I spent the day today marshaling at scrutineering for the Rallye Monte Carlo Historique, which has Glasgow as one of its starting points this year. In keeping with rallying in the traditional sense, the historic version of the Monte sees crews start from a number of different points and ‘rally’ round Monte Carlo, where they then proceed to take part in a number of speed and navigational trials that determine the overall results.
This is a huge international event, so it should come as no surprise to find that as well as plucky Brits in Minis, Jaguars and MGs, there were crews from France, Germany and Belgium who had been assigned the Glasgow start, bringing with them machinery as diverse as Alpine A310s, Porsche 914s and first-generation Toyota Celicas.
Attracting the most interest, however, was a squadron of yellow-jacketed students from Japan. The prestigious University of Tokyo has entered a car in the historic rally, shipping a forty year-old Toyota Corolla over from the Japanese capital especially for the event and flying a team of a dozen or so members over to look after the car. A whole army of estates, saloons and vans followed the car into scrutineering, and the lurid coats and equally loud polo shirts were visible well into the night. The students kick off their rally in earnest tomorrow (Thursday), leaving Blythswood Square in Glasgow before heading south for England and then France.