Land’s End Trial Rally
June 9, 2013
For three beautiful, cool, sun-dappled days preceding the 2013 Lands End Trial Rally, which would be led by the unflappable Russ and Amy Mehaffey, MG drivers throughout northern Illinois anxiously studied their weather charts wondering and worrying what lay ahead. Despite the grim prognostications of the weather gnomes for June 9th, that Sunday dawned as yet again a gloriously perfect MG-driving day!
Despite the ominous forecast for developing thundershowers across the region, in fact the only “rain” that would fall on this parade was driving into the parking lot of the meeting place. The Arboretum Shopping Center at 59 and Higgins Rd, at 8:30 in the morning was unexpectedly packed with people and cars engaged in a charitable 5K run and walk. Throughout the sprawling complex, orange cones, pedestrians, and flocks of joggers everywhere clogging up the place as inadvertent autocross pylons for the gathering MG’s. When we were expecting it empty, who could know it would be like this? But we all managed to find each other and have the drivers’ meeting.
The MG is classically best known as a sports car. Sports car is exactly what Cecil Kimber had in mind when he built the first badged MG, 'Old Number One', and drove it to a pair of gold cuff links in the 1925 London to Lands End Trial. That 1925 Lands End was the first MG victory in motor sport, in the very first MG (according to Cecil Kimber himself), and established MG's credentials in motor sports racing from the very inception of the company.
Our own Lands End Trial Rally is the second oldest continuing event on the CMG Club calendar, first run in June, 1981. This year’s trip went north-bound, winding up through the Barrington environs (but missing the weekend boating traffic!) until the shady pitstop at Chain O’Lakes State Park. After that, the 18 or so MG’s (and one Jaguar) then ventured up through the rolling backcountry of Wisconsin.
Unlike the original Lands End Trial of 1925, the only gravel on this trip was in the parking lot of Doyle’s Pub in Richmond (great Rueben’s!), just back across the state line, and also everyone made it through the trip to the “Lands End”. There were no breakdowns, gravel, or rain, just winding beautiful roads.
As far as the clues and questions that would determine the Rally winners by points, oh, Russ and Amy had tricks. These questions were hard. But somebody answered each question correctly, so they weren’t impossible. First place award went Jim and Lois Evans with only 16.5 out of 20. Second place was Roger and Shirley Goebbert with 12.5 points. Third with 11.5 points was Ralph and Sue Arata, who were last to finish (we were second last). And fourth was last year’s winners, Steve and Liz Gorr with 10.5.
Oh, and there was a Jaguar participating, a ’54 140 driven by a newcomer named Mark and navigated by his 14-year old daughter who researched and somehow found our Rally on-line. They were jolly and we gave them a big MG Club welcome. Hope they join or join us again. Everyone knows that all or most CMGC events are open to all, and as a BCU representative, I hope to promote interclub activities as much as possible, in the interests of British motoring. It is nice to see other marques come, not that too many ever do. It supports the sport. The next inter-club activity is the June 22nd Drive-In Movie Night at Cascade, hosted by the CMGC by my fellow BCU rep, Dave Bralich. Please come! And next year, we look forward to the Lands End maybe going southwest again.