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Believe it or not, there are advantages in being old. For instance, being old gives you the opportunity to cast your mind back to the glory days of the WRC and before, the period from the 1960s to the 1980s when rallying was a real adventure.

It also puts rallying into some sort of perspective when you realize that it was 50 years ago that cars like the Mini Cooper dominated rallying with works teams contesting rugged European events like the Monte Carlo Rally.

To most observers, those were the days when real rallying as we know it today, was born. No longer would major rallies be won by stock-standard Ford Zephyrs motorkhana-ing along the seafront at Brighton in the UK, or by Peugeot 203s braving all that the Australian outback could throw at them.

Special stage rallying was about to hit the big time, and the World Rally Championship was just around the corner.

Many of us are far too young to remember the real birth of rallying, but we can remember the era of the Audi Quattro, the Lancia Stratos, the humble Escort and the like, cars that epitomise the sport of rallying.

Fortunately we are reminded of these and other rallying icons in a new DVD just released, “The History of World Rally Championship,” which traces the sport’s history in a movie-length epic that runs for 104 minutes.

In this excellent DVD we are transported back to the very early days of rallying, the period when rallying was more than just a drive over some obscure European snow-covered mountain pass. In this two-part special we follow the evolution of the sport from its early foundations to the move to more professionalism in the 1960s and 70s.

Some exciting footage then centres on the Group B days in the 1980s, arguably rallying’s best period. Archival footage shows us the impact that Group B had on the sport before commonsense took over and Group A was introduced.

Exciting action from the 1990s and the noughties brings us right up to date by covering the current World Rally Car range with commentary and interviews with some of the world’s top drivers, co-drivers and team managers.

It’s a DVD that you’ll want to watch in small segments so that you can absorb the changes and the development that rallying has seen over the years.

Professionally edited and with some previously unseen footage, this new offering is a worthy addition to existing rally videos as it covers a period bordering on more than half a century. Well worth a look.

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