1978 Criterium du Molson Rallye

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been sent some photographs by Peter Ousey of London, Ontario about some rallies that he did in Ontario and Quebec in the 1970s.  One of the events that he took part in was the Criterium du Molson that took place in Montreal and Mont Tremblant area of Quebec in September 1978.


Memorabilia From The 1978 Criterium du Molson

Peter was the co-driver along with Gary Powe in a Datsun 510 in this international rally that was a rare occasion when a North American rally was part of the World Rally Championship.  The Datsun 510 was a very popular rally car in North America in this era.


Gary Powe/Peter Ousey In A Datsun 510

The pictures of the competitors below appear to be at a location described in “World Rallying 1” by Hugh Bishop and Martin Holmes as the first stage “an artificial one on a municipal snow-tip, was tackled four times for the benefit of spectators, a hundred or so of whom showed up on the Thursday evening for the first two runs.  There were no more than twenty on the Friday for the second two runs.”  Not very flattering.

The photo below shows John Buffum/Doug Sheppard in a Triumph TR7 with the V8 engine.  The rally did not end very well for them as they were later disqualified for not wearing a helmet at one point.  More about this incident is in the write-up in “World Rallying 1” that I have attached to this post.


John Buffum/Doug Sheppard In A Triumph TR7 With The V8 Engine

The Saab 99 EMS shown below is interesting.  Not surprisingly the driver is Stig Blomqvist, but the co-driver is “Vicki”, who was John Buffum’s co-driver for many years. This car also DNF’d after 6 stages with gearbox issues.


Stig Blomqvist/”Vicki” In A Saab 99 EMS

The Criterium du Molson was won by Walter Rohrl/Christian Geistdorfer in a Fiat Abarth 131 with a large gap of about 8 minutes over his team-mate, Markku Alen also in  Fiat Abarth.


Walter Rohrl/Christian Geistdorfer In A Fiat Abarth 131

The picture below shows Timo Salonen sitting on top of the Avis van between stages at the Montreal snow dump.  Fiat had a very strong team at this event.  Fiat team driver Markku Alen finished second in this rally and went on to win the World Rally Championship in 1978 and Fiat was the world championship manufacturer in rallying that year.


Timo Salonen On Top Of The Van

The Fiat team of Timo Salonen with Erkki Nyman as the co-driver is shown below.  They did not finish the rally, dropping out after 9 stages with differential problems.


Timo Salonen/Erkki Nyman Later DNF’d

Peter Ousey sent along the follow results which appear to be those that were made available to the competitors.  It appears that Peter won a little cash!


1978 Criterium du Molson Results

The following is an abbreviated list of the retirements from the Criterium du Molson.


Retirements From Criterium du Molson

To see the complete write-up about this rally in “World Rallying 1” click on the following attached file:


The rally summary results also as published in “World Rallying 1” can be seen by clicking on the following attached file:


I want to thank Peter Ousey for sending these photographs to me.  Peter also sent me some other photos which I will be posting in the future.

If you have any comments or questions about this post or the 1978 Criterium du Molson 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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2 Responses to 1978 Criterium du Molson Rallye

  1. Fred Gallagher says:

    Nice feature Steve but that’s Timo Salonen on the Avis truck.

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