Watch this massive Ford Falcon rally car carve up a rally stage
Today, international rallying is all about lightweight, powerful hatchbacks pushing flat out along some of the most technical roads in the world. As most of us know, that hasn’t always been the case. In fact, back in the 1960s, rallying spectators were treated to all sorts of vehicles sliding their way through slippery turns.
Some of the most successful cars in the early days of the WRC were all lightweight but not particularly powerful. That didn’t stop the larger, mostly American cars from giving it a go. To this day, historic rallying paddocks will still have the odd Ford Mustang or Falcon amongst the sea of Porsches.
Based on this video, we can see that yesteryear’s rallying wasn’t quite as elegant as the modern vision of the sport. In fact, the large Falcon’s front end doesn’t seem to grip at all on corner entry. Then, when it comes time, accelerating out of the corner, it’s very much a real world example of the Road Runner.
For all those wondering why current WRC teams use small hatchbacks with short wheelbases, I think you’ve found your answer. The distance between the front and rear axles simply makes the car want to over-rotate.
That being said, the feeling one must get from absolutely nailing a stage in such a beast must be exhilarating. The fact that the driver clearly has to be very delicate with their movements must make for a very rewarding experience.
The other day, I also showed off a video of a classic Porsche 911 rally car squirming its way around a rally stage in Germany. Personally, I would rather have the challenge of the engine hanging out the rear end of the car causing a pendulum effect than the weight of the massive Ford Falcon on a narrow rally stage. Let me know which car you’d rather drive.