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2024 Clovis Was The Place 3/24

CLOVIS WAS THE PLACE TO BE, April 23 to 24, 2024.

Written by Zelda Davis Wochna and Doug Wochna

We arrived in Clovis early Friday afternoon after driving more than 194 miles through moderate traffic and moderate rain.  We decided upon an early dinner and short walkabout around Old Town Clovis.  It was a delight to be in such a homey relaxed environment.  We visited a few antique stores talking to vendors and purchasers of nostalgic remembrances.  It was a wonderful trek.  

Arriving back at the hotel, I heard a voice, “Zelda!  Zelda! Up here!” There was Warren Prouty, the past president of the Valley British Car Club, waiving from the third-floor window.  It brought a smile to my face; Doug and I were amongst friends.  Before retiring for the evening, Doug put the car cover over the GT because there was a prediction of rain during the night.  As we walked back to our rooms, we could see there were about five different types of Jaguar cars already in the parking lot; folks attending the drive in the morning were arriving at the hotel.  Doug and I needed to get to bed soon because I knew Doug would want to dust down the car and perform his “readiness to drive” check because of the previous day’s drive and the planned Saturday morning drive through the Sierra Nevada Foothills with Valley British Auto Car club, the sponsors of this weekend’s events.

Going to bed early was an excellent move.  It rained during the night.  The little British car cover was still attached to the MGB-GT and has soaked through the cloth, causing the MGB-GT to be wet.   After drying off the car, Doug opened the bonnet for a check of the engine compartment.  After Doug confirmed the car was ready for the day’s drive, we put the car in the queue of cars lining up for the Annual Run.  With our car now ready to go, we greeted other members of the run before the Drivers’ Meeting.  One of the drivers on the run was Steve Brooks from the Reno (Nevada) British Car Club driving a very pretty, root beer colored TR6.  Steven won the trophy for the longest distance driven of approximately 300 miles.

With about 26 cars eagerly lined up, it was time to start this year’s drive.  If one had a mileage gauge, it was now to be set at zero.  We pulled out of the parking lot in a very long line of British cars trying to catch the light.  It was simple to keep up with the leader by following the next car in front and mindful of the mileage driven.  The maps provided by the organizers, Larry Zerwig and Martin Connolly indicated what the mileage marker should be for each turn.  It was a fine day.  The sky was clear and blue.  A great day for a drive along the beautiful countryside.  

Near the half-way marker, we pulled into a gas station for a break.  In the parking lot I counted 26 beautiful British cars:  MG’s, Triumphs, Jaguars, Aston Martins, Classic Mini’s, a Bentley and a lovely patinated Morris Minor Traveler.  When the group photo was taken, there were 41 people in the photograph.

The second half of the drive was equally wonderful.  This time our faithful GT was about 5 cars from the lead and two cars behind that very quick Morris Minor.  That man was sure driving that car downhill through the curves and turns!  Once back in town, most of the drivers parked their cars in the hotel parking lot and walked across the street to Bobby Salazar’s Restaurant for lunch.  I must say that all of the restaurants in Clovis provided us an enjoyable eating experience.  I wanted to eat more.

With another rainy night predicted, we decided to get to bed early because the time schedule for the car show meant we had to be up, breakfasted, packed the car for the trip home and check out of the hotel by 7:00 am.  

We arrived at the show field by 8 am, and to our surprise, only a few cars had arrived so far.  Parking our car with the other MG’s, which was the featured marque this year in celebration of 100 years of MGs, it soon started to rain.  So, we all buttoned up the cars and ran for cover.  Once it stopped raining, the car displays were assembled with bonnets up.  It rained again and again.  Each time we ran for cover under one of the many pop-up tents after buttoning up the cars.  In one of those tents, we met our Valley Brit friends Virginia and Charles Diffey.  I think of them as the unofficial ambassadors of the club.  She always has an interesting story or experience to impart.  It was good to be there in the tent having a group-hug moment.  Later that afternoon, the four of us went for sandwiches and ice cream to officially catch up from last year.  It was a perfect day, despite the rain showers.  There was good food, good fun, and good companionship.  Clovis was the place to be.


Furthest Distance Traveled - the car driven to the event:  1973 TR6 owned by Steven Brooks from Reno Nevada, more than 300 miles travelled one way.

Best Self-Restored Vehicle By The Owner – there were three cars in the running.  A MG Midget that was a recent barn find, and the family put it back together; A beautiful Red 1971 MGB-GT taken down to nuts and bolts (yes, ours!); and the winner, a fantastic blue 1976 Jaguar XJ6 2 door coupe owned by Mike West.  The detailing was fantastic, with new leather upholstery, and a much later Jaguar drive train.  Mike had the guts to deal with the electronics (reduced the original 12 computers down to 3 computers). 

Best Unrestored Vehicle – Scott Musser, Yellow 1970 MGB-GT.  Owned the GT 20 years and maintained it.

Best Modern British Vehicle – cars built after 1985 and newer (computers and fuel injection vehicles), the winner is the Aston Martin owned by Russell Couch.

Best MG – This award goes to the recently restored MGB owned by Peter Patriquin.

Participant’s Choice Award –   A splendid green Rover V-8 powered MGB GT owned by Robert Millner.

President’s Award – the eclectic unique car, Ray Lighter 1980 Triumph TR8.  Beautiful condition and rare.  The car Jon wanted to own if he was 20 years younger.

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