Memory Lanes …Rally tales 4 is the latest in a series of A5 sized books being a compilation of various articles, stories and memories all related to the Motoring News Championships of the sixties and early seventies (some tentatively!) and to the previous Memory Lanes series of books.
This latest Rally Tales is 114 pages long and includes over 100 black and white photographs. The cost is still £12 including post and packaging to UK and Northern Ireland post codes. For other areas worldwide please request a specific quote from firstname.lastname@example.org PRIOR to ordering.
Shipments of this new Rally Tales have now begun.
The supported charity this year is Shooting Star Children’s Hospices
The subjects covered in Rally Tales 4 include:
- A detailed tribute to the late Martin Holmes. This covers 34 pages with some 40+ images and 22 personal tributes from his associates, colleagues and friends around the world.
- The Motoring News Championship Clan story – from beginning to end!
- A tongue in cheek look at classic rallying clothing.
- Living the dream, a tale of rallying from within the British Army.
- Anglia tales – their development and successes within the MN Championship.
- The Cilwendeg – possibly the favourite MN event?
Elwyn Manuel: Just received memory lanes Rally tales 4. Every bit as enjoyable as all the other six books by Peter Robinson. I got into rallying in 1973 and these books bring back so many memories. Though I competed mainly on stage events we always made sure we spectated on MN road events. So many tales that have slipped my memory and a great tribute to Martin Holmes. Waiting for the next one now.
Don Barrow: I received my copy of Rally Tales 4 today. It’s a great read and it was nice to read of other folks tales too. I did have a chuckle about the 1971 Cilwendeg rally tale with George Hill & Keith Wood going off on the last selective though. At the last fuel halt, they arrived and commandeered George’s girl friend’s car and told her to fill up the rally car as they disappeared into the night. As every second counted on the road, especially as in our case with a poorly engine, Jim Bullough and I needed to run as light as possible and as the car only did 8 miles to the gallon when peddled hard, I had instructed Jim to only get 4 gallons. Checking my map for the last selective I thought to myself the petrol is taking rather a long time. I hopped out of the car only to see the guy had put 10 gallons in. After a heated discussion the guy agreed to syphon out the unwanted 6 gallons. He even offered them for free, but that was no good, we needed to be as light as possible, can you imagine the bedlam that this caused at the pumps? But it did not finish there, George’s girl who was at the other side of the fuel pumps did not have sufficient money to pay for the fuel and so there was pandemonium everywhere with other competitors also wanting fuel. Eventually our problem was solved and we prepared for the final battle over the last selective. With about 5 minutes before departure time, George and Keith re-appeared and finally paid for their fuel. It turned out they had been and made pacenotes for part of the selective. Alas, poetic justice was fully served when they went off the road and lost 12 minutes…. ! Jim and I had a fantastic run and propelled ourselves into the lead only to be cruelly robbed of our well deserved win. [Editor’s note: the full background to this last comment is told in the book!]
Allan Jones: It’s not very often that I get nostalgic after reading a book but when Peter Robinson’s Memory Lanes…Rally tales 4 dropped through my letter box over the weekend it soon brought back good memories of rallying in the late 1960s. In it is a brief history of the Cilwendeg rally and contained a photo of Colin Malkin/John E Morgan at the start of the 1969 event. Unbeknown to many the two standing on the left handside in the photo are the winners of the 1967 event namely the late Alwyn Jones and Raymond Jones. Alwyn was the owner of Emlyn Garage where all the documentation for the event took place. The 1967 event was as usual a tough event and the Motoring News report written by John E Morgan (JEM) who sat beside Malkin in 1969 outlines this fact. Some notable names of that era are on the entry list. Why have I got this report? Well at 15 years of age I navigated the late Pete ‘Watch’ Davies of Llandysul to 6th overall on the event in a Ford Cortina GT…nostalgic, most definitely for me.
Andrew Bodman: As with previous editions it was an enjoyable read and I thank you for all the hard work that has gone into creating this book. I greatly appreciated the tributes to Martin Holmes which provided a very full view of this person who gave so much to rallying. I also appreciated the chapter on Anglias and I did for a while compete as a navigator in one. This was at club level not at Motoring News level in ’73 and ’74. My driver Mike Nixon did the usual mods of a Cortina GT engine, 2000E gearbox, van rear axle ratio and Classic front struts. His unusual modification was to fit a steering rack from a Hillman Avenger, which was more precise and provided a tighter turning circle.
Peter Riddle: I’ve just finished reading Rally Tales 4 – a super booklet, thank you.
So many memories……..
I’ve just got back in contact with Colin Spooner, a former colleague at Lotus, after nearly 30 years. Colin was one of the ex-Lotus men who went to Washington to design/develop/launch the Clan. In the early 70s one of my friends bought one to go rallying. I’m not sure if he ever competed in it, but I had a few rides in it and thought “this car must be impossible to navigate in!” due to the noise and the seating position. Before I received Rally Tales 4 I’d just written an article for the Sporting Car Club of Norfolk’s magazine that featured Clans. I had a brief chat recently with Andy Dawson to make sure I’d got my facts right.
Back in the ‘70s, myself and Russell Brookes were both members of Redditch and District Motor Club. He was always very free with advice to younger club members like me. “If you enjoy working on cars, rally a Mini. If you prefer driving them, rally an Escort”. But I couldn’t afford an Escort, so a Mini it was for me. He used to sometimes wind people up by saying they should drive in fog with all their beams on max output to “see through the murk”!
I started rallying in Army Land Rovers when I was in the TAVR in Liverpool in the 70’s. Best results were 15th o/a and class win out of 70 entries on a N. Wales Restricted, and runner up out of 150 entrants on ‘Exercise Black Dragon’, The Reserve Army Driving Championship. That was an all-weekend event, much as you describe on pages 31/32. I’m not sure if I ever competed against Les, but I did compete against John Hemsley a couple of times. While I was working for Ford, Mick Jones gave me a very fast ride in that Escort round Ford’s Boreham test track. Roger Clark had just retired from the ’79 RAC with engine failure. The Boreham lads had just fitted a new engine and Mick wanted to give the car a good shakedown. He wrung its neck – quite a driver was our Mick!
Ford Anglias – my old stage rally co-driver from the 1980s is building himself a red rally Anglia right now. He lives on Mykonos, so comes back to the UK on parts-buying sprees.
Martin Holmes – I competed against him a few times in the early 70s and I wrote an obituary for him for the Sporting Car Club of Norfolk’s mag. I called him ‘Mr. Rallying’, and there he is on page 89, with Russell in POO 505R.
I see you might do a reprint of Rally Tales 2. If you do, you’ve already sold one to me.
Jim Gavin: I’ve just finished reading the book, the obits for Martin were wonderful. I bet he’d be very proud – and embarrassed of course, but proud.