I’ve shown a Talbot Samba before. Even in it’s sporty Rallye trim. And to prove that trim-name was for a reason I show you here an actual Rally Samba: François Delecour’s 135hp (non-turbo 1219cc!) Samba used for the 1984 Rally Monte Carlo. His first international event ever. And quite an interesting and totally French character. So let’s focus a bit on him today.

From ‘81 to ‘90 François did mostly local events but after a strong year in a Peugeot 309 GTI in the French Championship (and a 9th position in the international Rally Monte Carlo) he was asked by Ford to take a seat in their Sierra RS Cosworth for the WRC. But the Sierra wasn’t really competitive, although he did lead the ‘91 Rally Monte Carlo up until the last stage (he finished 3rd after suspension issues).

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In ‘93 that all changed when the Sierra was replaced by the Escort RS Cosworth. A second place in Monte Carlo and a few wins gave him the chance to become world champion right up until the last rally in Catalonia in which Juha Kankkunen just had to finish 3rd to take the WRC Championship. Juha easily ended up on the podium (2nd) and won the title, François being the runner-up.

After that he opened sensational in ‘94 with a win at his beloved Monte Carlo. But after a crash it was a terrible season as he spent most of his time recovering from it. In ‘95 the Ford Factory team had some issues in it’s management resulting in disappointing rally results. So he left Ford and tried many other teams and cars, from Peugeot’s sensational 306 Maxi to Mitsubishi Lancers and running his own team (with a Ford) before returning to Ford’s works team again in the Focus. But the magic seemed to be gone a bit.

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Not sure if his reputation for being a hothead with an inflammable character had anything to do with that. But the best was yet to come. Not his marriage to a way younger female rally driver (and model and tv presenter) Priscille de Belloy. As he really wanted one thing: to take an epic beast to rally. The Porsche 996 GT3. If you got some time on your hands take a look at this footage in which he, totally relaxed and in control, scares the shit out of Chris Harris (on public roads!) in a more recent GT3 (and explains why it wasn’t allowed at first, merci PSA and Renault!).

Or if you want to see one of his famous outbreaks, “scroll” to 5:02 in this one:

That one led to another team break up. Never mind. Because the man is a God to me. Because eventually he did take Porsche’s GT3 rallying again in FIA’s R-GT class. But back to the model...

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It’s another IXO/Altaya in 1/43. So it comes in a vitrine-box with a card, both with a picture and info. And look at his co-driver (without a date of birth?): feminine. He had that a lot somehow. And what is that sponsoring of Miss Yolene all about?

Details are good but not great. Exhaust is just a stub. The 1:1 had black rally-lights, not chromed ones. Wheels haven’t got actually holes. With the exception of the spare tire in the back?

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The white Altaya non-rally Rallye still is my favorite when it comes to these (steelies FTW!!!). No matter if François ever drove it or not. And for those who noticed: I did get some new diorama-esque attributes for my pictures.

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A mountain road and a garage. That garage diorama needs to be filled up a bit with parts and tools though. I used that one already for last Teutonic Tuesday and with the Zoom In Gif sessions. Also tried some green screen stuff again but that wasn’t really a success.

I keep having trouble finding the right angle & distance a bit. This one with the trusty HF Integrale came out somewhat better. But how on earth do I get that cropped properly?

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I probably just need a bigger green screen and bigger lights to make it really work!

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Man, do I love the Samba. Damn you Talbot/PSA for not making it a bit more durable. I’m off to a French auction site to see if I can find a white Rallye there. Probably not...

Bon Week-End!