Return after 30 years
Cologne, 12 December 2016
The Dakar rally is the world almost 40 years to the most demanding and dangerous Marathon desert rallies. Many automakers already sent detachments in the deserts of Africa and South America to win the competition. In 1987, Nissan brought two patrol rally cars at the start, of which one now has returned after years of restoration to its original place.
Not good started the patrol use of 1987. Shortly after the start of the important companion truck failed his service and the two patrol with the starting numbers 211 and 212 were on himself alone from now on. And there was worse: number 212 also eliminated after the patrol down was slipped a dune. Only the number 211 by Miguel Prieot and Ramon Termens made it to the Senegalese Dakar. There, the Nissan team was a brilliant success: victory of the diesel class and the first compression-ignition that could ever go in the top ten. After the rally, the car was sold to a private collector, and disappeared from the scene for the time being.
Desolate condition of the Fanta Limón cars
Employees of the development centre, which in 1987 was responsible for the preparation of rally cars, on photos of the 211 number came in 2014. The plan: a revival just in time for the 30th anniversary of success. They tracked the patrol in a collection in the South of the Spanish city of Girona. "The engine was in poor condition. You could not start it, many parts were corroded. Also the front axle was damaged. "But the worst part was the electrical system, which was been mauled by rats," explains Juan Villegas, Member of the eight-Member restoration team.
The resurrection of the patrol
But also the poor state of the once so successful all cyclist could not deter the crew and so a wonderful rally car, which is the real thing was built in two years of work. Throughout Europe, parts were searched, overhauled and installed. Now the patrol was able to celebrate his comeback in the dunes of the Sahara recently in his typical Fanta Limón livery. "This moment makes us proud. We have followed this project with heart and mind, and it wasn't easy. But this vehicle again to see was just fantastic in the desert", Pedro Diaz Illan, Manager for electrics and electronics in the development centre and the only member of the original team from 1987, which works today at Nissan forward. (mf)