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don't cut
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
An interesting comment on another thread was JB's "stand up of you remember when..." thing at Maine. This begs the question, how and when did organized stage rally start in North America??

According to my codriver, aka "the official old fart", it was an outgrowth of some TSD's being run in Michigan. The drivers started going faster, then waiting around the corner of the control to check in on time. The organizers saw this and began lowering the times, but the competitors kept making them. Things got faster and faster until one day someone said, "Huh, we maybe should think about reorganizing this with some closed roads, etc..." and thus stage rally was born.

But what do I know? Heck, I wasn't even born yet! So Uncle Jimmy, Kim "old fart" DeMotte, and the rest of you lifers, what's the real scoop?

Dennis Martin
[email protected]
920-432-4845
 

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don't cut
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You got it except that it wasn't just in Michigan. Same thing happened down here in Texas with the Big Bend Bash and the Chisum Trail rallys. And some of the TSDs like Rustlers Run weren't exactly slow. I remember working a checking point for Rustlers Run in the mid 70s. Here came a Mustang Mach 1 at a speed of at least 100 into a 90 left which much squealing of brakes, tires, and lots of diving control workers. As I run up to the car when it finally stopped way past the checkpoint, I heard the driver, a woman, hollering at the male navigator "WHAT DO YOU MEAN I AM ONE MINUTE EARLY?"
Richard
 

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L1 !!! HPR into HPL
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>An interesting comment on another thread was JB's "stand up
>of you remember when..." thing at Maine. This begs the
>question, how and when did organized stage rally start in
>North America??
>
>According to my codriver, aka "the official old fart", it
>was an outgrowth of some TSD's being run in Michigan. The
>drivers started going faster, then waiting around the corner
>of the control to check in on time. The organizers saw this
>and began lowering the times, but the competitors kept
>making them. Things got faster and faster until one day
>someone said, "Huh, we maybe should think about reorganizing
>this with some closed roads, etc..." and thus stage rally
>was born.
>
>But what do I know? Heck, I wasn't even born yet! So Uncle
>Jimmy, Kim "old fart" DeMotte, and the rest of you lifers,
>what's the real scoop?
>
>Dennis Martin
>[email protected]
>920-432-4845

Richard has some of the story but, I believe the POR was the event Kim was talking about, an SCCA National Road Rally with what were hoped impossible to make speeds into TSD checkpoints. Then in 1968 POR created what they called back then an "M Stage", I guess M for Michigan or something like that. It was called Conners Flat for the name of the Stage and because of its' newness, etc. the organizers did not want any spectators out there (yes, there were spectators back then) although most were rally types just following along with the event. POR that year was two all nite sessions with the over day halt I believe in Grayling or was it Gaylord, I always get those two confused. A real fun event with one competitors wife really angry she wasn't in the car and trying to find Conners Flat to block the cars. Needless to say, we snuck out of the Total Station to go spectate the first US Stage and keep the unnamed person away.

Yes, I remember the husband and wife's name and his driver but, for the sake of all, will not name them. Private inquiries are welcome and may bring out a confirmation.


David Weiman
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I think that "stage Rally" in NA got its start with Canadian "selectives" and possibly portions of the Shell 4000.

The Great North is, afterall, a part of Norte America.

Cheers.
 

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Straight @ "T"
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See if you can get/borrow a copy of "In like a lamb, out like a lion", Tom Grimshaw's biography of John Buffum. It discusses the early days.
JimB
 

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SCCA used to have a film library from which the regions could borrow to show films at meetings. In 1980, I got out an 8mm flick of a rally in No. MI; it showed the typical cars competing, like Gene Henderson's '65 Cuda coming sideways down a rutted logging road. It would be awesome to find if SCCA still has this film.

Is there anyone at SCCA HQ who is the librarian or archivist??

Mark B.
 

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Faster Mabricator
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RE: History of NA Rally 1958-62

I have framed and mounted all my late father's SCCA TSD dash plaques from 1958-1962. Seems some of the rally's names are still be used today.

