The Olympus Rally is a legendary event that people used to hear about in the advertising campaigns of big car manufacturers. In the 1980s, big car companies like Toyota, Nissan, Audi and Lancia had factory backed rally teams racing through the backroads surrounding Seattle Washington. It even used to be a leg of the World Rally Championship! That’s right – WRC on US soil!
If you love the glory days of WRC like I do, watch this video, which features cars like the Lancia Delta Integrale, Audi Quattro, Nismo S12 200SX, Toyota Team Europe‘s MA70 Supra and a privateer AE82 Corolla FX-16 GT-S! There’s even a few short clips of Rod Millen driving a Mazda 323 GTX (Mazda Familia) all wheel drive rally car! This 5 minute rally clip aired briefly on an Olympia, Washington TV channel in June of 1987. This clip was being shown to promote the 1987 Olympus Rally. It is footage from the 1986 World Rally season. Originally produced and edited by Bret Dodd.
I wish there were still rally events like this on US soil, where I could watch several of these great rally cars from the 1980s racing through the dirt! I think I’m getting some inspiration to attend some of the Rally America events this year…
:: Antonio Alvendia
There’s nothing preventing these Group B (and Group A) monsters from running rally events on US soil, except money. As in, they’re expensive to buy, maintain, and repair. The top class of Rally America allows for these vehicles to run against their modern counterparts.
You’ll still see some 323GTXs around, and some Audis, as well as a bunch of Toyotas (mostly Corollas). There was a guy a number of years ago, Ralph Kosmides (co-founder of Ruby’s restaurants) who was running a Supra turbo. That was pretty cool to watch.
Get out there, you’ll see some amazing action in all sorts of vehicles.
Wow!!! Rod Millen was driving a Mazda???
@SW Drifter: Yup! The Millens love all sorts of rally cars. Rhys Millen even has an old school Ford Escort that he’s building!
@Jon: Thanks for dropping knowledge on the subject! I think I really WILL prioritize getting us more involved in attending rally events! Are you pretty involved in Rally America?
Nothing says “America” more than a local who would shoot at anything that moved. And then one of the drivers ran into the sheriff driving his Mustang. Rally is so much fun to watch.
Rally! Always engaging to watch!
Motormavens! LOVE the old school rally vids guys!
@Jon – so many expensive racing concerns run here in America. Why is money such a huge deterrent for Rally as opposed to any of those others?
Sick video! Thanks for the history!
Rally is the boxing of motorsports!
@Keno – the boxing of Motorsports – that’s a great way to put it!
Personally, I just love to see those old Lancias, Supras, and Nissans in action! Wish I could get my hands on one.
@Jason – thanks! I love when motormavens posts videos like this one. It gives me something to keep me from going totally insane at work! LOL!
I’d love to see a “vintage” rally with some of the older machines. However Rally American along with USRC, has ton of great events all over the U.S. They make the events as spectator friendly as they can while still being safe. You won’t get any closer to the action than at rally event. Rally competitors, volunteers and fans are among the nicest I’ve ever met. Eclectic with their taste in cars and very passionate about the sport. Lately there has been a resurgence in lower cost 2wd and Rwd rally cars. This makes for some awesome driving to watch on the stages. Not that the 4wd open cars are anything to scoff at. I’ve been attending and shooting Rally events for the last 10 years and I have no intention of stopping any time soon.
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Man, this video gets me excited for summer. I can’t wait to rallyx and shoot some of the CRS events!
@Drew: That’s awesome. I hope to attend more rally events and learn more about that scene. It really looks fin and exciting. I might go to Ridgecrest with my friends next month….
Hey, hook me up with a link to some of your photos!
@Tim: What’s up man! Are you coming back out to Cali to shoot CRS? I thought you were in NV?