Classic Yorkshire tackles the Mintex.

Here at Classic Yorkshire, we want to bring you different ways to use your classic car and so we plan to take part in low impact events such as demonstration rallies, hill climbs and displays.  We are starting with the Mintex recreation running on April the 8th and 9th.   In a series of articles, we will tell you what is involved with each event, along with estimated costs and any specialist requirements.

Mike Cowlam (left) and Ian Clark will be taking part in the Saab 96.

For the Mintex Classic Yorkshire writer Mike Cowlam will be navigating for Ian Clark, owner of a Saab 96 V4 built as a tribute to Stig Blomqvist who has driven this car in a previous demonstration event.  Ian is a member of the excellent Rallying History who organise events and displays for rally cars.  Whilst our car is rally prepared it is not a requirement for the Mintex or any of the other events organised by Tim Nash and his team.   However, I think a sump guard is probably a good idea.  If your car is rally prepared then the equipment doesn’t have to be in date as this is not a competitive event and is not timed.  However, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t some spirited driving on the special stages. 

A key part of the event is the social side and there are plenty of opportunities to meet the other teams at meal breaks, coffee stops and the formal dinner at the end.   There are also a number of star drivers who take part and so you will get the chance to get up close to professionals.

The event recreates the 1980 event which was part of the British Rally Championship and is one of a series of events around the country organised by former rally driver Tim Nash.  Whilst the most suitable cars are ex rally cars some non-competition classic cars and supercars are permitted.  There is also no need to have all the safety equipment such as crash helmet and fireproof overalls. Featuring six stages the rally starts in Harrogate before visiting six special stages including Church Fenton, Odsal Stadium and Duncombe Park.

If you have a classic rally car it can be expensive to keep the car eligible for competition use.  Proper motorsport requires a helmet, Hans device, fireproof overalls, fireproof underwear, gloves and balaclava.  What’s more they have to be replaced every 10 years regardless of use.  But that’s not the end of it.  The seats and harnesses also need to be in date.  Overall, you can be talking about £3 000 plus to keep your car compliant.

We will be driving a 1973 Saab 96V4 prepared for rallying by Saab specialists Malbrad of Huddersfield.  The car went from scrapyard to historic rally car in just six months and replicates the successful SAAB rally cars driven by Stig Blomqvist and Yorkshire rally star Jack Tordoff.  Jack drove a similar car in a number of the British national and international rallies as well as the International Swedish Rally.

Said Ian Clark

I have been a fan of rallying since I was a child.   I was a member of the Airedale and Pennine club and over the years I owned and rallied a number of cars.   But my favourite was always the Saab 96V4 as driven by Stig Blomqvist.   In 2014 I bought a car from a scrap yard and had it completely rebuilt to rally spec.  These demonstration events allow us to show the car being used the way it was intended.

This type of rally tour cost around £450 to enter and on top of that there will be fuel costs and probably two nights in a hotel so you need to budget £800 for an event shared between two of you.  There are plenty of other much longer events where budgets of £5 000 plus will be required.

We will be writing a number of articles about the event and the car in the coming weeks.   If you come to one of the spectator venues and take some pictures, please send us them so that we can add them to our features (  ).

Further details of the Mintex and other events can be found on the link below. – Lombard Rally Bath – The UK’s First and Premier Rally Tour with Stages, followed by a dinner that recreates the magic of 70s and 80s rallies

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