Six-time Swedish Rally Champion Harry Kallström rose so quickly to fame he was nicknamed ‘Sputnik’, after the Russian satellite launched the year he won his first rally. He drove a VW Beetle for the Swedish importer, winning the Swedish title in 1959-60 and ’63. In his first RAC Rally in ’63 he was second in a VW 1500S and caught the eye of BMC, which gave him a Cooper S 1275 for ’64. Again he won the Swedish title and led the RAC.
After BMC Sweden stopped rallying at the end of 1966 Kallström was given a Fulvia by Lancia for the ’68 San Remo Rally. He could have won had he not stopped to help another driver. In ’69 he won the San Remo, Spanish and RAC rallies on his way to claiming the European title. He then won the RAC again for Lancia in 1970. In ’73 he moved to Datsun and, driving the new 1800SSS, tied for first on the Safari Rally with Shekhar Mehta. He won the ’76 Acropolis for Datsun with a 160J, before retiring at the end of 1980.
Marcus Chambers, the competition chief for BMC and Rootes in the 1950s and ’60s, has died aged 99. He was known as “the poor man’s Neubauer” due both to his build and his avuncular nature. Chambers founded the BMC competitions unit, overseeing MGA, Healey and Mini rally development, and later, with Rootes, victory in the London-Sydney Marathon.
He was a proficient race and rally driver, gaining good results in the HRG team from 1947-49 and bringing the Mini its first international rally win. He recruited Pat Moss and Ann Wisdom to BMC before moving to Rootes. There his first task was to run two Tigers at Le Mans, but it was in rallying that he masterminded success for Tigers and Imps and that surprise Hillman Hunter win at Sydney. A keen VSCC member, he owned the 1907 Renault ‘Agatha’ for many years.
In retirement he showed skill in photography and painting and wrote several books about life in and out of competition.