Cruise to the Rock 2006
Ann & Jake Snyder
Thanksgiving 2006 was the warmest since 1995, the start of the Chicagoland MG Club tradition of observing the anniversary of the first automobile race in the United States. Last year’s temperature was surely closer to that of Thanksgiving 1895, but on the day of the Times Herald Race there was also a foot of snow to add to the challenge.
On Thanksgiving 1995, also very cold, the observance of the centennial of the race included a retracing of the original route, from Jackson Park to Evanston and back,
and the dedication of “the Rock” in the park, at the corner of Cornell Drive and Midway Plaissance, the approximate location of the start-finish line of the race. A few of us drove our MGs to view the centennial event, and Jeff Powell drove the route in his MG TC, along with about a hundred other vehicles, probably all of which were older than his. We recall helping one of the other participants push start his antique vehicle. So what were we to do the following year, but go back to “The Rock”, and the annual tradition was established.
Left: Ann and John Schroeder and Bill Mennell make way for the Toys for Tots Motorcycle Parade representatives, being interviewed on the right.
Only a few of us have been there every year, but the Club has always been represented. Other faithful “pilgrims” have included the American Street Rods, Bill Wildt, whose Motorsports Unlimited is shown on local cable, and organizers of the Toys for Tots Motorcycle Parade, which is held the first Sunday in December. The warm weather this year prompted an excellent turnout, including many MGs of various models, most of which arrived with the tops down. After enjoying the informal car show and doing the usual interview with Bill, many of us drove to Bridgeport for brunch at Stages, where the hostess greeted us with “You’re from the MG Club, aren’t you? More tradition!