ABOUT This Section:
This section is intended to give you a taste of, if not a summary of, the history of the Datsun 240Z as it competed in the International Rally circuit from 1970 through 1973. Here I will focus on the NISSAN Factory backed teams and efforts. However I will note that many privately sponsored teams did equally well with the Datsun 240Z in National and Regional events. They are not covered here because I do not have complete information related to them at this point!
If you have an interest in this subject area, have special knowledge related to these cars, their drivers or support teams, please contribute it. We can put hyper-links in for any additional explanations, information or special interest articles.
In its first entry in the 19th East African Safari Rally (1971) the Datsun 240Z won the Over-all Victory, Class Victory, Team Victory and Manufactures Championship. This victory also set new records as NISSAN became the first company to win back to back Victories in all three categories! (the Datsun 1600SSS Team having done the same in 1970). The driving team of Edgar Herrmann / Hans Schuller also became the first team to win back to back over-all victories! Another significant note is that the Datsun 240Z was the first vehicle to capture an Over-all victory in its first year of competition!
Is it Grueling?! - For the 1970 Event, 91 entries started the course, only 19 managed to finish! For 1971, 107 entries started the course, only 32 finished.
The East African Safari Rally course is comprised of 3,852 miles ran over open land and dirt roads, (unpaved paths would be a better description). The event covers altitudes ranging from Sea Level to more than 10,000 feet above Sea Level. It runs though burning hot wastelands, up twisting pathways into freezing mountain terrain and then down again. On a clear dry day visibility is hampered by tremendous clouds of dust, effectively reducing visibility to near zero. When it rains it pours, converting the course to a long mud bog!
East African Safari Rally Results by year 1971: 19th East African Safari Rally Overall First Place Team - Edgar Herrmann / Hans Schuller 240Z #11 (note: Overall Victory, Class, Team, and Mfg. Victory) Overall Second Team - Shekhar Mehta /Mike Doughty 240Z #31 Overall Seventh Team - Rauno Aaltonen / Paul Easter Car #12 1972: 20th East African Safari Rally Overall Fifth Place Team - Edgar Herrmann / Hans Schuller 240Z #10 Overall Sixth Place Team - Rauno Aaltonen / Toni Fall 240Z #5 Overall Tenth Place Team - Shekhar Mehta /Mike Doughty 240Z #8 1973 21st East African Safari Rally: Overall First Place Team - Shekhar Metha / H.W.(Lofty) Drews 240Z #1 Overall Second Place Team - Harry Kallstrom / C. Billstram DATSUN 1800SSS Overall Fourth Place Team - T. Fall / M. Wood DATSUN 1800SSS ACCIDENT - DNF Team - Rauno Aaltonen / Paul Ester - 240Z #6
The Monte Carlo Rally starts with it's first stage, when cars depart from nine European cities, threading their ways toward a gathering spot in Monte Carlo. The second stage begins from Monte Carlo and roars through ten local stages, with the focus on Southern France, then returns to Monte Carlo once again.
The top 60 cars that make it through this second stage then proceed to the third and final stage - a 12 hour night run over the icy roads of the Alps, dubbed the - hills of Monte Carlo - which are closed to all other traffic for the Rally competition.
Although the Z has never won this race, it -Placed - in each of the three consecutive years following 1971.
The following images are from an article that was written/published in France it would seem that this is the 1971 Rally Car.
Click Here For Front View
Click Here For Interior View
Click Here For Side View
1971: 40th Monte Carlo Rally
Car #62 TKS33 SA985
Rauno Aaltonen/Paul Easter
Second In Class, Fifth and Tenth Overall
(242 cars started - 24 finished)
1972: 41st Monte Carlo Rally
Car #5 TKS33 SA4150
Rauno Aaltonen / Jean Todd
See Car #5 In Nissan Museum
1973 42nd Monte Carlo Rally
Car # 17 TKS33 8514
Pictured above is the Datsun 240Z which ran the 7th Southern Cross Rally in 1972. This car finished first in class and second in the overall standings.
NISSAN/DATSUN has a long history of participation in International Events in Australia. Along with being the first country to which NISSAN exported automobiles, it is also the country that Mr. K went to, when he convinced NISSAN that they should enter High Performance Rally events.
Hope you enjoyed this brief summary, if you would like to help or have information that you would like to contribute, please e-mail me!