Waldegård began rallying at home in Sweden, where he took his first national championship in 1967. His first international
win came in 1969 with a Porsche 911 on Rallye Monte-Carlo, a feat he repeated the following year.
Victories followed on a number of other international events, mostly with Porsche, and when the WRC was established in 1973, Waldegård was signed as one of the star drivers of the Alitalia-backed works Lancia squad.
He claimed his maiden WRC wins in the evocative Stratos in 1975 in Sweden and Italy and won again in Italy in 1976.
A bitter rivalry with fellow Lancia driver Sandro Munari came to a head on the 1976 Rallye Sanremo when Waldegård was asked by the team to surrender a four second advantage over his Italian team-mate. Waldegård did as asked but went on to win the rally anyway and immediately switched to Ford.
For the next three years Waldegård joined Roger Clark and Hannu Mikkola to drive the Ford Escort RS 1800 into rallying history. Waldegård took three wins in 1977, one in 1978, and enjoyed his most successful year in 1979 when he won the first ever drivers’ title in a duel programme with an Escort and a Mercedes 450 SLC.
In 1981 Waldegård began driving for Toyota, beginning an association which lasted until 1992 when he retired from top level competition after breaking his arm in a crash on the Safari Rally. However, he still competes in historic events such as the East African Safari Rally in his beloved Kenya.