In spite of the RAC’s policy of charging for trials and rallies by the competitor-mile, the 1980 Land’s End (the 59th) was well over-subscribed for entries, and eventually took 328 competing vehicles, of which 130 were motorcycles. The route was 417 miles long, and there were 15 observed sections — rather more than usual.
Slowley Farm, one of the new sections near Minehead, was a trap for the low-slung, which included Morgans; Beggar’s Roost was less rough than usual but served to de-chain Boyce’s Frazer Nash (Johnson’s had de-chained itself on the approach road). The re-start on Darracott caught many, including Clarke’s Austin and Bowles’ very interesting Ford V8 Ulster. Crackington was still sticky at the top in spite of the dry weather, and proved the most difficult section of all. Hustyn, on its 50th anniversary, was metalled, but its double stop and restart test seemed to be too difficult for half the entry.
Blue Hills Mine was quite dry, and was climbed by most — including the Andrews Piaggio — a 185 c.c. 3-wheeled Italian delivery truck; it shunned the last section, Old Stoney, though, for fear of falling down one of the larger crevasses. Wilson’s Fiat 600 was not deterred by the holes, and fell into one.
H. W. Tucker Peake was clerk of the course; he and his colleagues are to be congratulated on keeping this type of event very much alive, in spite of the heavy hand of the Belgrave Square bureaucracy. — T.J.T.