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The Bakersfield Sound

In the realm of country music, there’s something known as “The Bakersfield Sound.” Popularized in the 1950s, these gritty-sounding tunes were born in the California agricultural town’s rough-and-tumble bars. A reaction to the polished music coming out of Nashville, the Bakersfield Sound was part nostalgia, part rock n’ roll, and wild as hell.

E. Alan Moss took to the track in his Matchless-powered '34 Morgan SS. Competing in the Group 1 historic race, the tiny three-wheeler put on quite a show.

E. Alan Moss took to the track in his Matchless-powered ’34 Morgan SS. Competing in the Group 1 historic race, the tiny three-wheeler put on quite a show.

On April 29 and 30, the Bakersfield Sound was a different type of music. Tappets clicking, side pipes thumping, and starters whirring harmonized in a cacophony British backbeat at Buttonwillow Raceway, home of the 2006 VARA Moss Motors British Extravaganza. Organized by the Vintage Auto Racing Association and Moss, the event is a car show, road race, social gathering and charity function all rolled into one.

There were several TR4s and TR250s in the car show but the true Triumph competition was on the racetrack, during the Group 2 road race and the MG/Triumph challenge.

There were several TR4s and TR250s in the car show but the true Triumph competition was on the racetrack, during the Group 2 road race and the MG/Triumph challenge.

An exhibition of pre-WWII racecars delighted spectators with the sights and sounds of three-wheeled Morgans and early Jags, and the Saturday afternoon slalom gave event participants a chance to prove their mettle against some seriously scarred orange cones. The car show was well stocked with British rides of all kinds, from modern Minis to original-owner MGS, and even a few rarities like Garrison Bielen’s best-in-show winning 1938 Rolls Royce. Garrison and his wife even braved the Central California heat in full period attire.

Caption: Garrison Bielen not only won Best in Show with his '38 Rolls Royce, he also gets the unofficial "best attitude award from British Motoring. Dressed in full period attire, he even took his amazing Rolls out on the road course.

Garrison Bielen not only won Best in Show with his ’38 Rolls Royce, he also gets the unofficial “best attitude award from British Motoring. Dressed in full period attire, he even took his amazing Rolls out on the road course.

Saturday evening the racetrack played host to a massive candlelight barbecue, complete with karaoke and plenty of libations. Those who weren’t in too much pain Sunday morning were
treated to the sights and sounds of countless classic cars—British and otherwise—taking to
the road course for some tough vintage racing action. Best of all, proceeds from the event were
donated to the Boys and Girls Club of Visalia, and a Speed Channel TV crew was on hand to document the weekend.

Another crowd favorite was Jason Len's beautiful Jaguar SS100 replica, which he entered in the pre-war exhibition class.

Another crowd favorite was Jason Len’s
beautiful Jaguar SS100 replica, which he entered in the pre-war exhibition class.

Overall a good time was had by all, and most of the participants promised to come back in 2007 for another perfect weekend of storytelling, on-track exhilaration, good food, and great friends.

mgs

 

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