarborough is now part of the City of Toronto.  The picture below shows John Buffum/Vicki Buffum as they leave the garage in their 1972 Porsche Carrera.  Buffum/Buffum went on to win the 1975 Canadian Winter Rally in a close battle with Perusse/Bellefleur in a Fiat 128.

John Buffum/Vicki Buffum At The Centennial College Start Garage

Paul also had the results of the 1975 Canadian Winter Rally which he also forwarded to me.  These are shown below.  Note the large percentage of cars that did not finish this rally.  Also note that entrants came from all over Canada and the United States.

Results Of The 1975 Canadian Winter Rally




Also this week, thanks to the generosity of Harald von Langsdorff (who had a duplicate), I obtained another Canadian Winter Rally rally license plate from the 1960 running.  I am always interested in obtaining other license plates and/or Finisher’s Medals from the Canadian Winter Rally.

If you have any questions or comments about the Canadian Winter Rally, this post, or purchasing one of Paul Madder’s photos, then please leave a comment below or you can send me a private email message at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot net

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2017 Pumpkin Run Rally Was A Little Damp

This past weekend Harald von Langsdorff and myself competed in the 2017 Pumpkin Run rally.  This was a time-speed rally held in Millsboro, Delaware and sanctioned by the Northeast Rally Club.  This event attracted over 30 cars of every type and age.

The rally weekend started off with a practice rally on Friday afternoon.  The wet weather on Friday was a precursor for the weather for the entire weekend.  The picture below shows the dull and wet weather that was typical for the weekend at the start of the practice rally on Friday.

Weather On Friday Morning Practice Rally Start

While the cars that competed were all interesting, the Ford two-door business coupes from the 1930s are quite popular and are a good combination of power and age to be competitive in these types of events.  Older cars get a scoring advantage, therefore a good performing older car is very desirable car and these Ford coupes are usually very competitive.

Two-Door Business Coupes From The 1930s Are Very Competitive

In the above picture, the greyish car on the left is a 1937 Ford coupe that was crewed by Haverty/Rookey.  The car on the right is a 1939 Ford coupe that was crewed by Tourje/Tourje.  These are both very nice cars and these teams do quite well in these time-speed rallies.

It is surprising to see all of the different car models that Ford produced in the 1937.  A listing of all of the available Ford model variants in 1937 is shown below.

1937 Ford Car Model Line Up

The flathead V8 engines in these Fords give these cars good performance.  There appears to be plenty of available performance parts that are available for the engines of these cars.  Note that in 1937 Ford had two versions of the flathead V8 engine – the 60 horsepower version and the 85 horsepower version.  The 60-horsepower flathead was a new addition to the North American market.  Previously this engine had been used in some English Ford models, but not in North America.  The smaller 60 horsepower flathead V8 only displaced 136 cubic inches, while the 85 horsepower flathead V8 was larger at 221 cubic inches.  Ford had brought the smaller flathead to North America in order to provide a more economical engine as compared to the larger 85-horsepower engine.  A few years before, in 1935, Ford had dropped the smaller 4-cylinder engine and the 60-horsepower flathead V8 was seen as a replacement for the smaller 4-cylinder engine.

The picture below shows the flathead V8 engine in Dave Haverty’s 1937 Ford.  Note that it has been modified by using Offenhauser heads as compared to the standard Ford heads.  Period modifications are permitted in these “Great Race” type rallies.  I have seen Dave’s car perform and it is obvious that the engine now puts out significantly more than the 85 horsepower that the original engine put out.

Ford Flathead V8 Fitted With An Offenhauser Head

As I noted above, there was wide variety of cars entered in the rally.  The picture below is illustrative of this variety.  In the foreground is Harald’s 1972 Mercedes-Benz 350SLC, and down the line is a 1959 Volvo PV544, a vintage Ford oval track racer, a 2011 Chevrolet Camaro Indianapolis 500 Pace Car convertible, a 1972 Chevrolet Chevelle, and a 1967 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser.  Quite a varied collection of cars!

Harald von Langsdorff With His 1972 Mercedes-Benz 350SLC

Harald & I just did OK in the rally.  We had some very good scores (We even won an Ace for a perfect score on one leg of the Saturday portion of the Pumpkin Run rally.) but we also had some higher scores that dropped us down the standings.  We are working to try to understand why we had these higher scores on some legs.

Harald & I Won One of Three Aces Awarded On The Saturday Portion

The final results of the 2017 Pumpkin Run rally are shown below.  The Overall winners and Pro Class winners was the team of Deering/Deering in their 1935 Ford coupe.  They edged out the team of Hudson/Hudson in their 1940 Chevrolet who won the Championship Class.

The SOP (Seat of the Pants) Class was won by the team of Craig/Craig in their lovely red 1999 Jaguar XK8.  The Rookie Class was won by Richards/Connor in a Chevrolet Chevelle.  Wheatley/Rogers won the Police Class in their 1971 AMC Matador police car in the 1971 livery of the Millsboro Police Department.

