While the weather didn't pick the Monte's winner, it sure narrowed the 296-car field. Southern Europe was drentched with snow and subzero temperatures, so it was those who started in the North who found the going easiest, Stockholm starters especially. Among the latter were Erik Carlsson (Saab 96) who- won for the second year in a row, and Mrs. Ewy Rosqvist (Mercedes-Benz 220-SE), 16th over-all, who won the Coupe des Dames at the last minute.
Of the 98 finishers, 47 started at Stockholm. In contrast, everyone who started at Athens was eliminated by a Yugoslavian blizzard. Rains washed out half the Lisbon contingent-and none of those survivors made it through to the Principality. Just three got all the way through from Frankfurt, and they did it by scooting 300 miles on snow cleared autobahn to circumvent (legitimately) 178 miles of blocked rally route.
From Warsaw only four out of 14 were to get through and when the six surviving groups paused in Chambery to change tires, they still numbered 216. But those who felt the worst was behind them were sadly mistaken. The route south led to the strenuous series of special stages (actually flat-out hill-climbs and descents), which are used to sort out the ties among those who are running "clean" and can seriously rearrange the placings of all the others. And it was here in the twisty, narrow mountain trails, of all places, that the lavishly prepared Ford Falcon effort shone. Never in the history of the Monte has one car achieved fastest time on each and every special stage, but Bo "Bussy" Ljungfeldt did just that in the Holman and Moody-prepared Sprint, even with the slight displacement handicap imposed on their 4.25-liter V-8s. But for-his delay in the traffic tie-up at Montauban, Bussy could well have won over-all. Ifs aside, the Falcon showing-first and second in class, 35th and 43rd over-all, and one retirement (off the road, not mechanical) - is certainly a credit to Ford, both to the management in Dearborn who decided to compete and to their experienced English Ford confederates who showed what first-rate planning can achieve with a basically good car - and a portion of luck.