ln 1952, the Pretoria Motor Club (PMC) organized the Pretoria-LM rally as an experiment amidst much negative comments from others. The event was so successful that it became an annual institution. It gained National status in 1954.
In 1957 TOTAL South Africa became the major sponsor of the event and in 1964, International status was granted to the, now, most prestigious event on the calendar, and became known as the TOTAL International Rally.
Many new ideas were born through the years on this event such as, the diagrammatic route schedules we know today, organizers’ clocks, different speed groups, private forest roads etc. The political instability in Mozambique resulted in the event running there for the last time in 1973, after which it continued running within the RSA borders until TOTAL withdrew its sponsorship after the 1977 event.
Celebrating many years..
TOTAL celebrated its 30 years of involvement in motorsport in 1987, and PMC organized a Commemorative rally as part of these celebrations. This sparked new enthusiasm into the idea to run events for people and cars that competed in the original LM rallies.
Thanks to the assistance of Maizey Perspex, the first PTA-LM Classic Tour sprang to life in 1990, still ran within the RSA due to the political situation in Mozambique. In 1995, a small group of brave competitors entered the event that returned to the Mozambican capital for the first time in 22 years, this time sponsored by the Polana Hotel with some assistance from Maizey Perspex as well.
In 1996 TOTAL entered as a co-sponsor to assist competitors and officials to fit the fuel bill. 1997 was a year of celebrating with TOTAL’s 40th year of involvement in motorsport as well as the celebration of the first LM Rally 45 years ago.
entering the 20th century
In 1998 the event undoubtedly became the premier event on the classic calendar. Although the Polana Hotel was still the major sponsor, with TOTAL again contributing to competitor’s fuel, this was also the first time that a tour was included thanks to the initiative of Speedy Fitment Centre’s. Fittingly this year also marked the first time, since the return, that competitors had the opportunity to actually compete on Mozambican soil, giving the local motor club (ATCM) the opportunity to receive some marshal training in the process. Due to the construction of the Maputo Corridor, the 1999 event followed a slightly different direction by covering some of the LM routes of yesteryear. The route passed through 4 Provinces (Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Orange Free State and Kwazulu Natal) and traversed 3 countries (RSA, Swaziland "Now Eswatini" and Mozambique).
In 2011 a new concept was introduced as an experiment. The formats of two well-known overseas events namely the 1000 Millas and the Historic Monte Carlo styles were run. Due to popularity, the Monte Carlos Style was retained in 2012. This style affords competitors the opportunity for some lovely sightseeing as well as competitive rallying.
In 2016 the organizers notified the competitors that they won’t be continuing with the rally at the Gala evening held at the Polana Hotel which is where the current organizer, stood up and announced that he would ensure that this prestigious adventurous rally, stamped in history will continue.
Motorsport Promoters would like to thank the previous organizers for a great 21 year of events that they have made possible for us and taking it forward, hopefully for the next 21 years with the same quality and standards we have had in the past. In 2017 the South Africa – Mozambique Rally was born!
We changed the name in 2017 to SA-MOZ Rally because we can now start the rally at any starting point in South Africa and end it anywhere in Mozambique. We will start and finish the rally at any sought after destination. We would also like to incorporate a taste of new hospitality venues throughout Mozambique and neighbouring countries.
Our first exciting journey that “couldn’t be done” happened and we proceeded through the Kruger Gate into the wildlife scenery of the Kruger National Park. We had a warm welcome and extraordinary sight-seeing on our route in Swaziland and ended the rally in Maputo at the well renowned Southern Sun Maputo where we held our Gala evening. We were so overwhelmed and grateful for the positive response in 2017.
In 2018 we had a great response in entries, with 50 classic cars that entered.
We travelled from Ermelo through Swaziland for two days, with a special stage at Riders Ranch.
Thereafter we continued our journey again towards Mozambique with another thrilling special stage hosted at the Concelho de Municipal.
We again thank all the partners who participated!
In 2019 the event grew to 60 classic cars being the biggest event thus far. We had 12 cars on the waiting list who could participate!
This event started from Freedom Park, through to the Ermelo airstrip. The event competitors rested at Royal Swazi for two nights. Eswatini was amazing again with their hospitality with sightseeing to the local museum and a special show by the local ladies.
Maputo was super special as the cars got a chance to pass the longest bridge in Africa as well as a special stage at the ZImpeto stadium.
Due to Covid, this was the first year that the event was only hosted in South Africa. The competitors only allowed minimal entries where we took the competitors for an outing to Mpumalanga through White River.
Competitors enjoyed the scenery in Pilgrims Rest, the Kruger Park and end at a classic style roadhouse in Nelspruit.
It was great to see familiar faces again...