2017 Pumpkin Run Rally Final Results

The next time-speed rally sanctioned by the Northeast Rally Club will be the Rally Round The Erie Canal based in Fairport, New York which will be held May 3 – 5, 2018.  Based on a previous running of this rally in 2016, this should be a good rally.  The field will be limited to 50 cars.  For information on how to enter this rally, send me a private email message.

If you have any questions or comments about this post, then please leave a comment below or you can send me a private email message at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot com

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2017 Pumpkin Run Rally To Be Held This Weekend

This weekend I will be competing in the 2017 Pumpkin Run rally which will be held in Millsboro, Delaware.  The Pumpkin Run is a time-speed rally (no odometers allowed), similar to the Great Race, hosted by the Northeast Rally Club. 

There will be a practice rally on Friday, followed by the Pumpkin Run rally on Saturday and Sunday.  I have competed in this rally three or four times in the past and I have always enjoyed it.  There always are some very interesting cars competing in this event.  In addition, I look forward to renewing friendships with the other competitors.

Fuel Stop During the 2016 Pumpkin Run Rally

I will be navigating for Harald von Langsdorff in his 1972 Mercedes-Benz 350SLC.  This is the same car that Harald used in the 2017 Great Race.  This is a very capable rally car.  The Northeast Rally Club events are somewhat different the Great Race in that modern cars are welcome to compete in the rally.  In the Great Race, the cars must be 1972 or older.


Harald von Langsdorff’s 1972 Mercedes-Benz 350SLC

We are planning on doing some additional car testing on Thursday in preparation for the rally.  It is interesting to me that this rally will be the first time in many years that I have competed with Harald von Langsdorff in the same car in consecutive rallies.

If you want more information about the Northeast Rally Club, then check out their website with the following link:   http://northeastrallyclub.music-mojo.com/

If you have any comments about this post or the Pumpkin Run, please leave a comment below or you can send me a private email message at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot net

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Dates And Route For The 2018 Mille Miglia Are Announced

The organizers of the Mille Miglia rally have announced that in 2018 the Mille Miglia will be held from Wednesday May 16 to Saturday May 19, 2018.  Entries into this very prestigious rally will be considered after October 24, 2017.  It is not easy to have your entry accepted, therefore perspective entrants should begin preparing their entry documents as soon as possible.

The route for the 2018 Mille Miglia was also announced.  The 2018 Mille Miglia route is shown below.

2018 Mille Miglia Route

The southern portions of the route are significantly different from recent years.  The shape of the route in 2018 favors spectators in the southern portions.  A spectator could watch the cars on their way to Rome on May 17 and then with only a rather short move westward, watch the cars on May 18 when they leave Rome on their way to Parma.

I intend to have more about the 2018 Mille Miglia in the upcoming months, but if you have any comments or questions about this post or the Mille Miglia, then leave a comment below or you can send me a private email message at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot net

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Original Inspiration For Chop Top American Hot Rods?

This spring after, Harald von Langsdorff and I competed in the Baden Classic rally we went to visit the Schlumpf Collection at the National Automobile Museum in Mulhouse, France.  This is a spectacular museum.  There are 400 cars on exhibit and another 120 on reserve. A further 20 cars are on loan to other museums around the world.  The Schlumpf collection is usually associated Bugatti cars as there are 123 cars Bugatti on display, but there are also many other famous car makers represented. There are a great number of French cars from manufacturers that I had never heard of.  Many of these early French cars are small or compact cars from manufacturers who have long disappeared.

The story of the Schlumpf collection is very long and very interesting with sporting, financial, and political aspects.  Someday I will present a summary of the interesting and often sad story behind this collection.

In the vast collection of Bugatti cars I found two cars that perhaps were an inspiration to American hot rodders who often chopped the roof of the Fords of the early 1930s.  I have included some pictures of these two Bugatti coupes.

I don’t know the Bugatti models well enough to know the model numbers of these two cars that I have shown in this post.  If anyone can help identify the models, then it would be appreciated.

Note the low profile of the roof line.  I can just imagine an American hot rodder looking at pictures of these Bugatti cars, liking the profile, and then taking the cutting torch to the 1932 Ford roof line in oder to reproduce this look.

These Bugatti coupes look like they placed a coupe body on a Type 35 race car.  Note the piece of equipment below the famous Bugatti front grille.  It looks like it might be a supercharger.  In addition to good looks, I expect that these cars were good performers as well.  I regret that I did not make some notes about this car when I saw it in France.

The Schlumpf collection at Mullhouse, France really requires a great deal of time to look at.  Harald and I were only able to spend a couple of hours there, but to do it right, then you would need a full day.  But what ever time you can spend there, it will be time well spent.

If you have any comments or questions about this post, or can help to identify these Bugatti cars, then leave a comment below or you can send me a private email message at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot net

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