Slides.- The 80s rally car racing in Spain

Last month I was clearing out my family’s old home for sale and some boxes of photo slides from the early 80’s turned up. Among them I found old photos of rally races of that time and I thought it was worth doing a post about it as the 80s marked a significant decade for rally car racing.

With advancements in technology and a growing interest in motorsports, the rallying scene saw a surge in popularity. The cars of the 80s were a far cry from the primitive vehicles of the past, featuring sleek designs and powerful engines. The introduction of turbocharging and four-wheel drive systems revolutionized the sport, allowing for faster speeds and better handling on the treacherous rally courses. The fierce competition between car manufacturers such as Audi, Lancia, and Peugeot resulted in constant developments and innovations in their rally cars.


The Group B era, from 1982 to 1986, is often referred to as the golden age of rally cars. These cars were lightweight, powerful, and incredibly fast, reaching speeds of up to 200mph on gravel tracks. However, this era was also marred by tragic accidents, leading to the eventual ban of Group B cars. Despite this, the 80s still saw some epic battles on the rally track, with drivers like Ari Vatanen, Walter Röhrl, and Juha Kankkunen pushing the limits and thrilling crowds with their daring driving skills.

The iconic Group A cars, which replaced Group B, continued to dominate the rally scene in the late 80s, with the legendary Lancia Delta Integrale winning six consecutive world championships. The 80s also saw the rise of legendary drivers like Colin McRae and Carlos Sainz, who would go on to become household names in the world of rallying. The decade may have ended, but the legacy of the 80s rally cars and drivers still lives on, with their influence still seen in modern-day rally racing. The 80s truly marked a golden era for rally cars and will forever hold a special place in the hearts of motorsport enthusiasts.


The 1980s were a remarkable time for rally racing in Spain, as the country experienced a surge in popularity for this fast-paced and adrenaline-fueled sport. The beautiful landscapes and challenging terrain of Spain provided the perfect backdrop for some of the most thrilling races in rally history. The Rallye Catalunya, held in the Catalonia region, was a favorite among drivers due to its diverse mix of mountain passes, gravel roads, and tight hairpin turns. The RACE Rally, held in Madrid, was another iconic event that attracted thousands of spectators and top drivers from all over the world.

The 80s also saw the rise of legendary Spanish drivers such as Carlos Sainz and Luis Moya, who dominated the rally scene with their impressive skills and fearless driving. They became local heroes and inspired a new generation of racers, solidifying Spain’s place in the world of rally racing. The rivalry between Sainz and fellow Spaniard, Josep Bassas, added to the excitement of the sport, with both drivers pushing each other to the limit in every race.


Photos taken by my sister during the 80’s in northern Spain using a Nikon camera. The color is a little degraded by the age and oxidation of the slides.

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