International Women’s Day

Michèle Mouton

I show my girls (10 and 8) you tube clips of car rallying from the 1980s.

It’s part of my one-man crusade to counter the Taylor Swift effect. Taylor Swift is a cynical charlatan with a heart full of dust. They talk about female “role models” among the various brain-dead oompa-loompa slebs; but oh that today we had more women in popular culture possessed of the talent, drive and integrity of Michèle Mouton.  

WRC winner and winner at Pikes Peak – the latter still makes me smile – Pikes Peak, bastion of alpha-male US motorsport.  Then along comes a French woman, in a funny German car – and kicks all their asses:

Here’s another great photo of a group of petrol-head legends – Mouton, with Walter demonstrating something (Hannu Mikkola to the left; Christian Geistdörfer to the right) at, I think, the 1981 San Remo – but when Walter retired with mechanical problems, Mouton won the race.  Mikkola was in p4 I think.

And here’s a great clip of Mouton, now retired, being interviewed by a journalist as she does some light-hearted practice for an upcoming classic:

Some pensioner … and as she says, the main thing is “to enjoy“.

And here she is reminding us how much we need noise in motorsport:

I would never be a fan of someone just because they’re good at what they do. But Mouton’s emotions for the sound of an engine reveals authenticity. No normal person reacts like that to the sound of an engine.

All the best exponents of a skill are also wide-eyed fans. When you listen to Keith Richards presenting a radio show of his favourite tunes, it’s heart-warming to hear how enthused he is. Of course he’s in it for the money, but, unquestionably, he also loves what he does.

And when you find that authenticity, and marry it to a disciplined work-rate and a once-in-a-generation talent, then, in my book, that’s someone worth emulating.

In a car, or out of it. Courage, confidence. work-rate, ruthlessness, enjoyment, skill – these are transferable attributes; life-lessons to a 5-cylinder symphony.

And that’s why I occasionally show my girls old you tube clips of Michèle Mouton.

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