GT-17 Kansas City, KS USA

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GT17 Dash Plaque

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y now, we're on a continuous treadmill, trying to keep up with technology at work and with the MGA restoration. Diane had a challenge planning this trip.  She was managing a large project at work and couldn't arrange any vacation time. As it turned out, she was in Detroit the week of GT-17, chairing a regional meeting. She ended up flying from Detroit to Kansas City, taking the airport shuttle to the hotel and actually beating Steven by about an hour.

GT17 Postcard GT17  Postcard
On The Back

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We were having a bit of a problem with activities surrounding the restoration work, and the work was essentially stopped. So once again, Steven had to take the SAAB. He was pleased to have a few days off to mosey down to KC on his own. He just kind of headed west until he got to a place where he needed to turn south. Along the way, he stopped at the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site, just off of I-80 in Iowa. Apparently, he liked the place, because he said he spent several hours wandering through the museum, the library, and the restored buildings. For most of us, Mr. Hoover is not a well known or understood person, so it was an opportunity to find out a bit more.

By the time we met up, we were both hungry and thirsty so we headed for the Hospitality Suite to round up dinner companions. We ended up catching up with Mac & Billie Ann Spears in the lounge. We wandered to the Plaza to Annie's Santa Fe Mexican Restaurant for dinner where we joined Mike & Jennifer Ash and probably about ten other couples. Lots and lots of nachos and Margaritas later, we strolled back to the hotel in the cooling dusk to more conversation.

This GT has to take the cake for the most tech sessions. We had to attend them all since we were in the serious thralls of the downhill stretch of a very long restoration. Diane is especially attracted to MGA! Technical Editor Mike Ash's sessions (must be his accent).  She always attends and later impresses Steven with what she's learned. He just makes it all sound so simple. There was also a paint and body repair session, an engine rebuild session, an MGA tool session, a vintage racing session. and probably many more in the parking lot that weekend. Mike stepped in at the last minute to diagnose problems during the rolling tech session. Diane compared it to an educational autopsy which she once witnessed. Except that the main body fluid here is black.

GT18 Registration
Moss Motors Owner: Howard Goldman

We didn't rally or tour at this meet. Diane had brought along her Frank Lloyd Wright bird book. Like Peterson's Guide to Birds, this one is a guide to structures designed and built by FLW. Diane spotted an FLW building almost directly next door to the hotel. Looking it up in her book, she found out that it was the Kansas City Community Christian Church. Unfortunately, it was closed, but from the outside, it looked like a new restoration - kind of in keeping with the theme of the tech sessions. We also managed a stroll through old KC, stopping along the way at one of the local watering holes.

The hotel had covered parking, and the vendors were able to set up in an adjoining air-conditioned, convention hall. Moss Motors was duly represented at this meet. That's Howard Goldman, owner, with Barbie Smith of the Moss Motorhome fame. Since Steven was Chairman of NAMGAR and for long while after, the three of us (Steven, Diane and Howard) would sit in a bar somewhere and discuss the state of the MGA, the state of car collecting, the state of car clubs, etc. It was obvious to us that we had the answers. Howard eventually left Moss Motors for the state of retirement. We miss those yearly sessions.

MGA Tartan
MGA Tartan

During the car show Moss Motors handed out numbered stickers that everyone was instructed to put on their wind screens. At the awards banquet, door prizes were given at random by calling out the sticker number. Diane placed her sticker on the SAAB windshield (ok, it's not a wind screen) and was hugely disappointed when her number wasn't called. Really, no complaints here. Moss Motors has been a tremendous supporter of NAMGAR and the GTs over the years.

The car show was held on the grassy field of some college campus some distance from the hotel. One of the cars that stuck out at that meet was an Ivory colored coupe named "Bubble Gum." It was a very nice resto by a couple of gals from "we don't remember where." An interesting twist (no, John didn't make it this time) was the contingent of Scottish Bagpipers to entertain us during voting. Everyone had fun taking photos of the colorful costumes.

Pin Festooned Hat
Dave Ream's Logo-ed Hat

The KC GT logo is one of our favorites. Too bad the scanned image, above, doesn't do it justice. That's Ron Behm's red A on the pin, on the poster, on the dash plaque, on the T-shirt, on the golf shirt, on the, on the, on the, ....it was everywhere.

Our problem with the meet was that someone passed out bottles of local KC steak sauce. Everyone got one. After all the bottles were handed out, another box mysteriously appeared with a number of bottles of pre-production sauce. That stuff was the best sauce we're every had! We wanted more, but with no label, we didn't know who made it or if it ever went into production. If anyone remembers that stuff and knows about it, please, drop us a line.

Luckily, we were able to drive home together. We ended up stopping  in Hannibal, MO to do a little antiquing (doable in a SAAB) and  touring Mark Twain's boyhood home and inspiration for his Mississippi tales.End Column