Rally Navigator.

Pre-event . Getting there.

Sunday, May 21st:
still trying to get there.

Monday, May 22nd:
A start... & a finish?

Speed Event:

Tuesday, May 23rd:
Back in the saddle again!

Speed Event:
Thunder Road.

Wednesday, May 24th:
Rain, rain go away...

Thursday, May 25th:
Finish... 1 second or 121?

Friday, May 26th:
Going home.

Flotsam that I forgot.

Rally organizers:
Rich & Jean Taylor's
Vintage Rallies website. Color



















































































































































































































A start, and a finish (?)

Left: Bond's Aston Martin in
front of the Cranwell















My alarm goes off and startles me awake. It is 3:20am PDT... way too early to be getting up, but since I am in the Eastern
time zone it a somewhat reasonable 6:20. I shower myself awake, pack and head outside. The weather is not too encouraging...
misty and low overcast. I put my stuff in the wet cat and head up to the main building for breakfast.


Above: a wet cat.

I run into Frank & Clark in the mist...

After breakfast we join the lineup for the start.

Back to front: The Jag, Craig Benson's 1975 Jensen Healy, Brad Mottier's 1972 Datsun 240z, a Ferrari,
Ron Gaeta's Jaguar XK-150, Peter Star's one-of-a-kind 1967 Toyota 2000GT convertible,
a Porsche 356, a Mercedes 300sl roadster, The Kretchmer's Morgan, another 300sl, another 356.

Above: The starting queue.

I drive the first timed segment. Since it looks like rain we keep the top up. I hate driving the jag with the top up because I am about an
inch too tall to fit when it is up. Everytime we hit a bump my head bangs into a cross-brace of the roof. I don't go too fast since the roads
are wet, but we make good time anyway, and arrive at the end with plenty of time to wait. We had passed all of the cars you see in the
picture above, along with a few more... so we pulled over to wait. Dad checked our clock against the rallymasters while I dropped the
roof (the clouds were lighter, but it was still grey.) The finish of the first segment was at a racetrack. We were scheduled to run a
gymkhana and a drag race.

When our time to go for the last 100 yards to the checkpoint came, the yellow Merc 300sl roadster you see just in front of us above,
came rolling in almost a minute late, he made his run for the checkpoint right as our time was coming. What followed was a complete
disaster. The 300sl stopped on the line and left me no room to pass. Then he slowly crept about 10 feet over. There were two rally staffers
working the checkpoint. One was busy talking to the guy in the Merc, and filling out his time sheet, the other was chatting with some
woman about 5 yards past the line(!) Neither of them were paying attention to us! Dad was counting down our time and I had NO IDEA
where to go. I crawled up to just short of the line and gunned the engine as I crossed hoping to get somebody's attention. I squeezed the
nose of the Jag between the 300sl's wide butt and the cone on the drivers' side of the checkpoint. The rallystaffer whose conversation I
interrupted turned and gave us a clearly annoyed look and said ":01"... meaning a one second penalty! Grrrr. It was a repeat of the
"Austin Moron incident" of last year. Dad said: "Since this is America, where you are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty,and
since neither Iain or his pal (who called us guilty) saw us cross the finish, you would think they would zero us, rather than find us guilty,
and penalize us. Oh, well." I figure we are right where we started last year: "Crap, one leg down, one second behind."


Speed Event: AutoCross.

Every year the New England 1000 hosts several speed events. Since we always fall into the "Early Historic Over 4.0 liter" class (The Jag has a straight six 4.2 liter, so we barely qualify) we perenially share a class with a bunch of big V-8s. This year share the class with two beautiful Corvette StingRay roadsters. One is owned by George and Donna Von Gal, some friends of my parents, and George is a veteran racer. We'll be lucky to limp away the track alive. Our only hope is that the Sunbeam Tiger, driven by Stephen Hansen and Rich Riena overheats (like it did last year), and the 'Vette's get lost on the way to the track. =)

The first speed event is an autocross (or gymkhana) where you negotiate a small course laid out on a parking lot with cones. Based on my stellar
performance last year, where I spun the Jag around and around, much to the entertainment of the whole crowd, I decided to let Dad run it, and
I'd take the drag race. Due to the rain though, the drag was called off.

Left: Dad pulls the jag into the start area.

I watch quite a few folks run the course, and take a
bunch of pictures. (They're on the next page.)

The Jag is not really the best car to run this sort of
event with. It takes a real good driver (something
neither of us is!) to get the big road machine
through the cones. Frank Filangeri knows his Jag
like the back of his hand and turns in a very respectable
time. The best sort of car to run on these courses
are little machines like Porsches. Last year the 914s
kicked butt. This year the 356's and Speedsters do
the same. Dad's turn comes and he requires several
trips around... he loses his way in the practice run...
then Rich Taylor joins him to guide him around the course.
Then the timer malfunctions! Finally he gets a timed
run and turns in a 31.31. Not bad really. The best times are
just over 28 seconds.


Below: Dad's final run around the cones.

