Saloon Car Action, ’70s style. PP Video. 60 min, £12.99.
Now here’s a first. Hands up anyone who knows of any other video which kicks off with footage of a Morris Marina Coupe belting along a special stage. Somehow, that perhaps captures the flavour of the 1970s. Idiosyncrasy was all the rage. Flared trousers. Bat wing shirt collars. Footwear that bore closer resemblance to stilts than shoes. Brian Culcheth rallying a Marina .
Sadly, the balance of the tape doesn’t match up to the eccentric opening salvo. While PP’s Tour of Britain coverage, which we reviewed in February’s issue, has a certain charm, this captures less of the spirit of the age (Morris Marina notwithstanding). At its core are promotional films by Castrol and DIV. Taken at face value, these
could lead you to believe that a) Noel Edmonds was a leading contender in production saloon events and b) that Gerry Marshall won more or less every race there ever was.
As might be expected, the films have faded a little with age, so much so that the in-car footage is almost worthless in parts, such is the combination of bright sunlight and worn out celluloid. There are some interesting action sequences, most notably involving Marshall and Baby Bertha (the Firenza which passed on to Paul Haywood-Halfpenny, but the whereabouts of which is presently unknown). There are also some curious moments. Why, for instance, is there a 30-second burst of Formula 5000 action? Overall, however, it doesn’t offer a balanced view, although quite how that could ever be achieved is beyond me.1 don’t recall ever seeing TV crews lurking around Oulton Park on wet Saturday afternoons while prodsaloon Capris were doing their best on tyres that, nowadays, seem positively anorexic. S A