Through the Windscreen – Fall 1994

Hope you are all enjoying this great summer of sports car motoring. We’ve been to some terrific events this past few weeks and we still have nearly half the season to got I was thinking the other day how lucky we are to be able to drive our cars whenever, and almost wherever, we wish, and I got a couple of letters which made me ponder that we are much luckier than we realize!

One letter told me of an event where the local dub took a bunch of blind children on a “Braille” rally. The kids had their navigational instructions in Braille and read them off to the sighted driver as they ran the route. Now it’s a rush to drive an MG or a Triumph when you can see- but can you imagine the thrill these

youngsters got being hurtled along with the wind in their hair? Can you visualize yourself driving the car but being told by someone who can’t see where to go?! The children feel important- they feel they

are in charge-and they are doing some thing they never dreamed they would ever do-run a British sports car rally! Several clubs undertake the Braille rally exercise and some of these events are long established. What a way to use your car instead of just driving it around!

Another instance of community service was die adoption by the MG Club of Baltimore, of a stretch of highway-the verges of which they keep clean. In return there are signs at each end of the stretch which proclaim just who is responsible for keeping this stretch of road in litter-free condition. Neat idea and good publicity for the club! My second letter told me of a club who organized a British Car Meet, where everyone had a great time, and all the profits went to charity. Again this is not uncommon, but it makes me wonder if YOUR club should undertake something like this to assist those less fortunate than we are. I guess I’m trying to say that it might be worth considering mounting such an event if your club docs not already do so.

By the same token why not write and tell us what your club has been doing to help those who are disadvantaged compared to us? We’ll print a selection of the best stories received and I’m sure it will not only show our readers what a great bunch you are, but might inspire some other organizations to get cracking!

How to ruin your British Car Event!

We’re always trying to improve on the quality and presentation of our British events whether it’s a one day affair or a full blown convention. However not all meets run smoothly, and often this is mainly due to lousy organization and attitude, plus sometimes the people putting on the event get carried away by their own importance! So if you really want to screw up your meet then here are our top 10 suggestions you might wish to follow:

First of all choose your event team carefully. Make sure you only get promising people. People who will

promise all the help you need six months in advance, but the day before the meet, tell you they can’t assist because their mother-in law is flying in from Alaska!

1. DO NOT advertise the event, at least not until the week before it takes place. Do not let “Moss Motoring” know the date, and certainly your local press and TV station should be kept completely in the dark. This way you are able to throw the attendees and any potential sponsors, advertisers or prize donors for a complete loop. They’ll never forget you!

2. DO NOT greet people cordially when they arrive at your event! , but by all means make disparaging remarks about the type and the condition of die car they arrive in. Also undertake registration at the gate as slowly as you possibly can. This way you will get to enjoy a long, frustrated line of cars and owners, especially those who might have pre-registered.

3. THROW away the clocks! Do every thing on a random basis so you can enjoy the discomfort of those who have the audacity to try and stick to the published time schedule.

4. NEVER, never, allow two members of your helping team to give out identical pieces of information. It will make for a far better puzzle if everyone tells a different story, and if those pieces of information change regularly!

5. MAKE SURE you position the cars at the show site so that they face away from the sun! Then all the people with their PHD instamatic/automatic cameras will get lousy photographs, from shooting against the light. This way you may persuade Kodak or Fiji to sponsor your event next year! (PHD by the way means “Push Here Dummy!)

6. PRACTICE APARTHEID- Position all the high dollar cars on one side of the field and send the Midgets and the Spitfires to the far corner of the site! You will succeed in making some poor unfortunate feel very inferior.

7. ONLY ALLOW about 30 minutes maximum for people to vote, (if it’s a popular choice show) alternatively if the show is to be judged make sure the judges know nothing at all about British cars. This way they will go for the MGB with the 454 Chevy installed! ALso if it is a popular vote show make sure you enter your car, and if you don’t have an organizer’s class-create one- and get all your buddies to vote for your car! Best way however is not to let anyone know there’s any voting going on at all! Above all conceal the ballot box.

8. MAKE SURE the awards/prize presentation goes on for at least three hours! This way you ensure that some potential prizewinners will get teed off and go home without their award, which you can then save and use next time. If you have mounted an expensive awards banquet, then your task is to get the dullest presenter you can find, who will then plod his way through dozens of classes, in a boring monotone with a non-working mike, so that the “Car of the Show” finale announcement is a complete anti-climax! This is a cardinal rule in ruining a show-Do not let the excitement build! Also a good tip is to give the long distance award to the guy who drove his Buick from Florida and stopped off at the meet just on chance.

9. BE SURE to practice your “I’m in charge” mode. You’ll need it many times especially when visitors have the temerity to enquire about timing or the judging criteria, or any other small thing that might go wrong.

10. FINALLY DO NOT make any attempt to tidy up the show site either during or after your event, this will endear you to the site owners, and ensure that you get a different place to hold the show every year!

We have only been able to give you a few pointers on making a complete mess of your show, but we’re sure some of our other readers will contribute to our knowledge on this subject. And while this has been written with tongue firmly planted in cheek, don’t laugh too hard. It happened!

Sue Mason and Ken Smith

(Just for the record – Sue organized the very successful British Car Show in Fairhope, Alabama for four years, and the last event Ken organized attracted over 5080 cars to an event in England! – but what do they know?)


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