Almost 170 cars spanning the last half century, all original or faithfully reproduced, will gather in Daun for the demonstration event. The entry list reveals a raft of WRC champions and glorious machinery portraying an exotic timeline of the sport’s history.

Sweden’s Stig Blomqvist, drivers’ champion in 1984, displays a 1997 Ford Escort RS World Rally Car and a 1000hp Ford RS200 Pikes Peak prototype, while Timo Salonen drives a Peugeot 205 T16 E2 with which he captured the title a year later.

Champion co-drivers Nicky Grist and Luis Moya are present, the Welshman piloting his Toyota Celica ST185 in which he won the 1994 Rally de Portugal alongside Juha Kankkunen.

Double ladies world champion Isolde Holderied drives the Toyota Corolla WRC in which she won the Coupe des Dames at the 1999 Monte-Carlo Rally and Swede Kalle Grundel appears in both a Peugeot 309 GTI and a Ford RS200.

Other star names in the VIP category include 1979 European champion Jochi Kleint (Volkswagen Golf GTI), five-time British champion Jimmy McRae (Vauxhall Chevette, pictured bottom) and German champions Harald Demuth (Audi 80 GLE), Matthias Kahle (Skoda 130 RS) and Erwin Weber (Seat Ibiza Kit Car).

Thirty-three cars from the flame-breathing Group B era are registered including an Audi Sport quattro S1, a Toyota Celica Twincam Turbo, a Lancia Rally 037 and a MG Metro 6R4.

A variety of Ford Escorts are present as well as more modern classics including a Lancia Delta Integrale 16V, a Subaru Impreza 555 and a Ford Sierra RS Cosworth.

Nicky Grist will drive Juha Kankkunen’s 1994 Toyota Celica ST185

One of the most unusual cars is Josep Maria Servià’s Seat Ibiza Bi-Turbo. The prototype has one engine at the front and one at the rear and can be driven alternatively with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

From today’s era, father and daughter Aziz and Nabila Tejpar will drive Mellors Elliot Motorsport’s newly-homologated Proton Iriz R5 in its first appearance outside the UK.

Famous WRC photographer Reinhard Klein is the head of Slowly Sideways, the Europe-wide association of historic rally car owners and responsible for compiling the entry.

“This year we have many new cars that have not been seen before in public, or very rarely. The absence of any timing on our stages makes it possible for us to include vehicles that would not be allowed to compete in an event of a competitive nature,” he explained.

The festival begins on Thursday with a shakedown, ahead of stages around Sarmersbach on Friday and the Vulkaneifel region on Saturday.