Watkins Glen '48 another turn 1 edited

Watkins Glen 70th

By Russ Sifers — MG TC 8875

Dick Knudson called the MG “The Sports Car America Loved First” in his 1975 book. The TC was quite the sports car in its day and it still is for me today. Running it each year at the Lake Garnett Grand Prix Revival (www.LGGPR.org) each year in the Historic Class (older and slower cars) is a thrill for me. Last year my mechanic (wife Pam) said we hit 67 on the back straight away. OK, it has an old erratic speedometer, we were going downhill somewhat and there was a little tail wind, but I am still claiming a death defying speed of 67 MPH. This year British cars will be featured.

Back home in Kansas City I just enjoy driving my TC whenever and wherever I can. My goal for 2018 is to drive it at least once each month. In my neck of the woods many of the roads are divided four lanes with a speed limit of 45. Everyone does well over 50. So going 55 (?) in sparse traffic can be quite fun for a 70 year old “race car” driver in a 70 year old “race car.” Last year I was headed out in my TC for a show doing around 55 (?) with my straight pipe singing to me when a traffic officer spotted me with his radar gun – he put down the gun, gave me a great big smile and then a thumbs up! No ticket.

Here is some MG history: The SCCA held its first sanctioned race at noon on October 2, 1948 at Watkins Glen, NY. Fifteen cars qualified for the race. Ten cars finished that race. Eight were TCs! That was quite a feat. I think MG people of all models should celebrate our heritage this year with the 70th Anniversary of Watkins Glen. I am proposing to our Kansas City MG Car Club that we celebrate Watkins Glen here in KC by having our own “road race.” Not like Watkins Glen or even like Lake Garnett, but a “race” around Shawnee Mission Lake at speeds up to the park’s posted limits. It might look like a parade, but it will be a “race” in my mind as I will be wearing my Lake Garnett white coveralls, polo style helmet and goggles.

I suggest other MG car clubs consider hosting their own Watkins Glen anniversary event. Celebrate our MG heritage!

The two photographs are provided with permission from the International Motor Racing Research Center in Watkins Glen.  The red TC “A2” is Cameron Argestsinger, the founder of Watkins Glen.

Watkins Glen '48 turn 1

 

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'Watkins Glen 70th' has 1 comment

  1. April 14, 2018 @ 2:50 pm George Heissenberger

    I attend the Watkins Glen Grand Prix Festival every September in our MGB. Watkins Glen does a great job of reenacting the street races with a wide variety of events and culminating in laps of the original street course. There are a lot of things to do and see and the big thrill is when the vintage racers come down from the track to do laps on the streets and then park on Franklin Street so you can talk with the drivers and mingle with all the fans. Its really a great event.

    Reply


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