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Epic 1984 Manx Rally footage

By Chris Thompson, 22 May 2017 News

Classic rallying video shows off drivers’ nerves of steel

1984 manx rally collage grid

Foggy weather seems to hinder most drivers today, but rally drivers have the skills to push through it – even if they can’t see a thing.

As if rallying wasn’t dangerous enough in the ‘80s, this classic footage we found on YouTube shows that it was sometimes far more difficult than we thought.

The video shows a 42-year-old Jimmy McRae and competitors almost flying (and sometimes actually flying) though zero-visibility conditions on the Isle of Man.

1984-manx-rally-Opel Manta 400
Though McRae’s first place get and Bertie Fisher’s second place are both impressive, what’s even cooler is seeing Tony Pond gunning it at full noise into thick fog, while steering a V8 Rover Vitesse.

Taking third place on a windy stage in a V8 is already a huge feat, but what’s more is that he even had to stop during the race to have its torque tube repaired. Make your own Rover jokes, please.

If you watch the video from 0:43, you get a glimpse of just how little Pond can see.

It’s not certain he would have finished in third place had flying Finn Hannu Mikkola (winner of the previous year’s British Rally Championship) not had gearbox problems which put him out of the race.

Another fun little insight into the perils of rallying comes immediately after Mikkola’s retirement from the stage, When the voiceover announces another driver’s VW GOLF GTI has hit the ground so hard that it’s injured his back.

1984-manx-rally-golf gti air
Though we’re always impressed by shows of bravery such as this, we’re glad things have progressed to the point where a driver can roll a car and still be able to walk afterwards.