Indeed, a rugged Volvo PV544 driven by Swedish legend Tom Trana won back-to-back Rally GBs in 1963 and 1964. and two years later Trana returned to the podium, this time finishing third in one of Volvo’s more modern Amazon saloons – an achievement which will be heralded on this month’s Wales Rally GB 26-29 October.
Keen to mark that 1966 milestone, Ken Davies from Hereford has entered this year’s event in his own classic Volvo Amazon rally car. Adding to the significance, with the 1967 event being cancelled due to foot and mouth disease, this is the 50th Rally GB since Volvo’s last hurrah back in 1966.
“My co-driver Alan Jones mentioned the time scale, so we thought we really ought to have a go on this year’s event,” said Davies, aged 67, who has owned his mighty Amazon for the past six years.
“I wanted something different from the historic Escorts that everyone else seems to rally, so I really fancied the Volvo when it came up for sale,” he explained. “It’s a car that everyone loves – it must be the one of the most photographed in the woods. It’s quite hard to drive compared to modern machines but it’s great fun and we are getting quicker and quicker.”
The evocative Amazon is one of a large number of crowd-pleasing historic rally cars contesting the three-day WRGB National Rally which shadows the full FIA World Championship event. Other eye-catchers include a number of Peugeot 205 GTIs, a Datsun 240Z, a brace of VW Beetles plus lots of evergreen and ever sideways Ford Escorts.