GoF West” is the name given to a regularly held “Gathering of the Faithful” event for owners of MG cars held in the western United States and Canada. Until the early 1970’s, assemblies like this had previously been held exclusively held in the eastern United States. Outside of a few local clubs in western North America, the only way to regularly interface with other MG owners was to travel long distances to the East Coast.
Sometime in 1972, members of several Southern California MG clubs got together and decided to begin their own version of the east coast gatherings. A committee was formed, preparations were made, and the first GoF West was under way. Santa Barbara was the site chosen, and word was spread to MG car clubs throughout the western states. News of the initial event in 1973 was welcomed by MG enthusiasts and the first GoF West established a tradition of annual gatherings.
Initially the Gatherings were for owners of pre-1956 cars as MGs were still being sold in the US and Canada. However, as the years passed and MGs were no longer being imported, it was realized that excluding cars built after 1956 meant a lot of MG enthusiasts had nowhere to gather unless they attended the national meets of such groups as NAMGAR or NAMGBR, many of which were held the other side of the Rockies. Now, GoF West welcomes owners of any car wearing the MG octagon.
As a result of these annual festivals, held only in locales in the western U.S. and Canada, thousands of MGs have been seen by other MG owners and the public. Most come from the western U.S., but there are usually several driven from around the country, and some even from overseas from time to time! From the very first GoF West event, where most of the cars were “drivers” that had not been restored, each succeeding year has produced more MGs that have been restored to pristine condition. Currently, several of those brought to these events are better than when they rolled from the assembly lines at Abingdon-on-Thames! This gives everyone who attends a GoF West an opportunity to see MGs at their finest, to inspire them to work on their own cars, and show what a properly restored car should look like.
However, do not think that these events are just for show cars! Most attendees drive to a GoF West, some folks traveling many miles and making the journey a several-day adventure in company with friends and with fellow MG club members. While the Car Display does give an opportunity to show off and admire perfect restorations, most of the MGs present are still “drivers” and there are several events during the week catering to cars of all conditions such as the Rallye and the Funkhana. All they must do is run and if trouble should strike, there are always willing hands and knowledgeable experts to assist with needed repairs or advise.
If you own an MG, or even aspire to owning one, you should definitely register for a future GoF West event to learn more about your car, have some great fun with fellow enthusiasts, and make new friends.