The Dazda returns to rallying
- 10th October 2007, 10:48am
The Safari Rally on October 21 at Mundaring will see the return of one of the most successful rally cars of the 1980’s, the Rotary powered Datsun 1600. Long time rally friends John Ludlam and Leith Packer have restored the hybrid Datsun- Mazda back to a competitive form after being little used over the last 21 years.
“The car is basically as rallied in the 1980’s - all we have done is tidy it up and replace the 1970’s safety equipment with the current specification items,” John Ludlam said.
“There aren’t too many cars like this still in existence given the harsh life a rally car lives, but ours is a little unique in that it was built a few months before the end of the Group G era in 1986, so it only ever did a few events,” Ludlam added.
The Dazda was the brain child of multiple Australian Rally Champion, Barry Lowe, who needed a well developed rally car such as the Datsun 1600 was, but with the horsepower to keep up with the more fancied European cars such as the RS1800 Escort with the famous BDA engine.
The Mazda Rotary engine provided easy horsepower, capable of developing over 300bhp - far more than a Datsun engine could ever produce, hence the Datsun-Mazda ‘Dazda’ was born with immediate success. The Dazda set about changing the face of Australian rallying forever, causing rule changes that limited such cleverly engineered rally cars to the circuit or the shed for many years.
John Ludlam and Leith Packer will tackle the ball bearing roads around the Mundaring Weir in the Light Car Club’s Safari Rally, round 5 of the WA Rally Championship.
Dazda Motorsport is supported by Wearside Construction, Wearside Services, Race Breed Clothing and ULX110 oils.
Event details and spectator instructions are available at: www.lightcarclub.com.au
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