Drivin’ the Dixie to French Lick
June 15 – 19, 2014
at French Lick Resort in Indiana.
CMGC members made it to MG2014 thru a variety of routes…some traveled in groups while others traveled alone…some arrived days before the event while others came late. One small group (like real small: 2 cars) drove part of the way on the old Dixie Highway route established about 100 years ago.
We left the Chicago area about 9 am under cloudy skies with some threatening clouds to the southeast. One less-than-intrepid conventioneer (and you know who you are) told us that he had cancelled his reservations based on a forecast of “rain all week” and headed for home. Oh well, let’s try our luck.
The roads we took were well paved and not crowded…passed through some neat small towns
with interesting things to see. We skirted Danville and went east into Indiana on US136, which is listed as part of the Dixie Highway route, then dropped down onto Dixie Bee Highway near Covington. We left the Dixie route south of Vedersburg and set south on a maze of country back roads that took us through two still standing covered bridges from the early 1900’s.
Our route then led us onto several rolling and curving back roads reminiscent of the Galena IL area. Final approach was on the US150 route recommended by the MG2014 organizers. We arrived about 6 pm, and learned later that several other club members had taken the Dixie independently.
The weather remained great for the entire time – hot and sunny with no rain. The event was very well organized with lots of opportunities for local driving and for patronizing local bars and restaurants. The main hotel was, well, indescribable by a single adjective; try stupendous, huge, awe inspiring, palatial, over-
whelming, luxurious, etc. etc. History is that it was built to cater to the wealthy years back – certainly illustrates that famous line about “The rich, well they’re different than you and me…”
The car show was well attended with a lot of very nice MGs on display. There were some highly customized cars and many with power plant conversions. MG celebrity John Twist conducted his famous drive-up Tech Session in the show lot and was busy all day advising owners on timing and carburetor issues. This event, as usual, was mobbed
and poor John was still at it until late afternoon, with a few Triumphs and an XKE also in line. Lois and I entered the Funkhana and actually won 2nd place – I think it was because our creative dialogue and suggestions to each other during the event was overheard and noted.
At the convention, we stayed at the alternate hotel…probably missed some of the socializing but had a free breakfast and didn’t miss at all the higher rate of the main hotel. Also skipped some of the organized tours, won’t comment on what we heard about them. Also declined the banquet dinner, having learned about these years ago.
And, of course, no MG road trip would be complete without the customary breakdown on the road. My car was volunteered by fate this year for that role on the trip home, and part of the Weber carburetor linkage detached at speed and jammed the throttle mostly open at about 5,000 RPM. Fortunately, this happened near an intersection with a good pull off area. Also, fortunately, Dino Perez just happened to have a suitable replacement screw (this is metric we’re talkin’ about here on a Weber) and also a suitable screwdriver (one that would get at the screw without disassembling half the engine). Jeff Powell and Mike Cobb stopped by to help (Thanks, Guys!) but the fix was already done by then. No further problems after Dino’s fine work, we were home by dinner time.