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Chris Sclater – it’s a name that many of our readers will be unfamiliar with unless you were a child of the '60s and '70s. But despite being relatively unknown in Australia, Chris Sclater was recognised as one of Britain’s most successful rally drivers of the period, and almost as well known as the late, legendary, Roger Clark. Like most drivers of his time, Sclater grew up with a background of British road rallies and “plot and bash” navigational events, commencing in 1966, his Ford Anglia, Cortina, Escort and Escort Twin Cam taking him to frequent podium finishes. Consistency lead him to sponsored and semi-sponsored drives and the list of vehicles that he rallied until his retirement included the Fords mentioned above, as well as Datsun 240Z, Datsun Violet, Toyota Celica, Chrysler Avenger, Vauxhall Chevette and others.
Chris Sclater

Chris Sclater provides a unique insight into his life as a professional rally driver.

His consistency and tenacity was rewarded when he was crowned British Rally Champion in 1971 at the wheel of an Escort RS1800 after contesting a marathon 15 events, as well as being second outright in the previous year’s British Rally Championship.
Sclater’s recently-released book, 'Chris Sclater, Memories of a rally champion', written in association with rally historian, Jonathon Pulleyn, delves into his long and sometimes difficult career, mainly self-funded but also, in the later years, supported by manufacturers such as Ford, Chrysler, Vauxhall, Datsun and others.
While the book is almost an interesting stage by stage account of the notable events that he has contested over the years, there is enough other 'meat' to make it an excellent read. We learn also that renowned photo/journalist Martin Holmes, whose work appears on www.rallysportmag.com, sat beside Sclater in over 50 rallies from 1974 to 1978 – other navigators and co-drivers included Henry Liddon, John Davenport, Mike Greasly and other notables.
Chris Sclater Ford Anglia

The early days in Chris Sclater's career, driving a Ford Anglia 105E.

Drafted into a two-car Vauxhall Chevette works team alongside Pentti Airikkala, Sclater describes the difficult working relationship that existed in the team and the tricks that were employed to get the upper hand. A brief review such as this does not do justice to a great story, but it’s nevertheless a book that we’d recommend.
At over 200 pages and with a great range of photos, it’s a great insight into rallying in the “good old days” when privateers such as Tony Pond, Jimmy McRae, Russell Brookes and others mixed it with the works teams and often won.
It was a period the likes of which we’ll never see again. Highly recommended. To purchase your copy, head to http://www.cjpublications.co.uk/
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