Vox populi—you, the people, have spoken!
With nearly half of the participants in the 1994 British Car Festival responding to our event questionnaire, we’re happy to report some of the results.
We registered over 200 British cars for the ’94 event, up 20% from ’93. There was also a duke’s mixture of motor homes, rental cars, vans and just plain old family cars. Just about every one who showed up in something other than a British car had a story about mechanical disasters, restorations that “would be ready next year” or explanations that “the kids wanted to come at the last minute and we couldn’t cram them all into the sports car.” It really didn’t make any difference—in whatever manner of conveyance people arrived, every one had a great time. Some, who didn’t have cars to run in the various events, pitched in and helped our busy crew wherever they could.
As you know, we changed the date for the ’94 Festival to take advantage of the beautiful early summer weather in the Santa Ynez Valley and summer vacation schedules. Some of you had problems with school closing and graduation dates, so our scheduling wizards have addressed this by rearranging the dates next year. On July 14, 15 and 16, 1995, our gracious hosts at Flag is Up Farms will swing open the gates and welcome you to the 3rd Annual Moss British Car Festival. Time to make your ’95 plans now!
When our Rallyemasters John Self and Karl Grimm planned the first Castrol Rallye Santa Ynez in 1993, they had no idea how many people would sign up who had never driven in a rallye before. This year, with this in mind, John offered a short course in rally basics on Friday night. The turnout was large and enthusiastic, so large and enthusiastic that John has promised to expand the subject matter a bit and offer the class again next year.
Brilliant sunshine and a challenging course kept both novices and pros on their toes. If you really paid attention to the instructions and didn’t get distracted by the scenery and some of the Rallyemaster’s subtle trickery, you were back at the farm in time for lunch.
One rather befuddled rallyist (who had a late lunch) was heard to comment, “There I was out in the middle of this bean field and I could actually see other rally cars on all sides of me, all going in different directions!” A living example of what happens when you don’t abide by Rally Rule #1: Thou shalt not pay any attention to other cars, and thou shalt read the Route Instructions carefully and proceed accordingly.
Darryl Struth and Claudia Diebolt, in a concours-quality Morgan, evidently paid attention, because they finished the three-hour run with a 1:14 minute error. An unusual performance when you consider it was done seat-of-the-pants, no computers or other goodies.
Friday’s Wine Country Tour has, it seems, evolved into one of your favorite events. Austin Cellars, Carey Cellars, Fess Parker Winery and Zaca Mesa Winery hung out the Union Jack to welcome us this year and everyone (except the designated drivers) had the chance to taste some of the finest wines in the world.
Those of you who join us next year are in for a treat. We hope to add a few more wineries to the tour and take you through some new sections of Southern California’s beautiful wine country to see them.
Two family teams tied for the top spot in the Wine Country Rallye/Tour. George and Pam Steneberg and Herb and Lynn Berkwits went home with some rare local vintages from our sponsoring wineries. Some of the questions on the Route Instructions were elusive, to say the least. Even some of our professional local pub-crawlers didn’t know what covered the ceiling in the Maverick Saloon.
The ’95 Festival will see a real effort to get clubs involved in a big way. Consider this an invitation to get your group together and enjoy what some of your individual members have been enjoying for the past two years. Let us know you’re coming and we’ll provide special club parking and space for your hospitality tent, or pavilion if you’re going to get really fancy. This is a great way to let your new, or prospective, club members know just how much fun sports cars can be. Bring the lot!
If you’re looking for a slalom car, you probably need to think seriously about a Mini. Two of the four classes in the GTE Slalom, run through the village streets of Buellton on Saturday afternoon, were won by these very agile machines. Scott Crawford in a Mini Cooper, with a time of 40:501, had the fastest time of the day and was the class B winner.
John Corbin’s TR3 was clocked by our computer at 42:193 for second fastest time of the day and the class C win. Class D with 19 MGBs, an XKE, a Jensen and a TR6 was won by Tim Reese’s B with a four-second margin over the second place XKE of Don Greene. Winning time for the class was 48:523. Third fastest for the day, Graham Reid in an Austin Mini (modified), hurled his car through a sea of pylons at 42:253 for the class E win.
It’s difficult to practice balancing your car on a teeter-totter at home. But several of our Funkhana participants have vowed to return next year as expert shooters with the water cannon! Driving a gymkhana on grass with a paper bag over your head also requires some practice—but you’ll have to come to the ’95 event to see how all this comes together. Rod Gansen for the men, and Paula Wheeler for the women, put together the best aggregate scores to win this year.
Young David Harris of Santa Barbara was our Pinewood Derby champ. He was joined by kids of all sizes and ages in activities that included piñatas, tours to see the various animals that inhabit the farm and one rather interesting melee that involved kids searching for a sizable number of coins in a small haystack.
All the children’s’ activities and the afternoon Line Dance classes were handled, with an amazing amount of energy, by Donna Cooper. Donna trains all year for this weekend by supervising our Customer Relations Division with the same enthusiasm.
Don’t forget to plan your ’95 Festival weekend to include the Survivors Car Show on Sunday morning. We know some of you have a long way to travel, but this is the last chance we have to get everyone together for those great pictures, tall stories, a good brunch and goodbyes. Tony and Debie Ardelino and their very special MGTF drove home with the prize crockery from the Survivors show.
Harry Haigh, the entrepreneurial spirit behind the British Car Festival, promises us new gastronomic delights and a few other surprises for our ’95 gathering. The shepherd’s pies, bangers and pasties were a nice touch, Harry! Your comments, some of them in great detail, have helped us to do a better job each year and if you haven’t returned your questionnaire it’s still not too late.
It goes without saying that a great many people, companies and organizations contribute to the eventual success of an event this size. Moss is proud to have, among others, the continued support of Armorall, Castrol, GTE, Novus, The Santa Barbara County Vintners Association, The City of Buellton, The Ramada Windmill Inn of Buellton and Robbins Auto Top Co.
Happy holidays, and we look forward to seeing you next summer!