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58Bonne's 1958 Bonneville

2019 June
of the Month

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Car and Driver: RAV4in’ Is Racin': Rhys Millen to Race RAV4 Crossover in NASA Rally Sport

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If you were to take a stock, 2WD vehicle on a rallying campaign, you’d likely fantasize about a modern take on an early Group B machine. Say, perhaps a Ferrari 488 prepped akin to the old 308 Michelottos. Or maybe a 991 Carrera GTS featuring shades of the old 911 SCRS. Whatever your fancy, your eyes and/or heart would likely not drift in the direction of the pedestrian Toyota RAV4. But you’re also not Ryan Millen.


And let’s face it, you’d likely hoon the Ferrari sideways into a tree at 435 mph, which is not a sound test of human physiology. But a RAV4 SE with a stock 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, making 176 horsepower? You could have some real, legit fun with that. And that’s true even if you haven’t, as Millen has, won your class in the Baja 1000 and the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb.




Millen’s RAV4 isn’t completely stock, although the modifications are generally comms/safety related. In fact, the rally car, with the exception of some off-road-specific suspension work, isn’t much different than any run-of-the-mill production-rules weekend racer. Millen will make use of the FWD crossover in NASA’s Rally Sport series, going after both the Atlantic Cup and Pacific Cup, and will additionally contest a number of Rally America events.


Accompanied by his fiancée and navigator, Christine Fate, Millen hopes to build on his four wins last year in the Rally America West series. On the regrettable side, Wienerschnitzel has apparently not renewed its deal to supply sponsorship decals year, which seems like a gross oversight on the part of the mythic meat-tube purveyor. First they drop the gleefully erroneous definite article, now they drop Millen. C’mon, Wienerschnitzel. Get it together!




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