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Thought You guys might like this.....


Had this sitting on my memory stick and thought I'd share this for you folk.


This is the real deal with all the bells and whistles!. Bodyshop I worked in, next field Carlos Sainz chief mechanic and long term friend lived in the next field to us, yep his mechanic from wee northern ireland.


Anyway Toyota let Carlos keep the actual car that won!, they have the other car in their factory. So she's the real thing!. Brought it back to Spain and she sat there for years in Carlos vineyard, until he decided to restore the car and enter her in a classic rally. So we got the contract to restore her, his mechanic was the only one ever allowed near it. So he was with us every step of the way.


Had the car for about 6-7 months, I was doing my apprenticeship at the time so I did get to help with this amazing piece of history.


She turned out beautiful and Carlos was over the moon with her. She sits nicely and comfortably in his showroom over in Spain, he brings her out for special runs, so she's still doing what she was born to do, rally!. 


So here is a piece of Rally history, that actually survived, which is cherished by its actual driver himself, Carlos will never ever part with it, so she's safe with the only man that ever drove her. She was a joy to work on, all the heavy duty skilled work was carried out by the senior guys, but I helped and did my part. All decals came from Toyota to make her as she was, I did have photos of her in her original form, she was of course a little rough and battle damaged from the stages when Carlos took her home, but she's straight as an arrow and beautiful, she still gets out and rallies. 


Oh the guy in the pic isn't me lol....I was only a youngster when this was taken lol, guy in the pic is Carlos chief mechanic collecting her, before taking her to the boat to go back to Spain. Carlos sent word back how much he appreciated us and the old girl will continue what she was made for. 








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Yep she's actually one of the lucky ones, most are as you know not so lucky, but she survived, she's the actual car that crossed the line at the stage that made Carlos a champ, she's the actual car!. Toyota let him keep it, they have the other car in their factory, she sat in his garage for years, I cant find the photos of when she first arrived, she was of course a little worse for wear body wise, she had taken quite a beating, but mechanically was mint.


No joke folks she was so clean underneath you could have eat your sunday roast and operated on someone she was spotless beyond belief. 


Body took a good 6-7 months to restore, it was a tough but amazing experience, Carlos is extremely fussy with her, so the pressure was monumental, remember when the manager had to arrange his insurance to cover the car being there, came out looking a little white to say the least, car is priceless as she's the original and actual championship car, dare say his insurance carrier must have had a word or two to say when covering that being there on the premises for that duration lol


She was a joy to work on, no hold ups, no issues, she was a happy car that co-operated with us and didnt fight us lol. Carlos went over every inch of the car when she arrived off the boat, he was standing there at the docks i was told waiting for her, before she even got back to his vineyard Carlos went over every inch of her. Hes so protective of her which for a guy like me that is very OCD when it comes to cars I appreciate that. He was very happy, which made us all happy.


Does my heart good to know she survived, used to see her strut her stuff on the telly in her prime winning, never thought Id be working on her, me a wee simple guy from N.I.


So she's loved and cherished and enjoying a comfy life in Spain surrounded by beautiful views of Carlos extensive property and land and she ventures out strutting her stuff, she's still got what it takes I hear and does what she was always meant to do, rally with style. 


I have of course lost touch with everyone and I lost touch with Carlos mechanic, he was Colin Mcrae chief co-ordinator for a number of years as well, then retired and built rally cars in his massive garage, but I dont know what he's up to this weather, been years and doubt he remembers me, he's worked with so many people and deals with so many rally people, Im probably just a face in a line up of thousands that he knows of, but a remarkable guy with incredible talent, he drove around in an old Toyota from the 70s, an estate, cant remember what she was though, but she was mint, he rebuilt her, thing looked like it rolled out of the showroom. 



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Should point out in a funny way pics taken with a proper camera, this was when mobile phones were just that, the Nokia with the tiny screen was considered cutting edge lol, no camera phones back then, have the original photos and then transferred them onto a memory stick. 


Old skool photos that had to be developed in a chemist, such a novelty now though lol


Norman took her for one last blast round the country side before heading to the docks, could hear her for miles.


Last I heard he still flies out couple times a year to do maintenance on her, Carlos wont let anyone else near the car but Norman. 

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