This is an instructional film for aspirational rally drivers titled A Ford Guide To Rally Driving. It’s narrated by Murray Walker, an icon of British motorsport who became known around the world as the lead Formula One commentator from 1976 until 1996.
The film begins with rally driver John Taylor giving advice on equipment, car set up, and suitable apparel. Taylor was the first-ever European Rallycross Champion in 1973 driving a Ford Escort RS.
He competed extensively in the World Rally Championship with many podium finishes, taking part in dozens of rallies in Britain, across Europe, and in Africa until he retired from professional racing in 1981.
This film also showcases the driving of Hannu Mikkola and Stig Blomqvist, showing their technique as Murray Walker talks the viewer through what they’re seeing.
Rally driver Russell Brookes also makes an appearance, he stresses the importance of sleep, and the importance of taking part in sports that improve your reaction times – quoting RAF best practices in the process.
Ford enjoyed a startling series of successes in rally in the 1970s, most notably by winning the WRC Manufacturer’s Championship in 1979 with their Ford Escort RS1800 – thanks in no small part to drivers Hannu Mikkola, Björn Waldegård, and Ari Vatanen.
Many felt that the Fords weren’t up to the challenge, they still made do with live axle rear ends in a time when most of the competition had long ago transitioned to superior independent suspension.
Despite this, the Ford were quick. Quick enough to win the title in fact. In 1981 Ari Vatanen won the WRC Driver’s Championship in his Rothmans-liveried Escort RS.
The first and second generation Ford Escorts became legendary for their remarkable success on the rally stages of Europe, and they remain highly collectible to this day.
If you’d like to read more about Ford’s rally history from this time you can visit the well-written Wikipedia article on the subject here.
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