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2022 Roundup - Review

2022 Clovis British Car Roundup Review

The time had come. The moment I had been waiting for these past several weeks to escape on a drive outside of my county in my MGB. It was to be a test run for the planned trip to Toronto, Ontario, Canada this summer. Now is time to leave for Central Valley’s Auto Roundup Show in Clovis, California. The odometer reading in my white 1974 ½ MGB was 24,954. We decided to follow the phone’s navigation system as we exited the 118 to take Balboa to the Old Road, which runs alongside Interstate Highway 405. I did enjoy seeing the cars on the major highway who were stuck in traffic as we drove with little impediment on the secondary road called The Old Road. The flowers on the mountain side was spectacular! Doug ran through the gears with ease as we transitioned onto the Interstate Highway 405 merging onto the north south Interstate Highway 5 heading north. The drivers on this stretch of the road were long distance drivers. We switched drivers on the downhill side of Interstate 5, which was the bottom of the northbound area called The Grapevine. I drove to California Highway 99 through Bakersfield traveling through three split road construction areas. These construction areas were a bit of a driving challenge because the road contained uneven grooved payment that was difficult to see in my MGB. The tires made a lot of noise. If I did not straddle either side of the horizontal grove, the noise was shocking. This noise would definitely wake a person up if one had accidentally lost concentration. We were in a chute, with barriers to the right and left containing the horizontal groves in the pavement somewhat in the middle of the temporary lane. Once through the construction zones, it was smooth driving towards Fresno. When we exited ramps in Fresno, there was noticeable difference in the traffic, ending up in small town Clovis. There was an immediate laidback ambiance. The streets were narrow with a stop sign at every corner. As the street dead-ended, the driveway lead into the Host Hotel’s parking lot. We settled in our hotel room; then Doug and I went for a walk, taking in the lay of the area. It was a lovely warm evening with other people walking the streets, enjoying the moment. We visited several antique stores, just looking around. I purchased a royal blue straw hat and found an antique British “rally cap” for Doug. We strolled the sidewalks of the village of Old Town Clovis returning to the hotel. We enjoyed a conversation with the desk clerk, which ended with a recommendation for dinner. After dinner, we noticed that there was still a lack of British cars parked at the hotel. I talked about being at the wrong hotel. Doug assured me that this was the correct hotel as we retired for the evening, not seeing another British car in the parking lot. The next morning we awakened to seeing two MGBs in the parking lot from the window. After breakfast we noticed five more cars in the parking lot. It seemed like a British car invasion was taking place inside of 30 minutes. I walked over and started talking to the first female I saw whose name I learned was Virginia. She was driving a very pretty red hard top Spitfire. In the parking lot, there were all types of British cars! MG’s, Triumphs, Jaguars, Austin Healeys and Aston Martins, among others. I saw a yellow MGB with black stripe and the license plate which I recognized was Jon and Nancy’s car from our club, Southern California MG Club. They began the process of lining up for the drive. As we headed out of the parking lot, there must have been at least 20 cars participating in the Rally through the Sierra foothills! The country side around Clovis has rolling hills with roads that were twisty, winding, undulating and zig zagging. It was beautiful! Curve after curve, the scenery changed to a different type of road. We arrived at the half way mark at a gas station. I learned that there were 25 British cars on the tour. The drive back to the hotel was extensively twisty, containing 10 mph turns. It was turn after turn after turn. The trip back was exhausting yet exhilarating. Doug and I arrived at the luncheon location with the group a little late. At lunch I took a poll of those attending to get a feel for potential drivers to Toronto this summer: San Jose 2; Woodland Hills 2; Fresno 5; Clovis 8; Northwest Clovis 2; Ventura 2; Yuba City 2; Sunland 2; Sanger 2; El Dorado Hills 2 and Reno 2. Sunday we arose early trying to get there for the 9:00 a.m. load-in for the show which started at 10:00 am. The streets were blocked off. We were alerted that this would happen.  Arriving at 9:10 a.m. at the car show site; we were surprised to be amongst the last cars to arrive at the show. We enjoyed looking at the various car displays, getting ideas and suggestions for my own car display from the participants there. There were food vendors who were part of the Antique Car Show. The day wore on and we ordered a pizza and salad lunch. Doug reminded me that when you order pizza you must buy enough for everyone. So there I was with the pizza ducking people who could smell it! I was busy eating salad during the awards ceremony, I remember an award went to the Best of Show which was also the rarest car (pictured below) and the president’s choice was a MGB with a Ford V8 engine swap. The trip home was uneventful. There were no driving obstacles or road challenges. The odometer end reading was 25487. Total of 533 miles. 22 gallons of gas. 24.2 miles per gallon. Item added to the driving kit: Hand Cleaner in a tube.

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