Sandusky Valley Vintage Rally May 18, 2002 As the featured event of the Spring 2002 Gathering of the Faithful of the Ohio Chapter NEMGTR, the Sandusky Valley Vintage Rally (SVVR) proved popular among those braving cold and potentially wet ...
Sandusky Valley Vintage Rally
May 18, 2002
As the featured event of the Spring 2002 Gathering of the Faithful of the Ohio Chapter NEMGTR, the Sandusky Valley Vintage Rally (SVVR) proved popular among those braving cold and potentially wet conditions in Tiffin, Ohio, over the weekend of May 17-18. Conducted with the assistance of the River Cities Region SCCA, the SVVR was a 90 mile time-speed-distance rally restricted to vintage sports cars using vintage timing and distance-measuring equipment. Most of the competitors hailed from Ohio and the host club, the Ohio Chapter, and consequently MG was by far the best-represented marque in the event. Roughly a third of the competitors brought their "T" series or pre-War MG, with the remainder of the field comprising MGBs, an MGA, an Alfa Romeo GTV and an Austin-Healey 3000. Several vintage sports car clubs besides the Ohio Chapter were represented as well, including the Tidewater MG Classics, LocoBrits, and the Austin Healey Club of America.
The rally took competitors over the roads in the scenic Sandusky River area of Seneca and Wyandot Counties. Given clear route instructions, the rallyists were asked to maintain specific average speeds over various sections of the route, and were required to arrive at surprise checkpoints at the time reflecting the specified average speeds. Early or late arrival at the checkpoints resulted in penalty points. Nearly all of the competitors were novice at this type of rallying, and this resulted in typically double digit penalties at each checkpoint. Overall winners, and experienced TSD rallyists, Eric Jones and Bill Potvin in Eric's rally MGB, completed the event with a total penalty of 37, thus averaging just under four penalty points at each of the ten checkpoints. The best performance by an MG "T" sports car was turned in by Dave and Elaine Winkle. The Winkles also distinguished themselves by being awarded the J.R. Brehm Distance award, as they had traveled from their home in the Pittsburg area in their 1955 MG TF to participate in this event; not only that, they were forced to make the entire trip in the open, as their car currently is not fitted with a top!
All of the competitors completed the rally, and enjoyed an excellent awards banquet meal, provided by Carmella's Italian Ristorante at Camden Falls in Tiffin. Following the awards, most of the rallyists attended a concert by the Glenn Miller Orchestra, in the historic and restored Ritz Theatre in downtown Tiffin. A suitable conclusion to a long but very enjoyable day for all involved.
The Ohio Chapter of the New England MG "T" Register is the primary Ohio club catering to enthusiasts of the "T" series MG sports car. These cars were produced by the MG Car Company of Abingdon, England, prior to 1956, and are the classic sports car often associated with the early history of sports cars in America. Membership is open to any enthusiast, and ownership of a "T" series car is not required. Further details about the club, including a membership application, may be obtained at clubs.hemmings.com/ohionemgtr/index.html.