St. Louis MG Club
Missouri Endurance Rallye 2017
Saturday, April 22
Oh the Places you'll Go
The Missouri Endurance Rally is a long-time April fixture of the St. Louis MG club events calendar. Over the years many Chicagoland MG Club members have participated in the event. As such itís a great opportunity to meet up with a different set of fellow
MG enthusiasts. This year I went with another MG driver, Briggs Patterson. Many of you who have been to the ďFix-ItĒ garage over the last year or so will have met Briggs working on his 1973 MGB. We drove down to St Louis on the Friday afternoon. The rally was Saturday & we returned Sunday morning.
The GT came in handy with the rain and all..
The rally is a great test of car, driver and navigator. It was nice to prove óto ourselves at leastó that a 47 year old car could reliably do nearly a 1,000 miles in a long weekend almost without a mishap. In our case this year we lost the top radiator hose. My fault really for not being thorough enough on the pre-rally inspection, I should have spotted the cracks. Still no harm done ó diagnosis & repair took about five minutes, ok maybe seven! We merely removed the old hose, fitted the new spare hose & topped up the water, yes like good Boy Scouts we were prepared with the spare parts! The MGB GT proved to be a good choice given the weather, which started off cold & wet until it dried up in the afternoon. We had ample room for all the spares & tools we could need, plus ourselves, maps & gazetteers.† Some poor folks in an MGA did it top-down the whole way. Certainly not fun in the morning with the rain. Donít think the navigator gets the easy job, they donít. Because minimum distance wins, continuous concentration by the navigator is essential to staying on track.
Each year the format of the Rally changes a bit depending on circumstances and the whims of the rally masters. This year was no exception. We were given photos of six buildings in six towns and told to go and make a chalk rubbing of a plaque on each of the buildings. Lowest mileage from start to finish wins, oh and no GPS, smart phone navigation devices etc.
1980 technology only.
So we sat down in a coffee shop to plot out route with maps & a highlighter. In the end our chosen route took us on dirt roads, through seven fords and out into the wild back woods of Missouri. Along the way we saw all sorts of things, some of which had best stay in Missouri like a deflated Jeep Wrangler with oversized wheels left eating our dust and a guy polishing his loaded AK47!
A little dirty, but no problems mechanically to speak of during the 400 mile rally.
Needless to say it was a tremendous amount of fun. We met several of the participants during the day which meant we were all mostly following similar routes. Some of the fun was, when getting to a check point town, avoiding the temptation to drive around aimlessly looking for the correct building while all the time clocking up losing miles on the odometer. The key is to be fast thinking & flexible. At one stop as we drove into town we saw a bar. Great, letís stop & ask them, which we did, and as a result found the correct building three blocks along from the bar & zero wasted miles.
All in all we covered just under 400 miles on the rally in about 12 hours on the road and came in 5th out of the 7 cars.† Hopefully next year there will be more Chicagoans taking on the St Louis challenge. You will enjoy the experience!