The Lombard Rally, 1980: Home to Flying Escorts and Eighties Hair of the Highest Order

·2 min read
Photo credit: VHS Rallies / YouTube
Photo credit: VHS Rallies / YouTube

This week on Rally Go-Go!, we turn the time machine to June, 1980, for the fourth round of the British Open Rally Championship, hosted among the forests and highlands of Scotland (Edinburgh even makes a couple cameos too). Fair warning: If flying Ford Escorts really lift your kilt, you're in for a treat.

Hark! It's Rally Go-Go!, a hit of vintage rally footage designed to send you sideways into the weekend.

With three rounds run, Ari Vatanen and Hannu Mikkola were rattling sabres at the top of the Open class, pitting their Ford Escorts against one another, and separated by only ten points in the drivers' championship standing.

Mikkola opened up a slim lead early in the rally, chased down by Vatanen, Stig Blomqvist in a Saab Turbo, and a trio of snarling Triumph TR V-8s. But the real stars here is the Ford Escort, seen here in its facelifted, second-generation form. The coupes came equipped with a legendary Cosworth BD-series engine (Bonus trivia: the "BD" comes from the cams, which were Belt-Driven), and the Mk2 Escort chassis is one of the winningest rally cars to ever shout down a gravel road in anger. You're watching greatness in the making here. And in fact, the world has yet to hear an angrier four-banger.

As the rally twists and turns through Scotland, footage of Vatanen and Blomqvist and their terrible/great hair and laconic english splices into the mix. While there weren't many lead changes at this edition of the Lombard Rally, the round ultimately closed the gap in the championship points for that season.

And we again marvel at the footage, complete with in-period broadcast. Crack a cold one and soak in the vibes from an era when sex was safe, racing was dangerous, and porn-star mustaches were de rigeur.

You Might Also Like

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting