New Book About Long Time Rally Co-Driver/Navigator Willy Cave

I have just received a copy of a very interesting book about one of England’s most well-known co-driver/navigator – Willy Cave.  This book, “Putting Willy Cave On The Map”, has just been written by Pablo Raybould. I am really enjoying reading this book.  It must be understood that Willy Cave started rallying in 1950 and is still actively competing in car rallies. This year he competed in the 2018 Rallye Monte Carlo Historique at the age of 91.  So when you read a book about Willy Cave and contributed to by Willy, then the story goes a long way back.

Pablo Raybould’s New Book About Willy Cave

In the cover of Pablo’s book above, the lower photo shows Willy Cave, on the left, Marcus Chambers the BMC Competitions Manager in the center, and John Sprinzel rally driver on the right preparing for the Monte Carlo Rally in 1958.

The upper photo on the cover shows two Sprites (John Sprinzel’s Sprite is on the right)  at the 1959 Monte Carlo Rally in which Willy competed with John Sprinzel.

The book is full of images and information that I, as a rally navigator with an interest in the classic rallies, find interesting and not often found in rally books.  An example is the stylized map below that shows the general route of the Alpine Rally in 1961.


1961 Alpine Rally Route

The 1961 Alpine Rally totaled 3,035 kilometers and only two stages – Marseille to Chamonix and Chamonix to Cannes with a total of 10 tests along the way.

As you would expect, there are plenty of black & white photos as well as color photos in the book.  The photo below shows the Rover P5 Coupe that John Sprinzel and Willy Cave competed in, but had to retire from due to brake failure.

Parc Ferme At The Start Of The 1963 Liege-Sofia-Liege Rally

Pablo Raybould also included copies of letters sent by the various works teams to their rally teams in preparation for the major rallies.  An example is shown below.

Standard Triumph Rally Team Instructions For the 1957 Tulip Rally

Other uncommon information included in this book are copies of time cards from several rallies.  Below is a copy of a time card from the 1963 Alpine Rally.  In that rally Willy Cave  again was the co-driver for John Sprinzel, but this time in a 997cc Mini Cooper.

Time Card From The 1963 Alpine Rally

Also included in the book are even copies of some notes that Willy made to himself that he stuck on the dash of the car to help him with the navigation.  Below are some notes that he made on a Ferodo Brake Linings note pad.  Things like that provide insight to the necessary preparation for major rallies at that time.

Some of Willy Cave’s Route Notes From The 1959 Alpine Rally

As you can see there is a lot of interesting information in this book about Willy Cave.  I highly recommend it. I am pleased that my copy has been autographed Willy Cave.  I met Willy briefly when I was competing in the 2016 Rallye Monte Carlo Historique.  He looked impressive with his Monte Carlo competition lapel badge with well over 20 bars.

If you want to get a copy of this book, then contact Pablo Raybould via the following email address:

If you have any comments or questions about this post or this book, 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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4 Responses to New Book About Long Time Rally Co-Driver/Navigator Willy Cave

  1. HANS ABRAHAMS says:

    Thanks so very much for information on this sure to be fascinating book, Steve! Those Tulip instructions were most interesting to see as the very car Mr. Cave co-drove in that event still goes strong today!

    • Hi Hans,
      It is a fascinating book. It is surprising how many of these older rally cars still exist today. I think that because the English use a system where, as I understand it, the registration number stays with the car, then significant cars don’t get lost as easily as they do in the USA.
      Steve McKelvie

  2. HANS ABRAHAMS says:

    Very good point Steve. The registration numbers usually stay with these cars for life in England. They can be changed, but it is rare to do so, especially if the cars have significant history. It makes it much easier to trace the ownership history of the car.

    • Hi Hans,
      I have never given this much thought over here in North America, but wonder why we don’t do the same thing over here? The only reason that I can think of is that it would destroy the “vanity” plate market.
      Steve McKelvie

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