Plus a hoard of his trophies. Seems the popular trophy in those days were engraved pewter trays, mugs, vases and bowls.

And many black & white photos of various rallycars of the era.
 

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RE: History of NA Rally 1958-62

Dave,

If you have information on results of the very early stuff, you should contact Ed Brennan. He and Diane run the www.rallyracingnews.com site, the BEST and most COMPLETE resource for stats and results in US rally history. He is still looking for some results from the very early stuff to complete the data.

Eric
 

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1973 WRC POR
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Dennis:

If you go to the Historic Rally Conference, there are approximately 100 current topics and 117 archived topics. Most of these deal with the history of our sport in North America. There are also good links to sites with lots of photos from the 1970s and 1980s.

It will probably take you a few hours to read through them all, but you might find the effort very rewarding. A number of very knowledgeable rally old-timers have posted information in this conference.

When I was rallying, I always made a point of learning as much as possible about what had gone on in the sport before I became involved. Not many of today's competitors have adopted this approach.

However, I do find it refreshing to know that two of Canada's best rally drivers, Andrew Comrie-Picard and Antoine L'Estage, are both extremely knowledgeable about the history of rallying, in North America and around the world.

So, take some time, read through the posts, and see what you find.

Better still, why not visit a rally in Canada this year, Defi or Tall Pines, buy me some beer, and I would be happy to talk your ear off (as long as the beer keeps coming).

Doug Woods
 

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don't cut
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
>Dennis:

>
>Better still, why not visit a rally in Canada this year,
>Defi or Tall Pines, buy me some beer, and I would be happy
>to talk your ear off (as long as the beer keeps coming).
>
>Doug Woods
>
>

Actually, my codriver already does that. Hmm, 60 mile transit...storytime. I was just hoping to determine if all the war stories he told me were real or BS. :) And you are correct, it is very useful information. Things like "back in 1976, everybody used to crash here, so be careful" or "if you use a tree limb and the jack handle, you can pry that fender off the wheel. Did it once in '81." I find it all very interesting, and I was hoping to bring a bit out onto the main forum so that others might learn a bit as well.

Dennis Martin
[email protected]
920-432-4845
 

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1973 WRC POR
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>Actually, my codriver already does that. Hmm, 60 mile
>transit...storytime. I was just hoping to determine if all
>the war stories he told me were real or BS.

Dennis:

If he is an Official Old Rally Fart, they must be true.

Doug Woods
 

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I love rally history. All the same things that make rally great in 2004 made rally great in 1964: innovation, endurance, character (of cars and teams), shrewdness, strategy, focus.

You guys know that snow tires, window heaters, auxiliary lights, and a myriad of other innovations had their development on rally cars, right?

And that rally has always been dominated by sleeper cars with more intelligent and rugged engineering, from the Merc 300SE, to the Citroen DS, to the Saab 96, to the Amazon, to the Mini, to the Fulvia, to the Alpine, to the 510SSS and Corolla, to the Wagoneer (America, incidentally, gave rally AWD in the form of Gene Henderson), to the Saab 99T, to the Quattro, right up to the Legacy and the WRX. I kind of like my Evo 4 over the later models because although all the underpinnings are the same, it uses body panels from a Mirage. Can't get much more sleeper than that.

Actually the few glam rally cars - Alpine, Stratos, and 911 - really were about exotic weight distribution that gave them an advantage when driven well.

Having driven almost all the cars above, I can tell you that I am no longer surprised that all of them show shockingly good handling, years or decades ahead of their time. A Merc SE / Volvo 122 / Min / DS / Legacy is still a great sleeper in modern traffic. OK the engines suck, but then they aren't turbos (geddit?).

ACP
Flirting with the laws of physics.

Oh PS - the events! I have on the wall in front of me rally plates from the 1957 International 1000 (run across the Canadian-US border), and the 1961 and 1968 Canadian Winter Rallies. The Shell4000 haunts me. We're sissies compared to the competitors of that era.

