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The METEC Driver Education Centre in Bayswater North will come alive with the sights and sounds of significant rally cars from the 1950s to the 1990s this Saturday, February 29. It’s the second running of this event, the only one of its type in Australia, and owners of some of the most celebrated and valuable rally cars in the country will be invited to not only display their cars, but put them on a special 740 metre ‘special stage’ rally track for demonstration runs. The public will experience the sights and sounds of these special cars doing what they were built for – going fast in the forests and outback tracks, albeit tamed down to suit the setting. In a coup for organisers, a pair of rare Datsun 1600s have just been secured and will be one of the stars attractions for rally enthusiasts. The Datsun 1600s have been restored to be replicas of the Datsuns that came first and second in the 1970 East African Safari, prepared for the gruelling rally by the Nissan Motor Co. in Japan, 50 years ago. Owners Doug Fernie and Hilary Evans are delighted to have finished them in time for the Rally Retro Festival. “The cars look fantastic and we can’t wait to let rally fans see them up close and watch them on the demonstration runs,” Fernie said. It’s not only iconic and rare rally cars that will be on display. There will be a whole host of rally champions from the era.

Colin Bond's 1979 Round Australia Trial Ford Cortina will be on display.

Five-times Australian champion Ross Dunkerton is heading down from Queensland to drive a factory prepared Galant VR4. He will be flagged off by the 1990 Australian Champion, Ed Ordynski, who is making the trip over from South Australia. In all the organisers expect 11 Australian Champions to attend, covering championship wins from 1970 to 2011. 60 retro rally cars will be there. From a 1951 Peugeot 203 (as run in the 1953 Redex Round Australia Trial), to a BMC works UK prepared Austin 1800, a Nissan Japan works prepared Datsun Stanza. From the World Rally Championship there will be Mitsubishi Galant VR4s, a Renault Alpine, a pair of Fiat 131 Abarths, and a very rare Audi Quattro. Rally fans familiar with the Australian Rally Championship cars in the 70s and 80s will recognise the Ford Escort of Greg Carr, the Datsuns of George Fury and Ross Dunkerton, and the Mitsubishi Starion of David ‘Dinta’ Officer. The venue opens to the public at 10:00am and the cars take to the track from around 11:00am. Entry is $10 per car and the first 200 cars receive a Rally Retro show bag and a program. Visitors will be able to view the action from the car display area, as well as mingle with the cars and their owners. Where: METEC Driver Education centre is at 112 Colchester Road, Bayswater North.
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