International Tulpenrallye - on the tube

Text: Olof van Joolen

De Tulip rally is in the winter season the event that many fans of classic rallies look forward to and work on during long key evenings. Without wanting to hurt anyone who will ride along; it is a slightly different animal compared to the past. The classic party of today used to be a fight of almost life to death among the best riders of their time. And the great thing is that there is a surprising amount on the internet.

Take the beautiful Polygoon video from 1969 Rob Slotemaker against Belgian opposition during the final circuit test. In a typical style, the slip school owner scoops over Zandvoort in his BMW 2002. In the end he is not fast enough. All that tire moaning takes seconds, but it was certainly to the delight of the public. Sloot knew how he got it on the banks. "And for our countryman there is a very honorable second place," notes the well-known voice of Polygoon Philip Bloemendal. That's how it is.

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But YouTube goes much further back in history. With the same voice in the background - only now that of Bloemendal senior - there is a wonderful Dutch cuddly item about the edition of 1949. You have to, well, first let 1,08 minute go through pictures of gloomy grandfathers and grandmothers, but then there is a beautiful moving image of the rally heroes. The commentator recalls that the MGs and Fordjes come from all over Europe. "They only pay attention to their speedometer," Bloemendal says. In that respect the edition with its regularity tests was actually very close to the event of today.

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Still need some more action? No problem. The video site also has a series of short films online Tulip rally in the early eighties. I say nothing too much when I call them pearls. The filmmaker has delivered a beautiful, tightly shot image from the time when rally drivers still had a mustache or glasses with a frame mate, Lee Towers.

Take the clip from 1983. In roaring Mk2 Ford Escorts come the Swede Stig Andervang and our countryman Henk Vossen passed. So annoying that nowadays you can hardly imagine it anymore. The atmospheric Cosworth BDA blocks are screaming. This is a rally as it was once intended and just in our country. There are also legendary cars on display such as the Talbot Sunbeam Lotus.

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Later films show rally guns such as the Porsche 911 and group B versions of the Citroën Visa with Paul Maaskant at the wheel and the Opel Manta 400. Talking about crosswise. The material is almost completely without comment. But during the first video, a small piece of interview gives a clous about the origin of the images. Henk Vossen receives a question from Studio Sport employee Jan Stekelenburg. Cars in the sports program of the NOS; this is seriously old material.

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Finally, close to my own heart, images come from the early nineties. We do not have to doubt about the origin: The Holy Cow of Veronica. At that time one of the few places you could go as a motor sport enthusiast. The program of former navigator Bob de Jong followed the Dutch rally scene closely. Commentator on duty is a very young Olav Mol. At the time still omnivorous when it came to motor sport and odd jobs.

Mol mentions names of men who drove at a time when the importers were still serious about rallying. John Bosch, for example, who starts in an M3 of the BMW Dealer Team. That it was really a different time, Bosch proves when he shakes the Lancia Delta HF Integrale from Chiel Bos. Rear-wheel drive that beats four-wheel traction. It would not happen often in history. But perhaps it was because Bosch could not only send a game, but also drove a BMW built by Prodrive. The company would later wholesale in titles with Subaru.

At the start is also the last rally hero with mustache: Erwin Doctor from Nijverdal. At that time the hero of the Achterhoek where racing on public roads already has a larger fan base than in the west of our country. And Doctor also drives the car that almost a very young, masculine agricultural Netherlands dreams of: the Opel Kadett GSI 16V. Of course he has to beat the heavy metal of BMW and the Ford Cosworths. But he is no less a hero about it. Today, Erwin has a car wash in Nijverdal. On the Rudolf Dieselstraat. No, it really isn't like it used to be.

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One Comment

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  1. Nice compilation of the Tulip. causing beautiful memories to emerge. I myself was a participant several times with a Ford RS 2000 and a Lotus Talbot. What strikes me is that when the public stood so dangerously along the stages - on the Hasselaar, among others.

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