I have amassed almost all the books I know on rally, including some obscure ones like Sprinzel's "Sleepless Knights," Gunnar Palm's "Tricks of the Rally Game," and Marcus Chamber's "Seven Year Twitch." The US even made a contribution to the canon in the form of Eric Anderson's "Performance Rallying" of 1974(?). Also Rally magazine of the same era.

And the marathons alone! "Sideways to Sydney" "Marathon" "A Boot Full of Right Arms" "The Longest Drive" "Mexico or Bust" "Safari Fever" - they read like novels but they're about particular events. Ripping yarns.

Whoops. I'll shut up now.

Oh, except if anyone has any other books or plaques or memorabilia I'm a NUT for it all. And it gets displayed with my own plaques and trophies: the Maine 2004 plate is beside the Maine 2000 plate (my first national stage rally) which is beside my Monte Historic 1999 plate (my first rally), and beside the 1959 Golden West National Rally plate (40 years before my first rally and 12 years before I was born). I'm just a traveller on the long rally road, and I'm still awed to see the Buffums and Woods and Hendersons and Andersons and others around today.

Also I have a fetish for Haldas, Aifabs, Langwells, Curtas, Heuers, etc. Some ones that I've never seen fascinate me: anyone have a Heuer RoBo? Or my Holy Grail: a Kearfott?


A
 

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L1 !!! HPR into HPL
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OK Andrew, what is a Heuer Robo? Don't think Heuer ever made a rally computer, on the other hand, a Robo was a homemade computer made by Rodger Bohl, hence the name Robo. Roger and Kathy were several times Road Rally National Champions from Holmdel NJ. Roger was an Engineer at Bell Labs and to my knowledge used the Robo throughout at least the last years of his carreer.

Last time I saw Roger and Kathy was at the Years End Divisional Rally in Dallas between Christmas and New Years 1968.


David Weiman
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>>Actually, my codriver already does that. Hmm, 60 mile
>>transit...storytime. I was just hoping to determine if all
>>the war stories he told me were real or BS.
>
>Dennis:
>
>If he is an Official Old Rally Fart, they must be true.
>
>Doug Woods

Trust me. He qualifies.

...on the other hand, I guess I sorta do too...
 

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SCCA instituted the PRO Rally Championship for the 1973 season. Scott Harvey was the driver champion, Wayne Zitkus the co-driver champion.

I attended my first PRO Rally in Dec 1975, the EL DIABLO run out of Green Bay, WI in the Nicollet Natl Forest.

Tim (the older) Winker
 

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don't cut
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
>SCCA instituted the PRO Rally Championship for the 1973
>season. Scott Harvey was the driver champion, Wayne Zitkus
>the co-driver champion.
>
>I attended my first PRO Rally in Dec 1975, the EL DIABLO run
>out of Green Bay, WI in the Nicollet Natl Forest.
>
>Tim (the older) Winker

Kim has talked about El Diablo, but I don't know much more about this event that ran in my back yard. Does anybody have some old route books or stage maps I can copy so that I can go and scout some of these roads? Who knows, maybe in a couple years we'll see an El Diablo ClubRally.

Dennis Martin
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920-432-4845
 

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Dennis-
You realize the Wisconsin Glacier Trails TSD (also titled "El Diablo Revisited") last year in November was actually using a lot of the old stage roads put on in El Diablo. It was put on by WAG, was a great event, and the roads were awesome (I worked sweep). John something or other was there and was the original rallymaster back in 67-69 or something like that, it was really cool to have him there. I met a lot of old ProRally guys there and had a blast.

I think its slated for Nov 8th this year again, I plan on going even if its just a TSD, not sure if I'll be in my rally car or my WRX, we'll see which one is straighter after LSPR. Considering how close it is you may want to try to make it just to check the roads out. They base it out of eagle river, wi at a resort that I can't remember the name of right now.

Jay
#583 G5
 
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