Most fans still have fond memories of rallying in the 1970s. It was a time when heroes like Walter Röhrl, Sandro Munari and Hannu Mikkola were driving in full drifts with opposite lock and when the Stratos filled whole valleys with its unique sound. The great years of Group 4 supremacy were spectacular, adventurous and in retrospect more than just a little bit crazy. Just remember the 700 km marathon stage on the Rallye du Maroc or the early New Zealand rallies stretching over seven days and five nights.
In the first years after its foundation in 1973, the World Rally Championship was extremely diverse, and that did not only account for the events. A dozen or so manufacturers built cars that were able to win WRC rallies. Group 4 saw sports cars like Alpines, Stratoses and Porsche 911s compete against saloons like the Ford Escort, Opel Kadett or Fiat 131 with the Japanese companies of Toyota and Datsun also joining the game. Until finally the revolutionary Quattro came and took rallying to the next level.
In the book “Group 4 – From Stratos to Quattro”, authors John Davenport and Reinhard Klein review this unforgotten era. Both have been highly involved in rallying during the Group 4 years. Davenport was co-driver, journalist and later team manager while Klein made his mark as one of the best rally photographers in the world. In this well-researched work, the authors describe the history of the legendary rally cars of the Group 4 era in detail. They review the first WRC years from 1973 to 1982 and tell some of the stories from that wild and tough era.