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Pentti Airikkala- First year in the Chevette

Submitted by on January 27, 2010

Check out this delightful Vauxhall film, recording Pentti Airikkala’s first year in the Vauxhall Chevette HS. The film serves as a great reminder why this driver was so popular with fans, particularly in Britain. The Finn is laid back, funny, and looks likes he is having the time of his life. The soundtrack which is straighht out of a 70s Hollywood chase scene adds to the drama and excitement.

Airikkala became famous by driving a Vauxhall Chevette flat out and completely sideways in the 1977 British Rally Championship. His flamboyant style and dry wit made him a star and helped put rallying on the map in the UK.  Pentti went on to clinch the British Championship in 1979.

In part two of the videos, Pentti rolls the Chevette and the crew is seen busily hammering every surface, trying to straighten the car. The commentator asks ” Can you tell us what happened here Pentti?” Airikkala, who is wearing a red and green spotted beanie with a pom pom on top begins laughing and says with a huge grin ” Oh, I think you can see, ha ha, we just drive too fast!”

His greatest moment came in 1989 when this very popular driver claimed his one and only WRC win on the 1989 RAC Rally.

See Pentti fly!

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