Volvo PV 544 East Africa Rally 1965 winners 'Flying Sikh': The Singh brothers
The postwar PVs were the cars that introduced Volvo to the wider world; the PV444 and PV544 of the 1950s and 1960s established this Swedish automaker’s enviable reputation for durability and surprising performance. Perhaps the PV544’s most prominent international motorsports victory was its domination of the 1965 East African Safari Rally, at the hands of the Singh brothers, Joginder and Jaswant.
Considered by many to be the world’s toughest rally, the East African Safari Rally proved too much for Volvo’s first four-car attempt, in 1964. Those cars, built by Gunnar Andersson‘s competition department team, were fitted with 130-hp (up from the stock 90-hp) B18 engines, reinforced front suspensions with Bilstein twin-tube shock absorbers and front disc brakes, two gas tanks and skid plates under the engine, gearbox and fuel tanks.
Of the 94 cars that began the race, only 21 finished, and just one of the four PVs crossed the finish line, although not in time to be counted.