The Daun-based event proved hugely popular, with fans from around the world attending one of the biggest collections of historic rally machinery in the season.

Former world champions Stig Blomqvist and Timo Salonen were among the most popular, thrilling onlookers as they got back behind the wheel to demonstrate the talents which carried them to the 1984 and 1985 titles respectively.

Blomqvist found himself a guest co-driver for the event with Carlos Sainz’s navigator, Luis Moya, jumping into the right-hand seat of a Ford Escort WRC.

After a stage with the Swede, the Spaniard said: “Stig is still incredibly fast and really only steers for parking. He makes all other changes of direction with the car using very little movement on the steering wheel.”

Among the other highlights was Nicky Grist driving the Toyota Celica Turbo 4WD he shared with Juha Kankkunen in the 1990s. The Cologne-built car was, however, driven more conservatively by Grist himself.

Stig Blomqvist and Luis Moya shared a Ford Escort WRC

Grist (pictured top) said: “It’s a bit disappointing when you’ve sat alongside some of the fastest rally drivers in the world and now you’re taking the wheel yourself and going much slower. But this is my own car and I wanted to bring it safely to the finish.”

Harald Demuth (below) was reunited with the Audi 80 GLE he used to score the German manufacturer’s first WRC points at the 1979 Rally of Portugal. At the time, the German was competing in the front-wheel drive 80 at the weekend, while testing the Quattro prototype in secret during the week.

“It was like going crazy,” he said. “We tested the Quattro prototype with all-wheel drive and turbo engine and got to know this new dimension of rallying better and better.

“At the weekends we drove events in the Audi 80 GLE with a very modest 165bhp and front-wheel drive. I always thought my feet would fall asleep.

“The worst thing about it was that we weren’t allowed to tell anyone what we were developing and how great it was.”

Photos by McKlein/Eifel Rallye Festival