Sunday 9 July 2023

Rally - The Book

Not being able to visit Machrihanish this weekend means work can continue on ‘the book’. It’s just about finished and will be off to the proof readers next week, hopefully. The proof readers both know about rallying, one is good on facts, the other on spelling and grammar. The main feature text currently runs to 84,000 words!

What started as a single book project on the history of the Scottish Rally Championship quickly became a six book series with each volume covering a decade from 1960 onwards. There is just too much to tell for one book!

In terms of world rallying, Scotland has certainly punched above its weight with four world champions to date, Colin, Derek, Robert and Louise and they all started their careers on Scottish soil. And then of course there was Andrew Cowan’s many successes on foreign events, marathons and with the World Rally Championship Mitsubishi team. The Scots’ impact on British rallying is no less impressive and they all learned their craft in the Scottish forests.

Perhaps that’s why the book has taken so long to reach this stage. It’s now on its fourth version and revision! The first book will cover the period 1980 to 1989 – including Colin McRae’s first impactful appearances on four wheels.

However, the biggest problem has been not so much deciding what to include, but what has to be left out. Of course editorial tinkering could go on forever but at some point a halt has to be called just to get it printed and out there. That applies particularly to photographs.

The book will no doubt delight and disappoint in equal measure. No doubt there will be complaints about who was and who was not mentioned or featured and why some photographs were included whilst others were excluded. Who knows? There might be another book with the all the bits that were left out!

By the way, if any business or company out there would like to take an advertisement in, or even sponsor the book, then I would be delighted to hear from them. Of course such a publication as this will not appeal to those companies selling specific priced products but will be more beneficial to those seeking to promote and enhance their public perception and brand awareness.

As an example of the difficulties, here are some pics that didn’t make the book!

1 comment:

  1. Hello John - I am just in the throes of compiling a biography of Margaret MacKenzie's rallying exploits which I have found fascinating. I know that she did some early events in Scotland (55 Car Club, Dundee) and did the Scottish Rally many times. Many of these I have documented but wondered if you had any record of her on Scottish events at all? Apparently she did one with Tish Ozanne but i cannot find any record of this. I have recently acquired her memorabilia collection and in it are some lovely 1950's photos of her on events up there in an Austin A30 - if you would like copies I would be more than happy to send them to you as they are all now scanned. Best regards - Pablo Raybould (