NOSTALGIA: Phil and Brian engineer rally triumph

Navigator in the winning car Paul White chats to Phil Davison (left) and Brian Wileman, leaning against the winning car in the Lombard RAC Rally.
Navigator in the winning car Paul White chats to Phil Davison (left) and Brian Wileman, leaning against the winning car in the Lombard RAC Rally.

Two men from Daventry held the winning combination for three Talbot engines which swept the board at the 1980 Lombard RAC Rally.

Phil Davison and Brian Wileman built the engines, gearboxes and the axles which helped the Talbot team to first, third and fourth place finishes in the race.

The parts were made in their Oxford Street premises, where they had relocated to only five weeks prior to the Lombard rally, which took place in stages on tracks across the country.

Both men used to work at Talbot in the competition department, but decided to set up on their own in Daventry.

Phil, from Staverton, built the engines and said it was “out of this world” to have had three cars in the top four spots.

Brian, responsible for the gearboxes and axles, said: “We can’t really believe it has happened.

“It is the personal satisfaction of knowing you have done your best.”

The pair were paid a visit by the navigator in the winning car Paul White, who hailed from near Rugby.

He is pictured above chatting to Phil, left, and Brian, who can be seen leaning against the triumphant Talbot Sunbeam Lotus.