The Chrysler Safari was held on 29 October. Jeff Beaumont tells the story:
VRC Round 5 – 1977 COCC Safari Rally
It was a title-clinching victory for Gil Davis and David Long, bringing home their Datsun 1600 ahead of Chris Power / Mick Brasier in the 1977 Chrysler Safari Rally
The Rally attracted 43 starters, who left the Chadstone start and transported to the competitive start at Willow Grove.
Starters included Dinta Officer and Kate Hobson in their Mini Cooper S.
Quickest over the first 33 km competitive were Bob Bird / John White (Lancer) and Geoff Portman / Ross Runnalls (Datsun). They were closely followed by Uttleymoore / Bond, and Officer / Hobson doing an impressive job in their Mini. Peter “ Pierre “ Dutton stuck his Citroen off the road and in the bushes, whilst Doug Chapple / Bruce Ford rolled their Datsun.
Despite the dusty conditions Chris and Simon Brown were quickest through the Moondarra Forest. But the current Victorian Champions Waterhouse / Paterson thumped a bank hard enough to force their retirement.
Bob Bird was quickest on the next section to Toongabbie, then retired on the Grand Ridge Road when he left the road backwards. Others who came to grief included Mike Heny who rolled his Civic, and Dinta who broke a crankshaft.
Division end was at White Womans Water Hole near Wron Wron, where Davis / Long led from David Jones / Ian Pearson, Power / Brasier and Dyball / Kelly. Colin Sichlau and David McKenzie were performing very well in 5th place in their Fiat 125.
Gil Davis took advantage of running at the front of the field in the dusty and sandy conditions in the Kangaroo Swamp area, and cleared out to the finish, aggressively chased by Chris Power.
At the finish at the central control at Won Wron, Gil and David were declared winners from the Brad Boyden Datsun 1600 of Chris Power and Mick Brasier. Amazingly, three crews tied for fourth placing!
The only non-Datsun in the top six was third placed David Jones and Ian Pearson in a Lancer.