2015 Motoring Challenge Winner: Charlie Walter

203 out of a possible 223 points. That’s what it took to be the top Challenger of 2015. Charlie Walter ran a quiet and steady race. When I said to him in an email, “Usually I’m aware of the folks that are putting in big miles. Not this time!” he replied: “I didn’t do this for the notoriety, but for the fun of the challenge.” I asked Charlie to tell us about his experience and this is what he wrote:



I am 61 years old and in my 40th year teaching American History and Government at a small high school in central Ohio. I bought my first Miata, a ’94, in 2011. I picked up my present Miata, a 2000, in 2014. It had 43,000 miles when I bought it and now has over 81,000.

When I first registered for the challenge I didn’t know if I would get many points. I thought if I worked at it maybe I could get 100. This is how my Motoring Challenge evolved:

I started out exploring the area around home and taking some pictures even while there was still snow on the ground after our long cold winter. Area state parks, an old one-room school house, a one-lane bridge and the local water tower were among my first points. I was starting to get the bug. I expanded my driving range and looked for opportunities to get even more points.

140 Water Tower - 1pt

In June my friend Trisha and I planned a trip south. The goal was to go to some states I’d never been to (Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana), drive some classic roads, and eventually end up in New Orleans. We slew the Dragon at Deals Gap (three times), drove the very scenic Cherohala Skyway and visited Lookout Mountain at Chattanooga, Tennessee. We didn’t take any Motoring Challenge pictures until we got to Montgomery, Alabama and got a couple of points with the Alabama state capitol building and the Dexter Avenue Baptist church where MLK Jr. used to be the pastor. For some reason we had not taken pictures for Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama on our trip down. We made it to New Orleans and toured the French Quarter, and headed back home to Ohio. We did eventually get our points for Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky on the trip home.

124 One-Lane Bridge - 1pt

A trip in July took me west to the Mississippi River. I picked up Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri on this trip as well as points for rivers, towns, counties and other destinations. It was a fun trip, and at the time I figured most of my travels were over. It turned out, however, that I had many more miles to put on the Miata’s odometer.

EXTRA 09 - Tow Truck

In August I took three major trips, plus a short excursion to Michigan and it’s capital, Lansing. In the first trip I set out to make up for the states I had missed in June. I headed south again to pick up North Carolina and Georgia. Somewhere in Georgia I decided to head to Florida. Then I headed north picking up SC, NC, VA, DE, NJ, and MD with an evening stop in Washington DC on the way. Then I headed back home gaining points in WV and PA before returning to Ohio.

My second August trip was to New England. I rolled east through PA and picked up my points in CT, RI, MA, NH, ME, and VT as well as my Atlantic Ocean point in New Hampshire. On the way home I drove through NY and found my adult playground at the Seneca Tribe Casino in Salamanca, NY. By the time I got home I had been in twenty-eight states and was wondering if I could find a way to get 20 more.

I had a meeting on August 27th and then didn’t have to be back to work until after Labor Day, Sept. 8. That gave me eleven days to drive about 7,000 miles west and get into 20 states. I also had several other destinations such as an elevation over 8,000 feet, a ghost town, a sign I had seen on a previous trip showing a population under 100, and of course the Pacific Ocean, which I saw at Crescent City, CA. As it turned out I only needed nine days. The last day of this trip started in Fargo, ND and ended at home 1200 miles and 23 hours later.

Four Corners is a tricky photo to get!

Four Corners is a tricky photo to get!

In September I found most of my car shows, including two in one day. I also located the Moss distributors and found a few more points, including my pumpkin patch. Trisha and I also made a trip to Virginia in October to get the picture of the Moss facility, which I had driven within a few miles of in August, but had failed to stop. The missed opportunity just resulted in more adventures. My last point was the family reunion picture when everybody got together for Thanksgiving.

114 Family Reunion - 1pt

Thanks for the opportunity! I really enjoyed completing the challenge. I believe it was somewhere in Georgia that my competitive juices really kicked in, and I decided to go for as many points as I could get. One of my brothers asked me if all the expense of the travelling was worth what I might win as a prize. My reply was: “That’s not the point.”

Thanks again,
Charlie Walter



Congratulations Team Miata! Very strong finish in 2015! Now, before classic car owners start grumbling about air conditioning, cruise control and parts that don’t sproing loose when you hit a bump… be sure to say a very hearty congratulations to our third and fourth place winners who drove more miles in their pre-1960 cars than perhaps anyone in the world with a car like theirs—probably more miles by a long shot! Technically Scott and Nancy are third place winners, but since only one grand prize can be awarded to a Challenger, they received the larger of the two prizes. A standing ovation to everyone listed here!!!

  1. Charlie Walter – 203 points – Miata 1999-2005 ($1000 Moss gift certificate!)
  2. Richard and Susan St Clair – 191 points – Miata 1999-2005 ($500 Moss gift certificate!)
  3. Scott and Nancy Gilbert points – 183 – 1952 MG-TD VINTAGE VICTOR – Top score pre-1960! ($500 Moss gift certificate!)
  4. Kenneth and Denise Mohlman – 178 points – 1959 Austin-Healey Sprite ($250 Moss gift certificate!)
Richard and Susan St. Clair – Second Place!

