A class for standard cars was introduced in ’73 and the likes of Peugeot 504Ti, Toyota GSL and Datsun SSS entered with these class honours in mind – one standard Datsun SSS, crewed by Sarel van der Merwe/Chris Hawkins, stood out from the crowd by ending up way ahead of the more specialised rally machines. This year was also the last Total to end in LM and the first time an overseas driver scooped the overall honours: Tony Fall navigated by the experienced South African, Franz Boshoff.
Looking at the results over the years makes for some interesting reading, and it becomes apparent that certain crews excelled in these long-distance endurance events. Hettema won four times (1963, 1965, 1966 and ’67) with different navigators – Hennie Steenkamp, Gus Menzies, Mike Hooper and Robbie Broekmeyer. Hettema, navigated by Franz Boshoff, thought he had another win in 1977 when he outgunned the Sandro Munari Lancia Stratos, but was excluded for speeding on a road section. South Africa enthusiasts still count this as a ‘win’ against that year’s Monte Carlo Rally winner, though.
Chris Swanepoel/Gus Crous won the event three times (1968, 1969 and ʼ71) despite not winning the championship in any of these years. Scamp and Phil Porter won in the ‘snow’ Total in 1962 with a Renault Dauphine and used a Gordini to lift the ’64 trophy. Ewold van Bergen won both the Total and the championship ten years apart – in 1960 he teamed up with Alan van Niekerk in an Austin A40 and in ’70 he powered the infamous SSS TK with his wife, Minota, calling the notes.