is one of the original 'Flying Finns
', a term applied to the unproportionally large crowd of motorsports legends to come from Finland
. Mäkinen is most of all famous for his exploits in Minis
in classic events such as the Monte Carlo
and RAC Rally
He was born in Helsinki on March 18th 1938 and started his rallying career in the late 1950's in a Triumph TR3. After racing with BMC Minis nationally he became part of the factory team run by Stuart Turner in 1963. It is believed that it was Turner who came up with the popular term Flying Finns.
The combination of Mäkinen and a Mini were a constant sight on the international podiums of 1960s. His highly successful career continued mainly with Fords and Peugeots in the 1970s, including three consecutive wins in the RAC rally between 1973 and 1975 in a Ford Escort RS1600. He's also showed his hand at racing power boats. Mäkinen is still an active contender in vintage and historic events.