Rally Replay: A Mecca For Rally Enthusiasts

Nestled in a fairly unassuming Chichester industrial estate just down the road from Goodwood, is a rather special place.

Between the various plumbing and building trade suppliers is a shrine to all things rally, known simply as Rally Replay.

Rally Replay can best be described as equal parts showroom, shop and museum. I’ve made a point of stopping in every time I head to Goodwood, and the constant rotation of cars means there’s always something new to see. The images in this post are a culmination of a few different visits, so if things look slightly different, that’s because they are.

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After a delayed opening in May 2021 due to the UK’s pandemic lockdowns, Rally Replay has quickly filled its four walls with incredibly interesting cars and rare rally collectables.

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It also has workshop which carries out servicing, rally preparation and support. Some of the cars on display belong to Rally Replay customers; others could be yours – if your pockets are deep enough.

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If you were a child of the ’90s, there’s a strong likelihood you spent a portion of your youth in arcades. SEGA Rally consumed a huge amount of my allowance, but is just as good as I remember. And it’s even better when it’s free to play.

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Looking slightly more sedate than the later Evo versions, this red Lancia Delta Integrale was originally a Group A machine, believed to be an Abarth Factory privateer car. In recent years it has been restored with Miki Biasion to celebrate the 30th anniversary of his second World Rally Championship win. Its exterior reflects that of the Rallye Sanremo 1989 entry.

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While looking like a competition car, this 8-valve Integrale is a road car with the livery of Biasion’s Rallye Sanremo 1988 works car.

In period, the Ford Sierra RS Cosworth shone on race circuits, but had limited success as a rally car. This example now resides in New Zealand and was built from new as a Group N car, before being upgraded to Group A specification.

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Rally plates adorn the mezzanine, one from each of the main WRC rounds in the order they would follow.

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On a few different visits to Rally Replay, the Repsol and Martini WRC Lancia Delta Integrale Evos were on display, along with a Fiat 242 restored as a faithful replica of the service van that ran alongside the Lancia 037 and S4 rally program.

Asking someone to choose a favourite between the Martini and Repsol-liveried Lancias would be like asking them to pick their favourite child; both look incredibly purposeful. A dedicated spotlight on these two will follow, with a more detailed look at these iconic Group A heroes.

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Henri’s bar – named after Henri Toivonen, the Finnish rally icon who along with his co-driver Sergio Cresto, sadly lost their lives when their Lancia Delta S4 plunged off a cliff during the 1986 Tour De Corse rally.

As the plaque details, the wing and car went seperate ways after contact with a gate post during the 1985 RAC Rally.

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I have a confession to make – I’m not a fan of blue Subarus (sorry, Toby!) Which is why this very car is one of my favourites to put tyres to tarmac (or gravel) during a rally stage. Driven by Toshi Arai, the car formed part of the Prodrive Allstars program – effectively a paid seat to enter as a privateer, with its own mini championship.

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Arai was successful in Group N for Subaru and in 1999 took the helm of this car in the Acropolis and Tour De Corse rallies.

Rally Replay has a literal library of reference material, painstakingly sourced over the last 25 years, and from all over the world.

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Prior to the advent of the internet, you would have to wait for monthly magazines, or annually for VHS coverage. Duke Video was the go-to for anything motorsport related, covering various disciplines in tape format, while each country had their own publication covering the events.

Rally Replay’s shop element sells safety equipment and race wear, handy for those competing at Goodwood who haven’t realised their kit has lapsed certification

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Every Fiat 131 Abarth rally car started as one of the 400 road-going cars produced for homologation. As soon as 150 of those came off the line, they went straight to the Abarth motorsport division for their conversion to rally cars. These saw competition until 1982, before being replaced by the Lancia 037.

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This 1976 Group 4 rally car car was used by the press department for motor shows and magazines, the sold on to one of team mechanics. He kept it for 35 years, and to this day it has never been rallied.

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The 1995cc twin-cam motor originally made between 225 and 245 horsepower, fed down the throats of four intakes via Kugelfischer mechanical fuel injection.

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This Impreza was the car that earned its Kiwi driver, the late Possum Bourne, his final victory.

This victory was at the Hokkaido round of the 2000 Asia-Pacific Rally Championship, the first international rally in Japan which was used as a test run for WRC.

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These main dealer Fiat service boards came from the Fiat dealership in Brighton, and when the dealership closed their doors many years ago, these went into storage in the basement. After being unearthed recently, Rally Replay was quick to buy them and put them on display.

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Everywhere you look, you’ll find numerous odes to rallying, or artefacts from rallying history that have been carefully curated.

Not many will recognise the name Martin Holmes, but as a motorsport photojournalist, few more come acclaimed. Martin wrote the World Rallying annuals, devoting his life to following the travelling circus that is the World Rally Championship.

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The cameras above were his, often set up on a bar to take multiple photos in each pass.

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In total, Martin attended around 550 rounds of the World Rally Championship.

He also kept detailed records, logging every result from every round.

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This fastidious approach to his craft earned him the respect of many, as evidenced in the letters of congratulations and thanks offered to him at the time of his 25th annual.

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Various helmets are kept on display, including one from early in Walter Röhrl’s career when he drove for Opel.

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I’m not aware of anywhere else quite like Rally Replay. As the name suggests, it pays tribute to rally of years past. You’d likely expect to pay a steep entry fee for access to such a collection, but there are no tickets required here. All it will cost you is a copious amount of time, because it won’t be a quick visit.

Chaydon Ford
Instagram: chaycore

Credit : Source Post

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