Take a balmy late summer day, a supportive crowd of rally ”tragics”, a gathering of more than 65 rally cars in the one place at the one time and you have a recipe for one helluva day.
Victoria’s “Historic Rally Association”, buoyed by the success of the inaugural event last year, went all out to make the 2020 Rally Retro Day a stand-out event.
And, for long time rally “nuts” like me and hundreds of others, it was a chance to not only mix with an eclectic variety of classic and current rally cars, but to mix with their owners, many of whom were there on the day to place their cars on display and to savour the atmosphere.
Walking amongst the rows of rally cars that dated from 1953 (a Round Australia Peugeot 203) to 1970s and 80s World Rally Cars (Toyota Celica GT4, Audi Quattro, and a Prodrive-replica Subaru Legacy) it brought back memories of rallies that were hard to ignore.
What was surprising, too, was the realization that we have in various Australian states and territories a terrific collection of rally cars that span the ages.
Many are cosseted by their owners and kept in isolation, others are put into regular use on the rally tracks of Australia.
It would be difficult to find a more diverse collection of cars than was on display at this particular event.
For instance, where else would you see an ex-works Toyota Celica side by side with a pair of Alpine Renault A110s or a Group 4 Fiat Abarth 131? Or an ex-works Mini Cooper S next to a S2000 Ford Fiesta?
Congratulations to all those responsible for putting on a great show under ideal conditions. Roll on Rally Retro 2021.
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