Ewold van Bergen: 1966 Monte Carlo Rally Preview

Here is a small preview of the main post to come on my grandfathers participation in the 1966 Monte Carlo Rally. Trying to get the main post to be something special…

The above car was the practice car used by my grandfather and his co-driver Rex Wakely-Smith, then the South African rally champions of 1965.

You will notice the damage on the left front fender and left rear quarter panel. This was a direct result of a dramatic escape when the brakes failed suddenly and completely, as they were going down a mountain pass. It was so steep and slippery that even dropping to first gear and switching off the engine did not stop the car…

Grazing a truck scraped the one side of the car and bouncing off a bank bent the left rear quarter panel but helped keep the car on the road. My grandfather finally stopped by deliberately spinning the car in a hairpin bend with an unguarded edge. The car would have gone over that edge and precipice had he not spun.

I am sure you will agree with me that this is quite a lot of drama to go through before the start of such a gruelling rally!

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4 thoughts on “Ewold van Bergen: 1966 Monte Carlo Rally Preview

  1. Anton says:

    I was a huge supporter and follower of Ewold since I owned a 1971 Datsun 1600 sss. In 1970, I learnt from a Datsun engineer that the Datsun 1600 sss (510) was developed form the previous Blue Bird and was based primarily on the developments and modifications that Ewold did on the Blue Bird in order to turn it into a competitive rally car. The sss was developed specifically for Ewold and for rallying. The rest is history. The two (Ewold and the sss) dominated the rally scene for years. These were very good times. If only I could buy a sss today! I often dream about my old car and the good times we had….that is the sss and I.

    • Jared van Bergen says:

      Hi Anton,

      It is really fantastic to hear that someone else out there knows what my grandfather was doing with the P510 chassis! Who did you hear this from? Do you have any other stories or information that you can share? I would love to hear them! Are you currently looking for a SSS to buy at the moment?

      Kind regards
      Jared

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