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Check out this Top Gear special from 1988 — The Great Chase — featuring an Anglia 105E and more on the Pirelli Classic Marathon.

Historic motorsport was very different 35 years ago. In fact, on the rallying side it was very much in its infancy, with the recently-formed Historic Rally Car Register (HRCR) starting to organise dedicated events to showcase the ex-works rally cars owned by its members.

With the launch of the first-ever international rally for classic cars — the Pirelli Classic Marathon — in 1988 though, historic rallying got a huge dose of publicity. Designed to relive the golden age of rallying, the Classic Marathon devised by the HRCR’s Philip Young was a six-day blast from London to Cortina in Italy and back — taking in some of the classic rally stages of the ’50s and ’60s along the way.

The rally caught the imagination of the media in a big way, and crucially was filmed by the BBC for a Top Gear special called The Great Chase. The one-hour programme was apparently seen by 6 million people at the time, many surprised to see an Anglia 105E taking part with ’60s rallying stars, Anne Hall and Val Morley inside. Some three decades on, that same car survives in the condition it finished the rally in, and you can red all about it in the July 2020 issue on sale June 12.

Watch The Great Chase video here:

Watch more classic Ford videos here.

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