Well, itís just a few more weeks until the 6th Annual Missouri Endurance Rally is here. Besides all the last minute details to be worked out, I still have a few small items to get done on my car to get it ready (rebuild the clutch master cylinder, figure out why the blinkers arenít working - but the hazards are, etc). As most of you know from the previous article, Mike Pentecost and I are organizing the rally this year. We are also driving in the rally. However, even though we will not know which 10 locations will be drawn that day, we will not be competing - just driving for the fun of it. Why? Because it is my favorite event each year. Sure it is a long drive but every year I get blown away by some beautiful Missouri sites that I have never seen before. I also get to imagine how it must be to get to compete in those famous European rallies of long ago - the Mille Miglia, the Monte Carlo, the Tourist Trophy, etc. Itís hard to describe how much fun it is or even how rewarding. I almost feel renewed again after each time, like I just completed some great challenge. Iíve never really cared if I won or lost , but I do relish the thought of doing something out of the ordinary. Itís great walking into work on Monday knowing that Iíve just completed a marathon rally while most of my fellow employees just sat at home or maybe went to the mall. Iím not even going to mention all the great stories I get to tell (I guess I just did!).
So, youíre thinking about going on it but have never been before and are wanting to know what you need. First youíll need a pre-1981 British car with a working odometer. What? Yours isnít in that good of shape? Well, first of all, I would like to say that it is a lot more reliable than you give it credit for so you shouldnít worry so much. However, if you truly donít trust it or yours is down for restoration or something, and youíd still like to go - talk to me. If enough people want to try it in something other than a British car, maybe weíll have a special class... OK, next - you need a co-driver. Last year Barney Gaylord drove the whole way. His son was with him but was way too young to drive. I donít know how he did it, but if you want to try thatís your business. Third, you will need a Polaroid camera. This is so you can take a picture of yourself or co-driver in front of the entrance sign at the locations that are picked (just to show that you actually made it there). Thatís pretty much the required items. Along with those I would definitely suggest maps. Since some of these locations are out of the way and since you are trying to find the shortest routes, you pretty much have to have a map. I would also suggest: a penlight, pencils, highlighters, pens, clipboard, calculator, a ruler (helps with finding the straightest path), and lots of snacks. Now here is some items you might want to bring just in case their are any problems: cell phone, tools, a few spare parts, safety flares, reflective hazard sign, a good spare tire with a jack, and maybe a small first aid kit (some of these items you probably always carry anyway).
Weíll meet at the Hooterís Restaurant in Westport by 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 24th. Weíll have a driverís meeting, weíll draw the locations, pass out some paperwork, then seal your driverís license in an envelope just to encourage you to drive safely. Weíll do a quick run to judge the accuracy of your odometers (and figure out the offset if there is any) and take some pictures of you & your car (for the trophies), then youíre off. Youíll have until 10:00 am the next morning to make it back to Hooters in Westport. Before you leave though, I suggest really looking at the map and deciding on what order you go to the stops - this can make a big difference in the distance you drive! If you have any questions, e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message on the club line at 314-995-TOMG.
All I can say is give it a try. Itís not like you have to finish if you decide you arenít enjoying yourself; and, if nothing else, it will give you some great stories to tell around the water cooler at work on Monday!
Click here to register for the Missouri Endurance Rally.