The Monte Carlo Rally promised to be more exciting than ever in 1964. And what had become increasingly evident in the years before then became a clear fact on 17 January 1964. The era of the amateurs was coming to an end, with more and more works teams now entering the Monte. The ultra-powerful Ford Falcons of Greder/Delalande and Schlesser/Leguezec were matched by the Mercedes-Benz 300 SE driven by Bohringer/Kaiser and Glemser/Braungart. But Trana/Lindstrom at the wheel of a Volvo 544 also expected to look good, just like Toivonen/Jarvi in their Volkswagen 1500. Citroen entered no less than four DS 19s, but in terms of sheer numbers everyone still lagged behind the BMC, registering an six nimble Minis, with 24 more Minis being raced by private teams.Mini drivers Patrick Hopkirk and Henry Liddon set out on the Monte with another Mini team: Rauno Aaltonen and Tony Ambrose. In 1963 Aaltonen and Hopkirk finished first and second in their class, the Flying Finn even clinching third place overall. And in 1964 they entered the race with a new and even more powerful car: the new Cooper S with a larger engine which displaced 1071 cc, developing maximum output of 70 bhp (52 kW). Not only the higher top speed of 99 mph (160 km/h) promised to make the Mini more competitive, but also, much faster acceleration to 60 mph (100 km/h) in 13 instead of 19 seconds.