Mustangs in the Monte Carlo Rallye

© Wolfgang Kohrn - June 17th, 2001, last updated April 2010

Henri Greder/Ecurie Ford France
in the Monte Carlo rallye 1965

Photo courtesy AUTO Collection N.o.7
In the 34th. Monte Carlo rallye 1965 Jacques Anquetil grabbed the steering wheel of this 1965 Mustang hardtop during the rallye to Monte Carlo with co-driver Raphael Géminiani. Henri or "Titi" Greder, how his friends called him, the famous Ford driver can be seen on the left side of the car. Raphaél Gemiani recalls: "120 starters were already out of race during the etappes in the Jura mountains. At Chambéry only 28 cars were still racing, of course we were still in." (It might be that this statement is not quite the truth, because "Sports Car Graphics wrote in April 1966, that 35 cars showed up in Monaco - editor). Anyway the night rallye was a nightmare.
The Monte Carlo rallye is a very unique rallye, as not all starters drive from the same starting point. Reims was only one spot. The others usually having been in Spain, Italy and one other european country. Thus the 4 groups of starters arrived at the meeting point in Chambery in the french Alps "starwise" from 4 directions. From there they headed on in speedy night sections to the Monte Carlo finish line for a days celebration and gala. The distances like from Barcelona/Spain, Turin/Italy and Reims were almost the same length, allowing the participants equal road racing and hill climbing opportunities.
With no. 66 another Mustang (one of the Alan Mann Racing prepared Tour de France 64 cars) participated in the 65 Monte Carlo rallye.

Henri Greder and Martial Delalande (F)
in the Monte Carlo rallye 1966

Photo copyright Wolfgang Kohrn (former Rob de la Rive Box collection)

In the 35th. Monte Carlo rallye 1966 Henri Greder was a star, showing his driving skills with this 1966 Mustang hardtop during the rallye from Reims to Monaco. The rallye started on 14th. January and ended on the 22nd and coincided with one of the coldest winter and heavy snow. In 1966 the rallye started from eight european capitals (Lisbon, London, Oslo, Minsk, Warsaw, Reims, Athens and Monte Carlo). In this year however they did not met in Chambery, but raced in 8 groups directly to Monte Carlo. The Principality of Monaco had requested that more cars should show up in Monaco and forced the teams to set up headquarters there (for good business and better publicity for Monaco).
Distances of about 1800 miles with a low average speed of 26mph between the various control points made up the total rallye with many winding roads. Ford sent 5 Lotus Cortinas (3 entered by Ford England and two by Alan Mann Racing). Drivers were Peter Proctor, Bo Ljungfeldt, Roger Clark, Elford and the Swedish ice champion Soderstrom. There were some private Ford Cortinas as well, some factory supported german Ford 12M and 20TS and last but not least our hero Henri Greder in his Mustang.
In fact 164 cars out of the 192 starters made it to Monaco. From there one rallye section included the same route as in 1965 from Monaco-Chambery-Monaco. 86 saw the finishing line after that heavy-duty-race, only 37 remained unpenalized. Henri Greder finished on 5th place behind 2 Minis, the Cortina of Lungfeldt and the third factory Mini. The final section saw another 400km section, where the Minis improved their places. Politics made it happen that all Minis and the Cortinas were disqualified after the last race due to their lights with iodine-vapor bulbs, a fact that was not known and not informed to the british teams. This decision caused much anger and the Monte Carlo Rallye 1966 was called later the Monte Fiasco rallye.

Henri Greder was a very successful Mustang racer of the Ecurie Ford France.
In 1965 he already won 9 french touring car races with a Mustang (co-driver Martial Delalande, Beaumont, Rives). His affiliation with Mustangs started at the Tour de France 1964, while he was driving a Galaxy already in 1963 (9th place with Foulgoc (F)in the TdF).With start no. 184 the Mustang mastered even snowy road mountains, one of the many challenging sections of this famous road rallye. Henri finished 6 french races in 1966 seeing the checkered flag as a winner, 5 of them with co-driver Beaumont.

Johnny Halliday, the famous singer in the 36th. Monte Carlo rallye 1967

Photo copyright Wolfgang Kohrn
(former Rob de la Rive Box collection)

photo courtesy Christian Bonnemaison
and Auto Collection n.o.7

Johnny Halliday was a famous singer back in those heydays of real music. Real stompin' music could be heard in Mustangs for sure. As Johnny must have loved the V8-music, he took over the steering "knob" of this 1967 Mustang during the rallye from Reims, where 58 competitors of total more than 200 started to Monaco. Starting at 9.34 a.m. on 14.Jan. 1967 each of them left with a one minute delay. That makes almost one hour difference between the first and the last starter. 

Police officers are keeping an eye on his fans in the picture, while they are trying to get autographs. Co-driver Henri Chemin. Henri Chemin was the french Ford Public Relations manager from 1962 to 1969. He was a very skilled rallye driver as well and kept some championship titels in the french touring cars class ... on Chryslers. Read on! It was his idea to promote the Mustang with famous singers or celebreties.

Among those VIPs were Francois Hardy, Vadim, Sheila, Claude Francois. According to Henri Chemin, Johnny Halliday was a real skilled driver, as he had the same "force" and "heart" like champions have.
Note the big honking horn behind the grill and additional fog or high-beam lights below the bumper. Johnny also seems to have a kind of pillow at his back. Interesting convenience option. The Mustang hardtop with a 390 cui engine had the no. 105 on its doors. During one "etappe" a broken rear axle was successfully changed during the night.

photo courtesy Mustang Club de France

Back to Homepage