The “Unknown” Convention
Auburn, Indiana July 10th-13th
Yes, there was another meeting this summer besides the conventions of the three national organizations for A’s, B’s, and C’s. And believe it or not, there were probably more Chicagoland MG Club members at this convention than at the other three combined! It was the GOF Central Mk XXX in Auburn, Indiana from July 10-12. GOF stands for Gathering of the Faithful and they are events of the New England MG T Register, the national club for the MG T Series from the 1936 TA through the ‘55 TF. They do several of these GOF’s across the country and the central states had theirs in Auburn, Indiana this year.
The national club for the even older models, the MMM Register selects a different meeting every year to piggy-back their annual gathering. MMM stands for Midget, Magna, and Magnette which are the names of the overhead cam models from the very first M-type in 1929 through the last P Type in 1936, along with a real alphabet soup of other models in between. For this year, the MMM register called the GOF in Auburn their home also. And almost 20 of the about 120 attending MG’s where MMM’s. Besides a handful of A’s and B’s the rest was all T Series. About 10 Chicagoland MG Club/Vintage MG Car Club of Chicago double members together at least Vintage only members made up a very large Chicago contingent. We trailered Emma, our 1931 M-Type, as were some other MMM’s. But not all, there were P types that drove in from as far as Peoria or even Kansas City. Most of the T Types where driven to the event, about 200 miles for our members.
Many consider Auburn the car capital of the US because there were 17 or so car manufactures in the past. Of course the most famous of all was the Auburn-Cord-Duesenburg company. The Duesie’s where actually built in Indianapolis, but the Auburns and Cords rolled out of the company headquarters which now houses the ACD Museum. But the town has a few more automotive museums and is home of the Kruse auction company that also has a couple of museums.
Friday was the rally through the Amish area and museum visits in town. They also had a “Garage Crawl” visiting some interesting car related places and businesses. We went to Gary Babineu, a renowned Watson Indy Car re-creator. In the evening there was a special car show at the hotel for First Timers, cars that have not been shown at a GOF before. Strong competition ranging from unrestored and authentic MG to a couple of
cars that were delivered by the professional restorer just a few hours prior to the event!
The formal car show for all cars was on Saturday morning in a beautiful park right next to the ACD museum and in the afternoon we went back to the hotel for the swap meet and vendors.
The highlight was definitely the banquet in the ACD museum. It was open for us only from 5 PM while the dinner started at 7. That gave ample time to go through the phenomenal collection of cars in the beautifully restored show room of the factory and the adjacent spaces. The museum is decorated in style with very nice wall details, art-deco light fixtures and granite floors. Auburn-Cord-Duesenburg are certainly prestigious automobiles. But somewhere in one of the back rooms we found the car that really gave ‘class’ of the museum; the 100,000th MGA in restored condition as it was shown at the New York Auto Show in 1962. There is quite some history about the car, including the way it came in private hands. (Google 100,000th MGA and see for your self, maybe an MGA specialist can write about it in an upcoming edition of the Driveline) The special exhibit featuring Gordon Buehrig, the ACD designer, as well as technical exhibits of engines and some of the old ACD offices, including Mr. Cord’s where open for us on the second floor of the museum. While we strolled through the museum there was a life piano player which gave the whole experience an extraordinary atmosphere. The after dinner key note speaker was the Auburn mayor himself who presented a detailed history of the city. Several of our club members received awards in the car show and the night was closed again in the hospitality suite and in the parking lot.