Marlboro Safari Rally 1980

Marlboro Safari Rally 1980

3 - 7 April 1980

  • Entries
  • Starters
  • Finishers
  • Distance

Overall winners

Rauno Aaltonen
Lofty Drews
Shekhar Mehta
Mike Doughty
Vic Preston jr.
John Lyall


The Marlboro Safari Rally 1980 was a grueling test of both man and machine, set against the backdrop of the Kenyan wilderness. It was a rally that would go down in history as one of the most challenging and memorable events in the world of motorsport.

As the rally cars lined up at the starting point in Nairobi, anticipation hung in the air. The teams had come from all corners of the globe, each with the hope of conquering the rugged Kenyan terrain. Among the contenders was the renowned driver, Shekhar Mehta, whose reputation for fearlessness on the rally preceded him.

Rally scenery

The course stretched across the vast savannah, with its dusty tracks and unpredictable weather. Drivers had to navigate treacherous mudslides, roaring rivers, and unforgiving rocky terrain. It was a true test of skill, endurance, and determination.

Throughout the rally, the Kenyan landscape provided a stunning but challenging backdrop. Spectators gathered along the route, cheering on their favorite teams and capturing the action with their cameras. The dust kicked up by the speeding cars hung in the air like a golden haze, creating an almost mystical atmosphere.

As the days turned into nights, the rally became a battle not only against the course but also against exhaustion. Sleep-deprived and facing mechanical setbacks, the drivers pressed on, fueled by their desire to reach the finish line.


In the end, it was Shekhar Mehta who emerged as the winner, his Datsun battered and bruised but still running. The crowd erupted in cheers as he crossed the finish line, a testament to his unwavering determination. Unfortunately the Subaru cars ended on 18th and 22nd position.

The Marlboro Safari Rally 1980 was a triumph of human spirit and automotive engineering. It showcased the indomitable will of the drivers who dared to tackle the African wilderness in pursuit of glory.


It is amazing how many items are still around! Friends from around the world helping a lot. There's great joy in sharing these items with you. All these items are in private collection and carefully stored and documented. The collection will never be 'complete', but slowly new historic pieces are being added. Visit the website occasionally to find the new gems and go back to memory lane.


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