Bob Kramer wrote:
> One of the subjects that came up at the VTR meeting was why the turnout at
> the Nationals is declining. The answers seem to be that there are more
> choices than ever, with very the TRF summer party, Moss sponsored events,
> more VTR regionals and bigger and better British car events all over the
> country. With so much to choose from, VTR members are opting for the more
> special events that include racing, boat rides, etc. Events like
> Triumphfest and the Summer Party are not losing ground.
> Savannah was a very special VTR national, due in great part to the race
> cars. I spent most of two days at the track drooling (or was that sweat).
> Since the VTR is an organization that exposes values that include
> encouraging driving the car in the manner it was intended, (concours cars
> must be in a driving event) it is my opinion that the VTR should focus on
> the cars that represent the true Triumph spirit. This would include
> autocross and race cars, cars that compete in the rallies etc., and reward
> them. Take the emphasis on driving the cars to the next level. The judging
> class for modifed race cars is a good start.
Bob and all,
In 1976, the Illinois Sports Owners Association, in conjunction with the
Detroit Triumph Sportscar Club, hosted an event known as the North
American Triumph Challenge. There were 4 main events: autocross, rally,
fuel economy run/tour (1976, remember), and car show. The idea of the
"Challenge" was to have a driver that also looked good. Everyone entered
all of the events, the cars were driven hard, then we cleaned the bugs
off of them and had a car show. No one trailered a car to the first
Over the years, the North American Triumph Challenge merged with the VTR
National Convention, in an attempt to make 1 LARGE Triumph meet each
year. The first few years of the combined event, there was a co-billing.
This year, there was no mention of the North American Triumph Challenge.
Sadly, merging with VTR seems to have changed the "Challenge" of the
event to driving the car as little as possible out of the enclosed
trailer to the show and then back into the trailer. The Best in Show
TR250 was beautiful, but was it a sports car or a museum display?
There will always be conflict between the drivers and the shiners (and I
think even the casual reader will be able to figure out where I fit in).
For our National to be successful in the future, we will need to find
more of a balance between the 2 groups. This year it seemed that the
autocross and rally awards couldn't be passed out to the winners fast
enough, while the Chief Judge of the VTR took significantly more time
passing out concours awards, with many of the winning concours cars
displayed on an overhead projector, while the winning owners from each
class posed for a group photo with the Chief Judge. What message is VTR
sending with that display? As the show aspect has been emphasized, the
attendance has been declining. Is this a coincidence?
The largest turn out of Triumphs I ever saw in 1 place was at Mid Ohio
in 1992 for the Triumph 40th birthday party/vintage races. Over 400
Triumph street cars were driven to Mid Ohio to watch the Triumph racers.
This is the true Triumph spirit. I am in total agreement with Bob
Kramer's statement that the VTR National Convention should put more
emphasis on driving.
(send in the flames, I don't need no steenkin nomex)