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datsuntech

1968 Shell 4000 Rally and Datsuns in Rally

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The Datsun 510 list was having a discussion about early adopters of the Datsun 510 in racing and this rally came up.

I'll post some links for your viewing pleasure. There are mentions of Manitoba in this video and even my home province of New Brunswick.

Here you go....

This ’68 510 car #145 from California competed in the June 1968 Shell 4000 Rally from Calgary Alberta to Halifax Nova Scotia Canada. The team of William Huber and Zeke Lean finished 44th out of 55 finishers. There were three other 510s in the rally, with Van Louie/Galk in car #118 finishing 12th, Henderson/Henderson in car # 166 finishing 31st, and Stiles/Jackman in car #156 finishing 35th. Other Datsuns included a team of three Cedric H130-U finishing in 4th (#135 Van Bergen/Manson, photo), 21st (Horton/Deak) and 45th (Ross/Bird), plus the SSS 1300 411(?) car # 169 of Middlemess/Lynch which finished 23rd.

 

All of the Datsuns finished the grueling 4000 mile rally, which was won by Scott Harvey and Ralph Beckman in a Plymouth Barracuda S. There a decent Chrysler Canada promotional film about the rally on Youtube, and the Datsuns can be spotted several times throughout.

https://youtu.be/4-uqhn8awm0

 

Photos by Jean Calvin from the Petersen Digital Archive.  There’s many more if you go there and search on 1968 Shell Rally, but that was the only 510 photo. There are many photos of the Cedrics in action, though.

https://archive.petersen.org/pages/home.php

Regarding the Shell 4000 photos you posted.  
 
My friend Marcel from Edmonton maintains THE source for all information related to the original Trans-Canada Rally/Shell 4000 Rally.  If you are unaware of it you should give it a glance, you can find it here:
 
The second photo in your original posting with the H130 was codriven by my friend Paul Manson of Toronto Ontario Canada.  He passed away several years ago.  He was in a different year navigator for a winning Datsun entry.  An article about the 1967 event with a picture of him is here:
https://www.theguardian.pe.ca/wheels/the-story-of-the-trans-canada-rally-when-racers-took-on-canada-pre-pavement-274928
 
Several other friends were on that 1968 Shell 4000, including J.Robert Henderson and Phil Henderson (they are not related) and at the time both were from Western New York.  Both of them are now associated with the wonderful International Motor Racing Research Center (IMRRC) which is maintained and associated with the race facilities at Watkins Glen, NY.  Info on the IMRRC can be found here:
 
The IMRRC is a wonderful and well funded undertaking which is enhancing the racing collections with a collection of rally sport items.  I know that upon my demise all of my personal archives will be donated to the IMRRC and become part of the rallysport archives, including lots of Datsun materials.  I still have two Datsun 510 rally cars, one of which is prepped for historic stage rallies and historic stage rally marathons.  But back to the IMRRC.  Last year the IMRRC held a Saturday presentation (Racing Through The Trees) about the history of rallysport in North America.  There was a lot of information about the Shell 4000 presented, some by a great Navigator who ran many times, once in a Citroen DS11 with J.Robert Henderson driving it.  My friend Randy Graves maintains an extensive collection of historic rallysport information from the olden days.  He has posted some of my pictures which may be of interest to some of you.  By the way, my other historic rally car is a 1967 Alpine-Renault A110 Berlinette.  It was on display in the IMRRC Lobby (along with a modern Subaru rally car) as part of their promotion of the Racing Through The Trees exhibit and presentations.  Find that IMRRC Display here:
 
If any of you are interested in my A110, there are pictures posted by Randy Graves at this album of his online collection, along with a couple of pictures of my 1971 Datsun 510SSS rally car which I built for the 1997 Panama-Alaska Stage Marathon Rally.  I still have it, and presently it is in CT getting a rebuild of the engine for the 2020 season.  Sadly due to COVID19 there is no 2020 rally season, so hopefully I can run it again in 2021 on some events.  The Alpine is also taking advantage of the No-2020 COVID fiasco, so it is likewise getting an engine refresh so we can run in 2021.  The album with the A110 and 510 pix is located here:
 
If you wallow around the various albums which my friend Randy Graves (also an A110 owner) has established you can find it here.  There is a LOT of Datsun material from the old days there, especially on many of the larger Canadian events such as the Canadian Winter Rally (which I funny enough never ran in a Datsun over the years, always something else).  In his earlier years Randy Graves was Scott Harvey's co-driver (Scott as you posted won the 1968 event with Ralph Beckman; both Scott and Ralph are still alive and well, and recently Scott was inducted into the Sports Car Club of America's Hall of Fame during a ceremony in Las Vegas in 2019...  In any case, you can find the list of Randy's albums (there are FIVE pages, so scan them all) located here:
 
Apologize for writing such a long post, but it is so rare that anyone these days is interested in the history of rallysport in North America, that I wanted to chime in with some information related to the Shell and other topics of historical DATSUN interest.
 
 
 

 

 
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Fantastic bunch of information. Thank you.

One of those ... "I never knew" things. 

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