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In reading through the threads in the various forums, one topic keeps coming up as it relates to individuals who have been rallying for a number of years. That topic is who got them started in rallying. Many of us owe our involvement to others. I suspect that there are very few that decided on their own to get involved without first contacting an active participant for guidance.

As for me it was 1972, I was involved in autocrossing when I met John Fouse and Satch Carlson. I ran a few local rallies when they convinced me to drive to Fort St. John B.C. from Anchorage (1600 miles down the Alcan Hwy) for a high speed TSD Rally. After that I was hooked. John, Satch, and I continued rallying. My first major event was the Mountain Trials (a selective style event, if you can remember those) in Kamloops B.C. (2000 miles down the Alcan). I finished fourth my very first event, that is where I first saw some of the fast Canadians, Taisto Hinonin (spelling ?) and Walter Boyce. I still remember having to stop in the middle of the stages to open and shut the gates so the cows would not escape. John and Snatch were of great help when I started to compete in the lower 48. They were always there to assist even when I started competing with Rod Sorenson from Sacramento. I owe Rod more than I can ever say. I wish I could say that I was as committed as Rod was to the sport. He lived and breathed it every day. He helped me in every way possible. He became a masterful car builder (although with a few humorous side tracks; sometime ask about the exhaust over the roof RX 2). Rod built cars for me and later Hendrick Blok. He was a fearless navigator (even after I put him in the hospital when I hit a tree with the Alitalia Fiat Abarth up in Washington. Honest, I still don't think it was my fault, but 27 years later, who would believe me). Over the years I was assisted by others. It was a small family back then, everyone helped each other as much as possible. John Nagel, JB, Ken Adams, Tom Grimshaw, Ron Boeck, Jim Walker, Gene Henderson, Rod Millen, the list could go on and on. I count myself luck to have known these people and whish I could say thank you especially to those who are no longer with us.

I know that everyone has a story like this and I would be interested in reading some

Dan Goodwin
 

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Steve Hierholzer worked for me in Aberdeen in the early 80's. He was a transplant from the Seattle area, a Datsun parts guy. He had a white Datsun 1200 rally car. He had been in the sport for a while in the late 70's. Anyway, he got me hooked and in 83 I ran Olympus, my first rally, in a Datsun 1600 roadster, the white one with a homemade metal lid. Lots of moral support from Nagel and Gary Diebolt. Steve McQuaid ( current Olympus chairman ) helped a bunch also. I beat one car..Tim Sardelich, ( thanks Tim). It was pretty overwhelming back then, Buffum, Millen, Goodwin, Light,Carlson, Woodner,Henderson,Nowicki and many other larger than life figures. It wasn't just the top couple of guys that were stars, it was all of them. Who had the Puegot diesel 4 door ? I should have taken more pics and gotten autographs ! Gene
 

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Gary Eaton and his wife had the Peugeot. Dont forget these names from the past Dan Goodwin,Hendrik Blok,Roy Donison,Taisto Heinonen,Scott Harvey,Nick Moore,Malcom Smith,these all came off the list for the 1975 Olympus.
 

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Dan,
I still remember helping Tom Grimshaw work on your Sonett with the rotory engine. What ever happened to that car after the batteries blew up?
Richard Miller
 

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"I beat one car..Tim Sardelich, ( thanks Tim)."

Hey Gene! Your Welcome!! I was having a bad decade back then with those Corollas. I didn't know better. It was good seeing you at Dryad and Wild West. Eventually when I have time, I will add my little story to this thread.

tim
 

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Well I was reading a Subaru board one day and I came across a post from Paul Eklund looking for more service crew for Wild West (2004).

I'd never really paid much attention to rally before - and I'm English too, for shame! - I was always into Formula 1.

It sounded like fun though, so I responded letting him know my experience level (none), my enthusiasm (lots) and my work ethic (good) and he said 'come on down!', so I did.

I had a good time, so I signed up again... and again... :)

This summer I signed up for the Primitive rally school and branched out into TSD events, where I can rally on the cheap.

The next step is to get into stage rally co-driving and I just about have my stuff together. Trying to get involved in some build / upgrade work too... can you guess where I'm headed? :9

Anyway, I'm now a confirmed yumpaholic and busy trying to convert anyone who shows the slightest interest in the subject. }(

(And there is a surprising amount of interest, albeit accompanied by an equal lack of knowledge)

Edit:
Oh and I build webpages about my experience so I can share the fun... http://www.rallytales.net

130+ reads but only 5 replies? Come on, there must be more folks out there with a story to tell. I can't believe you've ALL been sniffing race gas so long you've forgotten how you got started! :p
 

