Travel: Classic Group B Rallying and More at Race Retro

Classic Group B Rallying and More at Race Retro

Petrolicious Productions By Petrolicious Productions
March 3, 2015
7 comments

Story & Photography by Nat Twiss

Far too many cars from the golden era of rallying are kept pristine and collecting dust in hermetically-sealed storage by their owners. But on a cold, windy winter weekend in the middle of England, cars from this great age recently roared to life. I had such a treat this weekend seeing these fantastic machines thrown around the exhibition rally stage at Race Retro. Many of the titans of rallying were on stage, from the one and only Audi Quattro S1 to the iconic Mini Cooper, as well as a sprinkling of Ford Escorts and many other British marques. Plus, World Rally Champion and all-around motorsport legend Ari Vatanen opened the stage on Saturday!

This was accompanied by a great exhibition of classic cars and bikes in the exhibition halls, with marques like Ferrari, Lancia, and Lamborghini on display, alongside a great collection of art and memorabilia. The nearly 17-foot-long, 16.5-litre Fiat Isotta Fraschini land speed record car was also on display and was truly a sight to behold.

Silverstone Auctions also had a presence at the event, selling both an eclectic collection of classic cars and memorabilia. My personal highlight was a Jaguar XJS converted to a shooting brake – a real stunner!

All in all, Race Retro was a superb way to kickstart my 2015 season, and I hope that next year it’ll be back, bigger and even better.

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Per Eldh
Per Eldh

Its funny, Audi always seem to be mentioned when it comes to Group B. However, they even PULLED OUT of 1986 because Peugeot and Lancia were so much faster.
Remember this, whatever Audi/VW is trying to tell you. Understeer wont get you far.

JB21
JB21

Could someone identify the car in a picture, the one with “mix motorsport” sticker on? It’s ringing the bell in my head, but I can’t recall what it is and driving me crazy for last hour or so.

Nat Twiss
Nat Twiss

Hi JB!

I’m the author of the article, and I believe the Mix Motorsport car was a [url=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vauxhall_Firenza”]Vauxhall/Chevrolet Firenza[/url]. Hope that helps!

Gianni Burrows
Gianni Burrows

Great article and pictures Nat. Do you know who the SWB Quattro belongs to? It doesn’t look like John Hanlon’s Mouton Pikes Peak car.

JB21
JB21

Oooh, yes, yes, that’s it! Thank you, it was driving me insane! I was in a student’s mid-semester review, and all I could think about was that car!

Gianni Burrows
Gianni Burrows

I’d love to see the Group B cars again. I was lucky enough to be a teenager living in the Olympia, WA area in the 80’s. I got to see the last WRC rally for the Group B cars: the 1986 Olympus Rally. I’ve been scanning some of the pictures I took at that event plus other SCCA rallies held in Olympia on my blog. Hopefully it’s kosher to post a link:

[url=”https://vintagenwmotorsport.wordpress.com/”]Vintage Northwest Motorsport[/url]

Martin James
Martin James

” Far too many cars from the golden era of rallying are kept pristine and collecting dust in hermetically-sealed storage by their owners ” Errr …. Actually …. nothing could be further from the truth . In fact the overwhelming majority of classic rally car owners at the very least exercise and run their steeds on a regular basis … with many running in some of the better ‘ Classic Rally ‘ competitions regularly as well So no … its the pretentious majority of classic road car owners … a fair amount of the classic race car owners … along… Read more »