... with whatever you're driving. <smile>
After some number of emails, I've managed, with the help and suggestions
of a number of others, to institute a new prize to have its inaugural at
the 2001 VTR convention. It's an inducement to those who often feel that
they and their cars have no place at a national event, perhaps because
they feel that their cars aren't worthy of being compared to the perfect
examples brought to major events.
But, the primary reason for the award is to honor one of the
behind-the-scenes heroes of Standard-Triumph, and a long-time associate
of Ken Richardson, Charles Macartney. As some of you know, Charles was
the father of John Macartney, a frequenter of these many Triumph lists.
John's father, at various times, was tasked by Standard and
Standard-Triumph for field service, works manager, quality control
manager and production manager, among other duties, and as John says,
Ken Richardson and Charles Macartney respected each other and the work
John has said that his father would be much pleased if the award were
known as the "Bloody Miracle" award, since it was his father's frequent
complaint (in furtherance of wishes that the cars could, always, be
better than they were) that it would be a bloody miracle if the cars
lasted through the warranty period, and that he would be even more
amazed that so many cars, through the care and concern of their owners,
were still running as daily transportation today, up to forty or fifty
years after manufacture.
So, this award, to be known as the "Charles Macartney Memorial Prize" is
a traveling prize to be awarded to the owner of a car driven to the VTR
national which most typifies the intentions of the engineers, designers
and line workmen in building Standard and Standard-Triumph
automobiles--that the cars should be enjoyed by driving them.
This is the "daily driver" award, in short. The judging standards are a
bit different than those applied to the concours classes. Points are
achieved by signs of regular use, and appropriate, but limited,
modifications which indicate a desire on the part of the owner to
improve the product over time to make it more driveable and reliable,
and evidence of regular normal maintenance necessary to keep the car in
use (leaky crank seals get an extra point or two, since such indicates
that one is too busy driving to fix the minor leaks <smile>). The car
need not be shown in concours or people's choice competition to be
considered. It simply has to be driven to the VTR national and show
signs of daily use and regular maintenance to be competitive. All cars
under consideration are, of course, encouraged to participate in the
moving and static events, but participation in such events is not
required, since driving the car to a national is proof enough of its
ability to move and maneuver.
This prize is not a grand and glorious cup, but, rather, is an assembly
of items of personal value to Charles Marcartney which express his
desire that the cars be enjoyed in the driving of them--a copy of the
license plate from one of his last cars, and a chunk of brick from the
walls of the original Coventry factory. Humble and unprepossessing, but
fraught with meaning.
Those of you thinking you won't attend this year's VTR convention for
fear of being out-classed and ignored, take heart, and reconsider.
There's room for every Triumph owner in the VTR, in its local and
regional clubs and at its conventions. Geez, most of you haven't seen
the car I've brought to recent conventions.... (!) Triumph ownership
(and VTR membership) isn't exclusively about whether the choke cable
goes under or over the accelerator cable on a `71 Spitfire, or whether
the inner fenders of a TR3A are painted before or after assembly.
There's a place for that level of detail, and there are awards for that
sort of precision.
There's also a place in the VTR for those people who like their cars in
a different way--like to drive them so much that they don't have time
for a frame-up restoration. And, there's also now some recognition of
them, and of the people who devoted their lives to building cars which
were meant to be driven, as epitomized by Charles Macartney.
Michael D. Porter
Roswell, NM (yes, _that_ Roswell)
`70 GT6+ (being refurbished, slowly)
`72 GT6 Mk. III (organ donor)
`72 GT6 Mk. III (daily driver)
`64 TR4 (awaiting intensive care)
`80 TR7 (3.8 liter Buick-powered)
`86 Nissan 300ZX (the minimal-maintenance road car)
`68 VW Type II Camper (Lancia twin-cam powered, but feeling its age....)
Remember: Math and alcohol do not mix... do not drink and derive.
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