Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Rally - Compulsive reading

The April edition of Pacenotes Magazine is out now with more stories, more opinions, more reports and even more pictures. This one is a 'special issue' too with a strong 'Ford' theme throughout the content and includes reports from Rally Mexico, the Malcolm Wilson and Snowman Rallies, the Mayo, Bishopscourt and OrmCo Stages.

The Ford theme takes off with features on an ex-Billy Coleman West Cork Rally winning Escort Mk2 and an ex-Colin McRae Ford Focus WRC, while David Bogie talks about his highly modified Mk2. There's a peak behind the doors of Tom Blackwood's stunning drop dead desirable collection, Jamie Arkle looks back at the Escort Maxi Kit Car and the 'In the Spotlight' series features Johnnie Mulholland, Alex Allingham, Ross Weir and Frank Bird.

Columnists include the Belfast Telegraph's motoring and motor sports reporter Sammy Hamill who managed to spin an Escort RS2000 between the trees during a press day at Ingliston, Becs Williams recommends a Ford flavoured YouTube video to watch and Martin Holmes recounts stories of the military rule during Rally Argentina some 40 years ago.

And amidst all these interesting, enthralling, absorbing and technological revelations and insights there is a column from a certain Scottish based correspondent (??) who was given the keys to a 'works' Martini Ford and let loose on Knockhill! It may have had the name 'McRae' on the door and embroidered into the driver's seat - but it's not what you might think. Yeee-Haa!

To order your print and/or digital versions of Pacenotes go to:
or call 028 4066 0390! 

Monday, 6 April 2020

Vauxhall used to build Tanks

Did you know that long before Subaru was building a flat four, Vauxhall was building a flat twelve? Seriously!

Just a little nugget in which I thought you might be interested:

UK Rally Magazine

If you are in dire need of some rally fodder, the 52 page March issue of the 'UK Rally Scene' mag is now available to order and have delivered via the Ebay site. This latest issue continues the trend to broaden the appeal of the mag with an article on Henri Toivonen and interviews with Jon Armstrong and Johnstone Syer, one of Scotland's more colourful characters who navigated for the likes of Andrew Cowan and Brian Culcheth in the 1960s and 70s. There are reports too from the Grant Construction Stages, Snowman and Galway rallies and a look at a rather different rally weapon from 1968! Jamie Edwards, Conor Edwards and Kevin Glendinning express their own views through their personal columns and 'Bob the Boss' provides an insight into what it takes to organise a rally.  He manages to sum up a 12 month workload in a two page look behind the scenes but as he says himself, he can only provide an outline of what has to be done: " "I have no doubt there will be organisers reading this and finding holes aplenty - I am only trying to give you the bones of it!"  Otherwise it would take up the whole magazine, eh?

Search Ebay for: UK Rally Scene Magazine
( postage free! )

Friday, 3 April 2020

Obituary - Jim Barclay, 1936 - 2020

"Well, ah'm here and ah'm ready
but thae bluidy cars are late - again!"
Another sad loss this week, videographer, film maker and rally enthusiast Jim Barclay passed away on Tuesday after a period of poor health. He was taken into hospital on Monday evening and passed away peacefully during the night.

Jim was active in both Lanarkshire CC and Coltness CC club events in the 1960s and 70s, initially contesting navigational rallies before persuading his near neighbour Ian Carbry to take up the gentle sport of stage rallying. They rallied a Hillman Imp throughout the 70s into the early 1980s with Jim in the co-driver's seat. Outright success eluded them (for numerous reasons!)  but the object of the exercise was achieved. Great times and much fun. Jim also did other events with the likes of John Brodie in the Sunbeam and John Hyslop in a Vauxhall Viva GT.

But it was when Jim got involved with a new hobby that he became better known to a wider national audience throughout the 1980s, 90s and early 2000s. He was amongst the first to take video film cameras and cam-corders into the stages, but went farther than most. A room in his house in Lanark was converted into a rather basic but perfectly functional film editing studio from where he would edit and compile his 'All Action Videos' first on VHS tapes and latterly on DVDs. He also got involved in the early days of in-car filming and assisted many teams with their video filming equipment and supplied many individuals and teams with personalised films.

There were no 'star' commentators or informed commentary in Jim's work, he let the pictures do the talking, and what pictures. Jim would spring up in the most unlikely places on Scottish forest and Tarmack stage events and somehow had the uncanny knack of being in the right place at the right time - or as many of his 'subjects' might have thought, the wrong place at the wrong time! He found filming locations that explorers couldn't find. One of the secret's of Jim's success was that he filmed everybody on a rally, not just the top seeds and the stars with his film compilations and rally reports providing the main attractions at car club nights right across Scotland.

He was as much a part of Scottish rallying as gravel, ditches and trees and he trudged through more of them than most of us in his pursuit of the perfect picture and ideal location. In fact much of his work was used by professional film makers including television companies and also David Winstanley of Acceleration Television and Video production whose series of 'Rally Crash Videos' entertained generations of rally fans before the arrival of digital media.

Jim also had a razor sharp wit with a word or a quip for everyone and he was full of stories for anyone who would stop and listen, whether they wanted to hear them or not.

For most of his working life, Jim was a 'Steelman from Motherwell' working up to a managerial position in the Ravenscraig Steelworks rolling mill before it closed. The onset of poor health in his later years stopped him from getting out and about with his camera but there will hardly be a house anywhere in Scottish rallying that doesn't have a Jim Barclay VHS cassette gathering dust or a DVD sitting in a disc drive somewhere.

His funeral will take place next Thursday but given these abnormal times in which we find ourselves he won't get the send-off he truly deserves. Our thoughts and condolences go out to his wife Dorothy, son Derek and daughter Sandra, and four grandchildren, at this especially sad time.