2023 GOF-WEST MG
Decisions, decisions. This is the time of the year when the 100 degree temp days are behind for the Central Valley and temperate days are the norm. Of course, one issue with car afficionados is there are multiple auto events during the same time period.
This is what Morris was facing when the local End of Summer Fly-In and the GoF(Gathering of the Faithful) West were scheduled during the same time. Well, not quite exactly, but the travel day for GoF would interfere with the Fly-In. On one hand, the Fly-In has been a VBAC tradition for the past few years-a great chance to see some really great experimental & homebuilt aircraft and some outstanding automobiles- foreign & domestic. (The VBAC has always had their superlative British Iron). In addition, the breakfast is always good!
On the other hand, GoF West was the place for MGs in the western United States. True, it was an event geared toward the T series (TCs, TDs, & TFs), but all series of the MG Marque were a big part of the festivities, especially during MG’s 100 year Anniversary. The determining factor for Morris was the drive: Green Goblin had proven its’ reliability the past few long distance runs and it is a Driver, so the decision was made. This drive was going to be a challenge-lots of urban traffic on the way to Carlsbad in southern CA.
In a moment of weakness, Bro Peter was able to be convinced that his MGB needed to be given another long distance run (see Brit Marq. Nov. Issue) so we were off to meet Scott & Cathy with their MGA Twin Cam in Paso Robles to complete the caravan trifecta. (Scott was actually the head honcho & organizer of this whole operation). We had debated to try to make it through the L.A. basin traffic in one day, but at the last moment, sanity prevailed and it was decided to travel Dante’s Inferno after a layover in Goleta, home of Moss Motors.
A multipage narrative could be written about the 2nd day’s adventures through the bowels of Los Angeles with wrong turns and elevated temp gauges readings, but Morris will strive to remember the good things, especially the early morning run on the Pacific Coast Highway: Bright blue skies overhead, hillside cliffs on the left, the Pacific Ocean breaking on the rocky shore on the right and the BMC powerplant singing its’ song-nothing better!
The following day and after decompressing from the L.A. experience, the official activities got underway. We learned a little more about GoF from the brochure given to us in our welcoming packet: “The first Gathering of the Faithful was started in New England in 1964. Based on the success of GoFs on the East Coast, a group of MG owners in the west decided a GoF West would be in order. They organized the first one in 1973 and fifty years later, it is still going strong. With the help of all Faithful MG owners, it will continue to flourish, bringing opportunities for camaraderie to MG owners in the West.”
For us ‘newbies’ the first order of business was the First Timer Car Display. The organizers didn’t realize that there were about 40 vehicles that needed to be put in the area they had set up. We had a great time checking out the different folks and autos, where they came from, whether they drove or trailered, and how long it took them.
The next few days had a myriad of activities for us: a number of tech sessions, a 70 mile Rallye through the byways of San Diego County (Peter would have done so much better if he would have had a more capable navigator), the Official Car Display (Morris was finally able to buy a beer for John Twist that he has owed him since NAMGAR-42 in Solvang. John had entered his daughter’s MGB-GT), the Flea Market, the Silent Auction (Morris was finally able to get a copy of ‘The Red Car’), Live Auction, Funkhana (Morris volunteered to man the Utah Sundance Film Festival Passenger Pick Up and Transport Operation. You had to be there, it was a hoot!), Carless Funkhana (also a lot of fun!), finally culminating in the Awards Banquet. Our traveling group actually did quite well at the Award Ceremony: Scott & Cathy picked up a Second Place Trophy with their Twin Cam in the MGA class, Peter also got a Second Place with his MGB, and Goblin got the Long Distance Trophy (I figure half the participants did not turn in their mileage cards!)
The final day involved the Winner’s circle where the 1st Place Winners were invited to show their vehicles and everyone had an opportunity for some light breakfast fare and saying good bye before hitting the road. A great thanks need to be extended to all the members of the GoF West Steering Committee for putting on such a great show: Joyce & David Edgar, Randy Koontz, and H. Garcia are the folks I personally had the chance of meeting and talking to, but I know there are countless others that made GoF West a success.
From that point on, it was northbound for our band. Scott & Peter had a better route going back which worked surprisingly well. I-15 to CA 91 to CA 71 to the 210 Foothill Freeway, and then for Pete & Morris, northbound on I-5 into the Central Valley. Pretty uneventful: Had a great conversation with a Kentucky 18 wheeler when we were merging at 2-3 mph at some of the countless construction sites and got lots of high fives & thumbs up for appreciation of Goblin before we made it home.
Looking forward to the next run: