Car shows can be strange places. I like to go, it's interesting
to see all the polished little machines in their categorized little
rows. A good place for reference material and to take the girlfriend
so she can see them all in one place (instead of catching a glimpse
of some rare model on the street and then trying to explain what it
looks like). However after a while, the shows end up being nothing
more than drag races.
"What?" I hear you cry. "Drag races?" Yep. A pure drag race, with
none of this silly "dial your time in" thing is a competition to see
who can spend the most on their engine. It proves little, and is, all
in all, rather boring to watch. One automobile periodical ran a
bit likening drag racing to a form of "self love." Car shows, too
many times, tend to become that some sort of ego-based masturbation.
"Wellll, myyy car has the super rare original blah-blah-blah." You
wanna know why it's rare? It's like the Bugeye front drums, as soon
as the disks were available, guys who were *driving* their cars threw
them away, because, pardon my lack of eloquence, some of those
highly desirable original parts suck.
...and so you get a big field full of non-driven show room condition
cars, owned by people who want to show off a fat wallet rather than
"phat" historical knowledge, and frankly, I'd rather spend my weekend
sliding around cones.
Saturday morning I was dashing about, running errands, when I saw a
rather "tatty" blue RB MGB in a parking lot. As I was heading back
to my car, I saw the owner approach it, and I struck up a conversation.
This 'B had some dents and dings, a pseudo repaired "crack of doom" on
the drivers side door, and a couple of scratches in the original
paint job. As is usual on striking up a conversation in a parking lot
(much different than trying to talk to an arrogant trailer queen owner),
this fellow was more than happy to talk about his "tatty" 'B. "Oh yeah,
I've had this car since 1980, when I bought it new. Of course my new
BMW M3 is faster and all, but I love the fun of an MG."
My old 'B has been through it. I've had the beast since 1986. I installed
a new interior a couple of years ago, but it could really use paint. I've
got a bit of body work damage, the driver's side rear "cheek" under the
tail lamp got smashed in a parking lot incident, almost funny in that
yes, it's rear end damage, and yes I don't have a rear bumper, and yes,
that rear bumper wouldn't have prevented this damage anyway. Oh well,
I still drive it. Daily. And it has a few other interesting badges
and scars. Look close and that sticker on the windshield is a tech
inspection for an SCCA event. The passenger door bears witness to a
hard spin on-course that resulted in a dead cone.
Last October I drove my 'B up to Laguna Seca, trailing a friends
new Boxster. That old 'B kept up with the Boxster, corner for corner,
up that glorious road highway 1. There's a group of us planning to
make this run again, this october, for the IMSA WSC and FIA GT races
(sports cars my friends). Put the top down and drive the roadsters
up to Seca, camp next to the track...watching the big boys play
with memories of unfathomable coastal scenery blurring through
your mind...that don't happen at car shows, folks.
(if memory serves correctly, check out:
It's kind of like going out with a rather average looking girl
with all the charm and personality possible in a person and having
all the guys dating super-models tell you how lucky you are. At
the end of the day the super model may be good looking, but charm,
spunk and personality go a long way in the dark.
Cars are meant to be driven.
The guy with the "tatty" blue 'B I talked to in the parking lot
told me of a recent drive with a buddy in the car. "My friend
says 'do you know you were in a 4-wheel drift back there' and I
said 'yeah, isn't that what this car was built for?'"
He's right, that's what they were built for.
Anyone who's interested in making the run from points south to
Laguna Seca (check out their web page for the correct date, it's
like the next to last weekend in october), we are planning a
big run from San Diego to Seca for the sports car weekend. It's
a grand blast...just bring a fun car! Depending on how many interested
folks we find, this could end up being anything from a sports car
tour to a rally/raid.
Sing blue silver,
Team Sanctuary http://www.teamsanctuary.com/