Duke Video has once again delved into the BP Video Library and pulled out a couple of rarely-seen films that brilliantly capture the spirit and atmosphere of rallying’s special stages during the swinging sixties.
Being the selfless types, they have gone and placed these history-making programmes onto DVD, ready for you to watch in the form of their latest release: Rallying in the 1960s.
The first item – entitled “Lap of the Gods” – is an action-packed account of the 1966 Acropolis Rally. If you think the event is a stern test of man and machine today, just wait until you see what it was like back then.
For two days and two nights, more than 100 crews battled against searing heat, atrocious road conditions, lunatic lorry drivers and all manner of wandering wildlife, all the while combating continuous eye stinging and throat-choking dust.
The film follows the story of the rally from team debriefs through to its controversial conclusion, adoring the sights and sounds of classic machinery from Mini, Saab, Sunbeam, Ford and more being pushed to within an inch of their lives by rally legends such as Roger Clark, Paddy Hopkirk and Rauno Aaltonen.
They also make an appearance in the second feature called “Works Entry”.
The arduous, car-breaking, 1963 Alpine Rally is the setting for this film and, unlike the Acropolis event, we are treated to some quite spectacular scenery – passing through towns, villages and the picturesque countryside of the Maritime Alps.
Yet again, we get to go behind the scenes and see some of the crews preparing, this time courtesy of the BMC competition department in Abingdon who are busy putting together a selection of Austin Healey 3000 vehicles.
From there, we hop across the channel and see them gathering for the start in Marseille, before reliving the entire adventure, which includes plenty of buttock-clenching in-car footage around narrow mountain roads and, hilariously, competitors becoming stuck behind lorries that have become wedged down tiny backstreets!
Like Ronseal, Rallying in the 1960s does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s just a pity that there are only two films from the period to be found on the DVD. With a total running time of just a shade over 60 minutes, I was left wanting more.
But there is no doubting that what is on offer is brilliant and it offers a wonderful glimpse into what life was like as a rally driver nearly 50 years ago.
With plenty of sideways action and interviews with the stars of the day, Rallying in the 1960s should find pride of place on any retro rallying fan’s shelf.
|Format: PAL||No. of discs: 1|
|Region: 2||Studio: Duke Video|
|Running time: 67 mins||Release: 12 Mar 2012|
|RALLYING IN THE 1960s is available to buy now from Amazon.|