First- and second-generation Ford Escorts are some of the most popular vintage rally cars in Europe. They're eligible for import via the 25-year rule, which means people are starting to rally them on this side of the pond too. If you're looking for a good time on dirt, the Escort is the car for you. Here's an unrestored Mk1 model up for bidding now.
These events were road races in all but name, but in Italy such races were still allowed, and the Mille Miglia continued until a serious accident in 1957 caused it to be banned. Meanwhile, in 1981, the Tour de France was revived by the Automobile-Club de Nice as a different kind of rally, based primarily on a series of races at circuits and hillclimbs around the country. It was successful for a while and continued until 1986. It spawned similar events in a few other countries, but none survive.
But this wasn’t enough. By 1984 rallying was all but deregulated, and Audi Sport introduced the Sport Quattro: a shortened, more powerful version of the original coupe, and regulations insisted that 214 were built for the road. With its wheelbase shortened a meaningful 12.6 inches between the B- and C-pillars, the Sport Quattro was more nimble and the bodywork featured numerous GRP and carbon-Kevlar panels. A massive KKK-K27 turbocharger helped increase power to 302hp on the road, while Stig Blomqvist had access to over 450hp in the rally Group B version.
In the wake of the ever more advanced rally cars of the 21st century is a trend towards historic rallying (also known as classic rallying), in which older cars compete under older rules. This is a popular sport and even attracts some previous drivers back into the sport. Many who enter, however, have started their competition careers in historic rallying.
Her partnership with Sanders on the climate emergency declaration offers a new rallying cry for White House hopefuls trying to mobilize voters on the party’s left flank who want a stronger focus on global warming from the Democratic nominee. — Elana Schor, BostonGlobe.com, "Plan by Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez to declare climate emergency," 9 July 2019 After it was first recorded in the 1960s, the haunting song of the humpback whale became an environmental rallying cry, a source of scientific curiosity and even a meditation soundtrack. — Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Listen to the First Known Song of the North Pacific Right Whale," 24 June 2019 Mr Morsi’s death might provide a rallying point for Mr Sisi’s foes. — The Economist, "Muhammad Morsi, Egypt’s only democratic ruler, dies in court," 17 June 2019 This would seem a fierce rallying cry in the culture war, but really — like the denunciations of the American political order from a smattering of Catholic writers — comes from a place of despair that, if acted on, would promise only futility. — Rich Lowry, National Review, "The Post-Liberal Dead End," 7 June 2019 But can women’s soccer, long of minor interest in France, truly become a national focal point or, better yet, a rallying point? — Christopher Clarey, New York Times, "France’s Men Won the World Cup Last Summer. Its Women Want a Title to Match.," 6 June 2019 The yellow-vest movement, which began in November as a protest against an increase in gasoline tax, has become a broader rallying cry against Mr. Macron. — Noemie Bisserbe, WSJ, "Calls for Yellow-Vests to Debate, Not Demonstrate, Fall on Deaf Ears," 19 Jan. 2019 Unlike many celebrities, masters of feeds that serve as shrines to themselves, Hathaway is more likely to compose an inspirational message, a political rallying cry, or—gasp—a picture celebrating another star. — Elizabeth Holmes, Town & Country, "Anne Hathaway Is Nobody's Punching Bag," 8 Jan. 2019 This week the trade war was escalated and markets shrugged it off with copper rallying. — Paul Garvey, WSJ, "Copper Surges as Tariff Fears Ebb," 21 Sep. 2018
Rallying is also unique in its choice of where and when to race. Rallies take place on all surfaces and in all conditions: asphalt (tarmac), gravel, or snow and ice, sometimes more than one in a single rally, depending on the course and event. Rallies are also run every month of the year, in every climate from bitter cold to monsoonal rain. As a result of the drivers not knowing exactly what lies ahead, the lower traction available on dirt roads, and the driving characteristics of small cars, the drivers are much less visibly smooth than circuit racers, regularly sending the car literally flying over bumps, and sliding the cars out of corners.
When rallying really took off in the ’80s and ’90s it spawned a new type of performance car. These cars were built for tarmac and mud stages, so their road-going cousins were naturally well-suited to real world conditions. What’s more, they often had four doors, plenty of legroom and a boot (trunk) in the back. And the best bit? Pretty much anyone could buy one and, depending on how deep your pockets were, become Blomqvist, McRae, or Mäkinen.