Richard and Susan St. Clair – Second Place!

Scott and Nancy Gilbert – Vintage Victors!

Scott and Nancy Gilbert – Vintage Victors!

Ken and Denise Mohlman – Third Place!

Ken and Denise Mohlman – Third Place!

$50 Moss gift certificates will be received by those listed below. Some competitors earned points with multiple cars; they may not be listed here.

  1. Brian Bogardus – 172 – Miata 1999-2005
  2. Michael McDermott – 170 – Miata 1999-2005
  3. Greg Foster – 157 – Miata 2006-2015
  4. Robin Camblin – 153 – MGA
  5. PJ Lenihan – 153 – MGB
  6. Paul Rolig – 151 – Miata 1999-2005
  7. Matthew McGuire – 150 – Miata 1999-2005
  8. Robert Guinness – 150 – MGA
  9. Gary Weidman – 147 – Miata 2006-2015
  10. Mike and Lori Russell – 143 – Mazda
  11. Joel and Pam Justin – 141 – Triumph
  12. John and Ritsuko Fraioli – 141 – MGB
  13. Linda Weidman – 141 – Miata 1990-1997
  14. Robert Rushing – 139 – MGB
  15. Simon Dix – 139 – MGB
  16. Marc and Kathleen – Arnold – 137 – MGB
  17. Ralph Brooks – 137 – MG-TD
  18. Charles Hill – 134 – Morgan
  19. Cecil and Mia Wise – 133 – Triumph Spitfire
  20. Marjorie King – 132 – Miata 1990-1997
  21. Jack and Claire Holdaway – 130 – Austin Mini Mk II
  22. Edgar Moss – 129 – MG Midget
  23. Yvonne and Jay Meilstrup – 129 – Austin-Healey Sprite
  24. Barb Scharf – 126 – Triumph Spitfire
  25. David Reeves – 123 – Miata 1999-2005
  26. Bob Puttbach – 122 – MGB
  27. Karen Perry – 120 – Triumph TR250
  28. Dennis McDonald – 116 – Miata 1999-2005
  29. Rene Riback – 116 – Miata 1999-2005
  30. Michael Goodwin – 114 – MGB
  31. David Forvendel – 113 – Miata 1999-2005
  32. Pam Mackie – 111 – Miata 2006-2015
  33. Mike Mastracco – 107 – Triumph TR250
  34. Grace Sullivan – 106 – MGB
  35. Joyce Clark – 106 – Miata 1999-2005
  36. Thomas Tomblinson – 105 – Triumph TR6
  37. Donna Rich – 105 – MGB
  38. Mike Hoinowski – 105 – Mini Cooper
  39. Bryan Hutchinson – 95 – MGB, Miata et al…
  40. Dave and Cathy Pilcher – 94 – Triumph TR2, TR6, 2000
  41. Ann Moran – 92 – MGB
  42. Ed Yates – 90 – Triumph TR3A
  43. Robert Reed – 90 – Miata 2006-2015
  44. Jerry Bish – 87 – Miata 1999-2005
  45. Neil Nebeker – 87 – MGB
  46. Doug Kiser – 83 – MGB
  47. Greg Cannon – 83 – Miata 2006-2015
  48. Darren Dyk – 74 – Miata 2006-2015
  49. Roger Bandy – 74 – MGA
  50. Al Davis – 72 – MGB


'2015 Motoring Challenge Winner: Charlie Walter' have 4 comments

  1. January 21, 2016 @ 3:28 pm P J Lenihan

    Congratulations to all of you challengers this being my third year out it was the most fun except for my last week when I had so much trouble getting my submission together I nearly didn’t do it but perseverance won glad I did submit

    Pj lenihan


  2. January 21, 2016 @ 3:37 pm Rob Camblin

    Congradulations to all the participants, always fun to drive the cars and enjoy visiting folks along the way.


  3. January 21, 2016 @ 4:18 pm John Fraioli

    Congratulations to all the 2015 challengers….Hope to see some of you on the road in 2016. John & Ritsuko 72 MGB-GT and 77 MGB Roadster.


  4. January 21, 2016 @ 4:39 pm Denise Mohlman

    Like Charlie…we do it for the fun… How awesome that we did so well. Hope David was able to enjoy the music that my husband insisted on (I had never done anything like that before!) Because it was all copyrighted music, I did not post it. I attempted to post the slide show without music and youtube said it was too long!
    Our daughter will be getting married and we are working on moving in a little over a year..so we will be less active this next year…but what a ride we have had. 6th place the first year (yes same car), top 50 (don’t remember what number) and now 4th! I’m so excited! I called my husband over from the other room just to show him (and I hadn’t even learned we got 4th place yet)…Can hardly believe it still.
    Abby has had a lot of miles since we started..but lots of memories to go along with it. We agree with Charlie when others ask about the money…it’s all about the memories 🙂


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