Simanaitis Says

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IN THE 1964 MONTE CARLO RALLY, Ford Falcons garnered 2nd place overall, 1st in the Touring Cars over 2500 cc, 1st and 2nd in the Grand Touring over 2500 cc, quickest in the five Special Sections, and 1st and 2nd overall in the final lapping of the Monte Carlo circuit.

Ad from R&T, April 1964.

After driving one of the Ford team recon cars, R&T’s Henry N. Manney III concluded, “I might even buy American again.” 

Here, in Parts 1 and 2 today and tomorrow, are tidbits on the 1964 Monte as well as Manney’s “Falconry as a Blood Sport,” R&T, May 1964. 

This and following images from the Dungannon Motor Club.

Monte Starting Points. My best online source for the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally, its 33rd running since 1911, is the Dungannon Motor Club’s website, reprinted from Autosport Magazine, January 31, 1964. 

As the Monte name suggests, final stages and finish are in the Principality of Monaco, with entrants in 1964 having a choice of nine starting points. Here are the 1964 Starting Control Awards; I’ve added overall finishes after each driver/navigator: Minsk: Hopkirk/Liddon 1st (Morris-Cooper S); Oslo: Ljungfeldt/Sager 2nd (Ford Falcon); Paris: Makinen/Vanson 4th (Morris-Cooper S); Monte Carlo: Trautmann/Chabert 12th (Citroen); Lisbon: Feret/Monraisse 18th (Alpine);  Athens: Masson/Vinatier 32nd (Fiat-Abarth); Frankfurt: Klass/Wencher 37th (Porsche); Warsaw: Roser/Tusch 40th (Steyr-Puch); and Glasgow: Hunt/Mac 64th (Hillman Imp). 

Of 299 crews taking part, 163 arrived at Monte Carlo within the time limit. Complete results can be seen at

Graham Hill drove one of the eight Falcons with Ian Walker as navigator. 

Graham Hill was 1962 Formula One World Champion, destined to garner his second championship in 1968. Imagine any of today’s F1 crowd driving in the Monte. The Hill/Walker Falcon was plagued by a faulty fuel gauge and ran dry at one point. At another, a stuck throttle put them into a snowbank. Later, the car required replacement of a rear spring. Battered but unbowed, they finished 107th overall.

Special Stages. As cars approached Monte Carlo from their starting points, they variously reached five Special Stages run by all the entrants: St. Disdier, La Madelaine Pelleautier, St. Apollinare, Col St. Martin, and Col de Turini.

Bo Ljungfeldt’s Falcon. Image from Motorpunk.  

Bo Ljungfeldt’s Falcon took fastest times on all five Special Sections, with Paddy Hopkirk’s Mini matching his time on St. Apollinaire, a stage on narrow D-roads with “plenty of ice and an untold number of twists and turns,” as the Dungannon website observes. 

Special Stage Adventures. It was on La Madelaine that British rallyist Anne Hall driving with American Denise McCluggage left the road in their Falcon, balanced on a bank, then drove down a steep incline to rejoin the road and finish the stage in 36:52. Dungannon notes, “Ljungfeldt, doing seemingly impossible things with the vast Falcon, achieved 33 min. 53 secs.”

I’ll bet the Hall/McCluggage’s extra three minutes were particularly exciting. 

The Anne Hall/Denise McCluggage Falcon, as seen in its Monaco Circuit lapping

Eric Carlsson piloted his Saab GT 850 with navigator Gunnar Palm; wife Pat Carlsson née Moss drove another GT 850 with navigator Ursula Wirth. On four of the five Special Stages, Eric pipped Pat. But on St. Martin, Pat confirmed her Coupe des Dames Award with an 18 min. 16 sec. run, beating her husband by 17 sec.

The fifth Special Stage, Col de Turini, was renowned for its switchbacks. As observed by, “Although the Falcon was sold as a compact in North America, by European standards the car was bloomin’ huge; at 15 ft. long it was one-and-half times the length of a Mk1 Mini, and the pundits joked that it wouldn’t even make it around the Col de Turini’s tightest hairpins without backing up.

Image along the Col de Turini from

Paddy Hopkirk piloted the Mini across the Col de Turini in 23:46. Ljungfeldt was especially quick during the descent with a spectacular 23:29.

Monaco GP Circuit Decider. Upon reaching Monte Carlo, the standings 1-5 were Hopkirk; the Carlssons, husband and wife, respectively; Makinen; and Ljungfeldt. Timed lapping of the Monaco Grand Prix circuit would decide final rankings.

Bo Ljungfeldt’s Falcon at a much-photographed locale, Lowe’s Hairpin. Image from RallySport.

Dungannon reports, “Ljungfeldt’s drive was simply stupendous, and his efforts not only gave him best times of the day, but shot his Falcon up to second place, from fifth, in the general classification.” 

Tomorrow in Part 2, Yr Fthfl Svt Henry N. Manney III drives one of the Ford team cars. ds

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2022 


  1. Mike B
    September 24, 2022

    Has the Col de Turini ever appeared in a James Bond movie?

  2. simanaitissays
    September 24, 2022

    I do not know. Maybe some Bond expert might comment. I’ve never driven Col de Tutini, but have driven others with plenty of such lancets.

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