I’m currently researching a piece for CC covering the history of Britain’s Rootes Group, the company behind Hillman, Humber and Sunbeam cars, as well Commer trucks, and found this wonderful piece of period promotional film dressed up as reportage.
The Safari Rally through Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika (now Tanzania) has long been recognised as one of the toughest rallies on the world rally calendar, and this comes through. What also comes through is how much world class rallying has changed in 50 years.
And if you’re familiar with the BBC from the 1950s to the 1970s, you’ll recognize the voice of Raymond Baxter, a Spitfire pilot, a rally competitor with Rootes and subsequently the Publicity Director for BMC and perhaps the Corporation’s most distinctive, clearest and authoritative commentators and presenters for technical, scientific and motorsport programming.
So, settle back, pour yourself a coffee or whatever (a rum and coke, Mr Shafer?) and enjoy the triumph of those plucky British underdogs, and start identifying and recording the defunct variety of brands you’ll see. To help, to inspire, or to remind again how much rallying has changed, the first car you’ll see is a Renault 4. And, yes, Pat Moss was Sir Stirling Moss’s sister
What’s not to enjoy?