Travel: Rally Legend In San Marino Is Box Flare Heaven

Rally Legend In San Marino Is Box Flare Heaven

By Jacopo Villa
October 12, 2015

Photography by Federico Bajetti

The 2015 Rally Legend show was a celebration of rally history in the sport’s natural habitat: rain, mud and dirt. It’s events like these that show the dedication of the people who thread these rockets through narrow, curvy roads, where tarmac is often optional.

Bad weather doesn’t ruin a rally event: in fact, it seems to make it better. The 2015 edition in particular was celebrating 30 years of the S4, which made its winning debut in 1985. It was one of Abarth’s highly-praised creations born out of the talent of engineer Dario Lombardi. Abarth celebrated this anniversary by showing the highest number of S4s I have ever seen in my life.

In a few square meters there was the 037 of Toivonen and Crespo, the S4 of Biasion and Siviero, and Todeschini and Tabaton with the unborn ECV 1000 present as well. The Stratos was rightfully represented by Erik Comas, who wasn’t afraid of parking it under the rain near to other legendary cars, including the Audi Quattros and a screaming S1.

Unlike a Concours d’Elegance, where rain is always a deterrent for a good day, everyone from the cars to the teams was out in the elements in rain gear and a big smile. Remember: it’s not about shiny paint and low mileage, it’s about enjoying cars on the open road…even if they happen to be from Group B. 

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Edward Levin
Edward Levin
8 years ago

Great event; this and Vernasca are on my list.

“there was the 037 of Toivonen and Crespo” ‘t’, not ‘p’; it’s Sergio Cresto. And I’m afraid you mean the S4, not the 037. Toivonen and Cresto both ran in the 037s in 1985, but Toivonen’s co-driver was Juha Piironen, while Cresto co-drove with Andrea Zanussi. Toivonen and Cresto were paired in 1986 in the S4, and won Monte Carlo.

Bryan Dickerson
Bryan Dickerson
8 years ago

I think you’re right about the 037 but that’s not saying much. Look at the cars it ran against. The Quattro, Metro, Ford RS, the Renault T16, and the S4. What a bunch of brutish thugs….and some of the most awesome machines on 4 wheels – EVER! I think the S4 and the S1 Audi are my favorites. They look like they’re in a bad mood just sitting there. I really wish I could have seen these things live in their heyday. As a consolation I like to watch the YouTube footage of the 1985 1000 Lakes Rally where you see Stig B. in the Quattro come flying over the hill, pivoting in air, lands sideways, back up and over the next hill doing a wheelie and throwing rooster tails as he flashes past the camera! Good lord!

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger
8 years ago

Well this one sure as ___ put an ear to ear smile on this grumps face early in the afternoon . Jeeze … first a truly productive and great morning … and now this … mille grazie Jacopo ! And yeah … when doesn’t rain make a rally event classic or otherwise better ?

But errr … where’s a photo of the seldom seen and even less known ECV 1000 amico ?

And dang .. if the O37 isn’t the most beautiful rally car ever built I don’t know what is

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