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Well, my participation in rallying dates to 1970. The Northwest Ohio Region of SCCA used to put on a series of three novice tsd rallies each year and would pepper any likely looking vehicles in the student parking lot at UT with notices about them. My TR4A got one and my buddy and I, aspiring engineering students, obvious math wizards and sorta car guys, decided that we should give it a try. We were converted to the world of average speeds, pauses, course following rules and the like and played that game for a number of years. A small segment of the local rallyists were also doing something called “stage rallying” and that Fall a friend and I found ourselves recruited as service crew for POR for Charlie Sinclair and his Checkpoint Racing Associates Barracuda. It was an operation highly dependent on beer and motor oil. Service was a hoot back then, no predetermined service locations or schedule and POR covered much of the state of Michigan. Each service crew had to figure out where and when to meet up with their rallycar in the middle of nowhere and we traveled almost as many miles and almost at the same speeds as the competitors did. We were hooked. By 1972 or 1973 I was driving in MONY events back when you could wear sensible slacks and in 1973 ran POR and then Rally of the Rideau Lakes in 1974 when they were World Championship events. POR back then was three days (the first being 24 hours long), 2000 miles and the worst roads in the lower and upper peninsulas while racing from Belle Isle in Detroit to the Upper Peninsula and back to Alma, what was not to love? Went through two 510s and a 240Z and played the game until the late 70s when my wife and I discovered sailing and realized that you could have a beer while you were participating rather than having to wait all weekend until after you were done with the event. In the mid 80s I did a few years of codriving in a 260Z for a friend but then mostly lost touch while immersed in sailboat racing. Still watched rallying on the tube though and in 2000 in a decision made with about three hours notice decided to drive the 600 miles to Houghton to work LSPR. Got re-hooked on the sport (I equate it to malaria, once you have had it, you are always susceptible to a relapse) and found myself co-driving again by 2001. Been playing regionally since then, mostly Michigan events but have been to Tall Pines and 100 Acre Wood too. Gotten reacquainted with a lot of friends from days of yore and met many new ones.

It’s a great sport for those of us without the sense we were born with!

Kent Gardam
 

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OK, I'll tell you my story. '71 Summer and I tripped over a "gymkana" run by the SCCAA. The Sports Car Club of Ann Arbor. I was into photography then and when I took some shots of the cars, a fellow named Bob Bradley walked up and asked if I would take pictures of his club rally and give them as trophies. I take the shots go to the club meeting to give them out and all I here is Monti and POR talk. Before I know it I'm driving to Gaylord to take pictures of folks I don't know but everyone I meet treats me like a cousin. Doc Turpening, chief of controls let me study the route map so I don't get lost. After a sleepless night and some ok shots I make plans for POR and when I got back from it, I got fired from my job! Starting then I made sure my next job gave me weekends off. After teaming with my brother-in-law, I bought a '72,510 and events I didn't run I worked. Put a lot of miles in the summer/fall's with checkpoint routing for POR. The people is what made it fun... the likes of Walker,Henderson,Harvey,Bent Pahl,Keith Angel,Tom King,Rod Natho,Tom Tolles and Guy Light. The type of people who would pull their car off their trailer so you could put your broken car on and get it closer to home. I can look back and say before Woodner, and before Walker, and before Tolles, Ginny Reese was MY co-driver, and I taught her everything... lol
 

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1972 - when I was 17 I was having one of my BMW's serviced at a BMW dealer in Detroit. I saw a really cool BMW 2002 PRO RALLY car. It had a roll bar, fancy lights, cool stuff inside the car, etc. That was my first exposure to a rally car.

1973 - started in some TSD rallies in Colorado in a '73 BMW 2002.

1973 - bought a 1970 Porsche 911 that had run the POR a year or two earlier.

1974-1976 ran lots of "track day" type events at Nelson Ledges and Mid Ohio, crewed IMSA, etc, ran a bunch of TSD rallies.

1977 - was getting money together to run a car in IMSA, but decided to try rally because it was much less expensive, not full of all sorts of rules, and generally struck me as more fun.

1977 - ran Sunrush rally school in Ohio.

1978 - ran my first PRO RALLY... Sunriser 400. (24 hour rally)
 

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In Sept. 1966 I read some articles in Road & Track about rallies. The guy sitting next to me in a college english class was into cars like me and I asked him if he would like to go on one(TSD). We still
rally together to this day.
We ran a lot of TSD rallies. I did about 8 or 9 of the 4 day "MG 1000" rallies put on by the MGCC long Island NY group.
We did "performance rallies" in the NY,NJ,Penn. area, NQP and the like.
I worked PRO rallies and in 86 we got a car together and ran Pro events on and off till 1997.I organized a few club level Pro events in Colorado.
The man that got me into organizing was Denny Gallagher of Asbury Park NJ with the NQP( Not Quite Pro) in southern NJ.

Nick
 
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