Since the Drag Race is cancelled I decide to take my turn on the autocross. Last year I pushed the car real hard and managed to spin it around twice.
This year I didn't even try that hard. The course was wet and the car was sliding around a lot, but I didn't a repeat of that inverse QuickTimeVR
thing where I was holding still and the whole planet was spinning around me. =)
I drove what I thought was a very conservative course and ended up getting a 31.32! Heh, only 100th of a second behind Dad. Maybe I should have
pushed it a bit more!

By far the most entertaining autocross participant is Stephens Dunne & Trevor Calhoun in their 1967 Lincoln Limo... complete with Presidential
seal and Monica Lewinsky doll in the back. They tossed two hubcabs as they rounded the curves. I managed to catch a pic of one of them. Wild!

We check out for our second timed leg. It is a long one, 93 miles. We are given 130 minutes to do it, so it can't be too hard. Dad drives
and thankfully we keep the top down. I get some good pictures along the way:


Above: Going through a covered bridge in Vermont.

Below: Left to right, The Jag, a ferrari, and a gorgeous 1958 BMW 507 driving along a twisty road in Vermont.

This stage finishes at an airport. We roll up with a good 20 minutes to spare. I waltz up to check on the official rally time, and watch a few cars
make their final runs. The checkpoint crew here is great, Jim Reed & Leslie Berblinger... they run it very well with Jim watching the line and Leslie
about 10 yards further to check your timecard. They use walkie talkies between. This is great. Clockwork. No confusion. And if someone messes
up (like the last leg) then you always have room to deal with it. (*BIG hint to Rich!*): Too bad they can't all be like this.

Dad wants me to drive the finish. Despite our first leg he still thinks I can close better than him. I manage to prove him right as we zero out. Woo Hoo! =)

We take a quick break at the airport...

Left: Avery nice Stearman.








Right: I drooled over this BMW. This must be what inspired the Z-3. Very nice. It is a 1958 BMW 507 being driven by Susan Tatios and Nancy Finkelman.

The next leg is a short transit to Lunch. We eat lunch at
the offices of Hemmings Motor News. They have a
nice collection. Including a couple of VW beetles. I buy
some old ceramic car memoribilia signs, including 2 VW
ones. I also grab a Vermont Fridge Magnet for the boys.

They gave us a 10% off discount coupon. I was tempted to ask if it would apply to the Beetle covertible they had!

Left: 1959 Beetle.

The next leg is a long transit to our hotel in Woodstock Vermont. I drive and Dad completely drops the ball as navigator within about 2/10ths of a mile! Whatever...
It is only a transit stage anyway. We get out the map and just figure a quick route to Woodstock and go.

We're flying along US 7. The traffic is light, the road is great... things are unusually perfect.


"Chhhhiiirrrppp! Flap, Flap, Flap, Bang!" ...Says The Jag.

Sounds like something just fell off the car. I quickly look in the rearview....




We look at each other... 'what the hell was that?!' I take an exit of the highway. We stop and discuss going back to look for loose Jaguar parts on the road. I go to pull out and the car refuses to get in gear. The clutch feels real funny. I struggle for a while to get into a gear, *any* gear with no luck. We shut it down. We open up the hood, and give the car a full visual inspection. Inside the engine compartment... nothing unusual. Outside and under.... nothing funny. I pull out my cell phone and call the Stephen Markowski, the rally mechanic. I tell him about what is happening and he says they'll be there in a bit. Dad and I discuss heading back to see if there are any spare Jag parts back up the hill on US 7. I volunteer to take the hike, just in case.

I walk about a mile back up the road. I find many interesting car parts, but nothing from a 1965 E-Type Jaguar. After I reach the top of the hill I turn and head back and - low and behold - here comes Dad in a new Mercedes. This is not good. Mercedes is the major sponsor of the Rally and they provide cars for people whose vintage machines die. Dad picks me up and we head down to the underpass where the dead Jag awaits.

Left: Dad talks with the Rally mechanics inside their trailer.

In the capable hands of Mr. Markowski, the problem has been quickly diagnosed as a Clutch Hinge Pin that has fallen out of place. We all know that E-Type drivetrains require engine removal before they can be worked on.

We are finished with the rally.... at least in the Jag.

I'm *really* bummed. I want to tell Dad to just drive me to the airport... I'm not really that interested in driving a new Mercedes. Yes, they are really nice cars, and way beyond my price range, and very high performance in comparison to a 35 year old beast...

But c'mon! There's no comparison!

Dad seems to be taking it a whole lot better than I am. He offers to let me drive, but I prefer to sulk. He talks about what a nice car this Merc is... 'yeah whatever dad.' We navigate our way to Woodstock using my PowerBook and GPS unit, since we left the route book in the Jag.

When we drive into the parking lot in a Mercedes everyone *KNOWS* what has happened. They extend their sympathies.


I check into my room and sit down to edit photos for the day. Dinner comes and I walk over to the place where we are all meeting. The place is packed and I drink enough wine to take the edge off my disappointment. I bring the powerbook and show some of the photos I have taken.

Just as dinner is over one of the rally mechanics comes in and tells my dad: "You're on... we fixed it!" Somehow they have managed to reset the hingepin.

Woo Hoo! We're back in business!

Go to the next Page: Speed Event: Gymkhana.

Or to the Next day: Tuesday.



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