We drove Virgin from Columbus, OH to GT-3, caravaning with our new friends, Barb & Dave Ream from Lancaster. It was a nice journey through the Ohio and Pennsylvania countryside. There are some really awesome MGA roads in these two states. Steven remembers it was the first time the MGA broke 100 MPH: on the Pennsy Turnpike, downhill, freewheeling, riding the bow wave of an eighteen wheeler whose grill was the only thing he could see in the rearview mirror - truly. Diane particularly remembers the approach to the hotel and the welcoming banner. It was especially thrilling, in those early days, to see NAMGAR on a marquee.
While on the trip to GT-2, we had stopped at the battlefield in Gettysburg and spent a good day getting a thorough history lesson from Jan Nichols. Bruce & Jan had taken the girls out of school early so part of the vacation had to be educational. It was during that trip and this one that Diane developed her appreciation for history and especially for the architecture in all of the small towns we traversed. So the tour of the battlefield at this GT was certainly met with new eyes
On The Back
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There were many, many new MGAs at this meet and many, many new people to meet. The sporadic rain didn't phase us a bit. We were still young and crazy. We were really overwhelmed by the number of MGAs — must have been close to 100. It was a challenge to get to look at every one of them and into every engine compartment.
Then there was this really funky looking brown/pink thing. Some called the color Alamo Beige. No wonder some of the American dealers repainted them before putting them on the lot. (Probably what happened to Virgin.)
We had recently adopted a restoration car (a.k.a. PRNCZ - yes, she really is this old). The shop manual Steven bought at GT-1 was starting to pay off now. Do you know how many ball bearings there are in a trans? Diane chased them all, several times, around our basement to avoid losing them down the drain.
We also remember John Wright's beautiful black Twin Cam - that car was a real inspiration for our own black PRNCZ.
During the GT, at every spare moment, we met with the Reams to further discuss the invitational that we and the Ohio Chapter were hosting that fall at Burr Oak State Park: the first BUCKEYE-GT. We had big shoes to fill after Greenfield Village in 1976 and The Guild Inn (Toronto) in 1977.
An Alamo Beige MGA!
The location of this GT hotel was very interesting. It was in the middle of an International Village which didn't quite turn out to be the tourist attraction some developer had envisioned. One picture that we have shows one of the international areas with pyramids, camels, and desert(ed).
On the evening we arrived Pat & Dick Newman hosted a wine and cheese party with local wines. A nice attraction was the MGA cheese board made from Plexiglas. Diane is really good at w(h)ining and was able to bring one home with us: it is still prominently displayed with our MGA memorabilia. Thanks, Pat & Dick!
The banquet was held in a Polynesian restaurant, and the only thing we really remember were the two guys (we haven't seen much of Maurice O'Kelly since then), stripped to the waist, wearing coconuts and grass skirts and trying to learn how to hula.
Again, a beautiful drive home; until next year.