Event>>autosport International Part Three

One of the biggest drawbacks of an event like the Autosport Show International is that it tries to illustrate a dynamic sport in an passive manner.

Cars parked are cars parked, it is not what they were designed for.

Perhaps the best/worst example of this would be rally cars. In our mind we associate them with being anything but static; sideways, jumping, even on the roof, yes….but not static. So observing other photographers trying to capture the essence of these wild machines was illuminating as they tried ever more bizarre angles of attack. So I figured that I should march in a different direction………..straight, no chaser.

Above is a fine example of the Lancia 037 from 1982 to 1984. It took the 1983 World Rally Constructors' Championship and was the last two wheel drive car to achieve such success.

The Lancia was overtaken by the rush to get four wheel drive, turbocharged/supercharged Group B monsters out into the forests. Austin Rover commissioned Williams Grand Prix to take their sedate Sunday crawler, the Metro and create a winner with it. Here is a Metro 6R4. Was it a success? Well up to a point Lord Copper………………

At the other of the scale and indeed the other end of the hall was a stand dedicated to historic rallying. This a thriving scene and one of the weapons of choice is the Mark ll Ford Escort, still sideways after all these years.

From one British Hero to another. Colin McRae was a superstar to the UK rally fans, actually to most rally fans all over the world. He was at the height of his powers driving the Subaru Impreza 555 in 1996, winning three times.

OK I did try a tilt myself………….this beautiful Lancia Fulvia Rallye would provoke a saint.

Fast forward to 2008 and the Ford Focus RS WRC

Another of the old school, rear wheel drive, hang the tail out gang is the Opel Ascona 400.

And the final variation of the car that killed off the rear wheel drive specials. The Audi Sport Quattro S1 still has a stunning prescence.

After the Group B Dream, that turned into a nightmare, sanity returned in the form of Group A. Lancia assumed control the Rally Universe. The Lancia Delta Integrale 16V won six times in 1990, enough to give the Italians yet another manufacturers' title.

More memories, more what might have beens, the Subaru Impreza WRC of Richard Burns…………..is it nearly five years since his passing?

And what collection of rally cars from the past thirty years of the the World Rally Championship would be complete without a Peugeot? Here is the 205 T16 which was perhaps the most successful car of the Group B era.

Then there is arguably the most iconic rally car of them all, the Lancia Stratos HF, an outrageous mix of Italian flair, style and power,

This the car that took Sandro Munari to victory in the 1977 Monte Carlo rally.

The chance to look back over 30 years of the World Rally Championship was provided by the Red Headed Step Child of the Haymarket Group, Motorsport News. We should be grateful to them for this rare treat.

John Brooks



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If you had to pick just one, which would you have? I'd love the Fulvia, no, the McRae Impreza, no, the Integrale, no, the Quattro...


Awesome collection! Can only dream of seeing Jimmy McRae competing on the 86 Manx in the 6R4...Colin in Catalunya with the 555, aggressive bang bang on max. Fortunately I got to see Burns in the S6 at Rally GB 99!


Nice gathering of some past heros from the rally history !


Always a big fan of rally and the Europeans do it right. Also cant wait to see how Ken Block is going to do with Ford in the WRC.


Awesome! The only thing missing are some Mitsubishis.


great photos! cant get enough of the rally history!


555 ftw! Love those first Imprezas!


The pillar exhaust Impreza looks fantastic x_x


Doriftosard, That is not a exhaust, its an air intake for the Safari Rally where they cross rivers almost as deep as the car.

That 205 is a wicked car, iv had the opportunity to have a ride in one. SO loud and the power was so brutal! Awesome.


what no evo 1, 2, or , 3 upset you bet i am


Also no GT-R, no Celica, no Japanese cars at all. Europe never has and never will take Japanese cars or tuning seriously. Their loss, too.


Great shots as always John! These cars are stunning and totally agree that they should be heard and seen at full flight to really appreciate them. These cars are the stuff of legend now, I doubt we will see the likes of them again. Although British per sae, McRae always waved the Scottish flag :P

D1RGE most of the cars above predate the GTR, and the GTR was never rallied internationally (it was Group A touring car). You forget the World Rally Celica's and Corolla's were run by TTE out of Belgium. so THEY did take Japanese cars and tuning seriously, even winning World Championships along the way.


John, love the direction you took on the photos. Sometimes we forget that doing things simple and straight is the easiest way to understand the shape and style of some of these machines.


d1RGE....last time i checked the WRC STi's are japanese cars....


Awww, Lancia Fulvia and Lancia Stratos, I'm in love....


Where were the Evo 2 and 3? Matter of fact, any Evo lol Celicas or the 99/2000 Corolla, Peugeot 206? Ford Escorts sigh..so many great cars weren't there still

The S1 and Pug T16 will forever be commanding cars with the looks alone


No Mitsub's?? love the lancia stratos, those Group B days were exciting to watch.. the fact that now you can buy that kinda of power practically straight out the showroom is a shame in some respects!! - (sigh)


I love those vintage rally cars!! Great thread ;-)


I think the best way to experience these cars is to go to a rally show. I went to one at Chatsworth a few years back and the noise coming from some of those group B cars, like the Metro 6R4, was immense! They were only running them round a short figure 8 circuit but that included tarmac, gravel, a jump and a water splash. Such a good experience!


what no Ford RS200?


I always thought that the 037 was awd? Was it really just mr.