1000 miles in a vintage sports car

I have driven more old cars, more miles than I can possibly account for. 

But, I have never driven a vintage car as intensely as I recently did on the Mountain Mille rally. 

The Mountain Mille is four days and 1000 miles of Virginia and West Virginia back roads driven by two person teams in sports cars. You may run against the clock in typical time-distance-miles style rallying or just take in the fantastic scenery while covering lots of miles in a cool car of your choosing.  Either way, you drive and many participants drive very hard. 

I was driving a 1957 Jaguar XK140 MC drophead, a legacy car that belonged to my father. In fact, the rally marked the 20th anniversary of the week my parents ran the New England 1000 in the same car. My sister was my navigator for this adventure; I gave her this trip as a birthday present. I also chose this event on this date to honor our parents. 

Neither of us have ever done a real rally. We have both done one-day events with more modern cars and longer tours at a leisurely pace but never anything like this. We instantly fell in love with it!

I thought all the driving in the old car with drum brakes, leaf springs, non-synchronized first gear and iffy weather protection would be a total exhausting experience but for most of it, that was not the case. Driving with the top down in the lovely late spring weather, taking in the breathtaking scenery and enjoying being at one with a car that has no driving aids, no radio, no climate control, leaving you feeling totally connected to the machine, the road and the place was fantastic. 

Okay, when it was all over, I was exhausted. But, it was like being exhausted from being at the beach all day. You feel recharged.  I’m doing this again.  I recommend you look into a driving event for you and your favorite car.  

 

For more information about the Mountain Mille and other rallies run by Vintage Rallies go to www.vintagerallies.com

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The beginning selfie

Just before the first checkpoint

A road trip with a purpose

2700 miles is a long drive pulling a car trailer.

But it was worth it to attend the 20th Anniversary of the McPherson College Motoring Festival in McPherson Kansas—nearly the midpoint of the USA. The only school that offers a four-year degree in automobile restoration, McPherson hosted 400 cars on the show field including my 1951 Allard K2.

A superb collection of cars; the impressive student work done in the program; and the amazing effort and energy of nearly 160 young people pulling together this terrific event convinced me of one thing; The car hobby is in good hands with the next generation of enthusiasts. They have the skills, the knowledge, the desire, and the interest. All they need is our support.

Go to car shows. Share your car with the future collectors. Let them sit in it your car. Take them for a ride. Let them share their own cars with you. Stoke their enthusiasm.

I promise you won’t regret it.

1951 Allard K2 on the show field at the McPherson College car show

1951 Allard K2 on the show field at the McPherson College car show