Loud Pedal: What I Learned at Motorfest

After weeks of careful planning and measuring and a week’s worth of rain, Motorfest’s parking guru, Paul Barker, suddenly had to redo his parking plan from scratch. To his credit and with the help of our VA Facility Manager, Steve Safran, not only did they work out a new plan, in a new location, but one which was ultimately easier to manage.

As anyone who has ever run a car show will tell you, all the planning comes to naught once the first car drives in through the wrong gate, in the wrong direction. From that point on, until somebody mercifully says, “We’ll deal with the rest of it on Monday,” car show organizers rarely get to enjoy what they have wrought. My last working recollection from Motorfest was along the lines of, “Uh oh, there must be over 150 people taking the first warehouse tour. How am I going to deal with that?” Answer: yell.

Before the yelling and bouts of extended memory lapse, there was the Friday night party at the Keystone tractor museum. That Friday will always be special to me. Not just because of all the interesting people or even the truly amazing collection in the museum. Nope, Friday was special because I happened to run into Gordon Dedrick from the Triumph Club of the Carolinas.

TCOC hosted the VTR annual gathering at Dobson, NC, in September of 2014. As part of the gathering, they hosted a hill climb. Now, I like slaloms, but my car is ill prepared for a slow, tight handling course. A hill climb, however, wants a healthy dose of torque. That I’ve got. And combined with an equally healthy dose of red haze, oddly triggered by the color green, it’s Katy bar the door.

I didn’t really expect to do that well. I’m not much of a driver and the 10-year-old Pirellis on my TR4 have an “M&S” logo on the side wall. Mud and snow is not the sort of designation one desires in a competition tire, which isn’t driving in the Alps in, you know, mud and snow. What’s worse, I never saw the results. By the time I ran into Gordon at the tractor museum, it had been gnawing at me for months.

We spoke about the event, the beauty of the North Carolina countryside and the hill climb results. After Motorfest, Gordon pointed me to a copy of the results. Excuse me while I spike my properly inflated football. What is the impact of a Moss Motors supercharger? In a 38-second run, I beat the rest of the modified 4-cylinder class by almost six seconds. In fact, my time was good enough to trophy in all but two of the classes.

With Motorfest behind us and the afterglow of hill climb success fading, it’s time to consider what comes next. We really appreciate all the positive feedback on the event and it’s great when people ask about next year. All we can say for now: while it won’t make the calendar for 2016, there may well be a shiny new Motorfest somewhere, some time in the future.

By Robert Goldman

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