OJOA 2009 Fall Rally Report

Sunday October 4,2009

Report by Rallymasters Linda & Murray Smith ...

The rally this year had a special significance, in that it is the OJOA’s 50th Anniversary year. OJOA has a long history of club rallies and in the early years several rallies were held each year. As many of the members’ cars turned from everyday drivers to classic collector cars, the gravel road, let’em rip type of rallies became less appealing. Maintaining a fun rally to end the season, where all ages are welcome and encouraged to come, has become part of OJOA’s proud heritage.

The weather was great, right after the participants arrived back at the restaurant for lunch. At least the drive home after the event was a beautiful, sunny fall day. The rainy, cool weather that we endured all summer continued into the fall, but did not dampen the enthusiasm for the fall event. Fortunately, the rain showers were mostly isolated and people were able to enjoy the twisty, country roads and the fall colours - when they weren’t frantically looking for turns or for answers to questions.

The rally started and ended at the new Kelsey’s Restaurant on Woodlawn Road in Guelph. Thirty-six people came to the event and 16 cars participated. With the showery forecast, we were afraid that this might scare away some of the older cars and the E-types. This turned out not to be the case. A Mk 1, three E-types, a Series 1 XJ-6, two XJS’s and two Series 3 XJ-12’s provided good representation of the older cars. On the modern end of the spectrum a XK-8 and a XJ-8 rounded out a good representation of the Jaguar marque.

Finding country roads that are beautiful to drive with a nice combination of hills, curves and fall colours and not congested with traffic is becoming a challenge. Finding roads where the trees arch over the roads to create a tunnel effect is hard, as more of these roads are being changed to just utilitarian roads designed to simply move vehicles along in an efficient manner. We were lucky enough to have several tree covered roads along the rally route this year. Nothing says a drive in the fall country side like driving along these types of roads.

As part of the 50th Anniversary theme, we had fifty questions along the route much to the dismay of the participants. Be forewarned, the 75th Anniversary rally may have 75 questions, if the organizers follow the same line of thought.

Once again this year we had one car with zero time faults. This was accomplished by John and Wendy Tysall. Nelson Burkhart and ‘eagle-eye’ Louis Schmiedendorf missed only eight questions - well done.

First place and the Rampant Crank trophy was taken by John and Lori Scopis driving their Lexus. John and Lori also won the rally a few years ago in their E-type, but this weekend they were in Guelph for a wedding and decided to round out their stay by coming to the rally - now that’s dedication. They had a total of 21 faults.

In second place was John and Wendy Tysall in their E-type with a total of 23 faults.

In third place was Dale and Nancy Findlay in their E-type with 24 ½ faults.

Hmm - There seems to be a pattern here with all three places taken by E-type owners.

The keepsakes presented to each of the top three finishers were very fitting for the 50th Anniversary event. The pewter tankards, with the ‘Leaper’ and first, second and third cast into the graduated-sized tankards, came from the Association’s archives that were maintained for many years by Douglas Cramb who was the President of OJOA in the 1980’s. A plaque was also placed on each tankard indicating that it was from the 50th Anniversary event.

We wish to thank OJOA for the inscribed tray recognizing the 17 years that we have organized the rally. It has been our pleasure to do it and we have met a lot of terrific people along the way, but, after this long, it is time to hang up the stopwatch and hand the clipboard over to somebody else. We hope they have as much pleasure and satisfaction from doing it as we have had.

On closing, there are some very special thank you’s. John Taglione has helped us with the rally for each of the 17 years and his help on the day of the rally has ensured that they have come off without a hitch. Thank you, John.

Fred Hill has always come through for us and again this year made the presentations to the winners. Thank you, Fred.

From years past, we have to extend our thanks to Peter Harris. A day or two before the rally we could expect to receive a telephone call from Peter, who was President at the time, asking how the preparations were going and if there was anything with which he could help. Peter, those calls were appreciated because we knew that we had your support.

Last, a sincere thank you goes out to the folks at Kelsey’s Restaurant. They graciously provided free coffee and tea before the rally and were very accommodating and professional, and of course the food and libations were excellent. In particular, we wish to thank Nuru, the owner, Dave who handled all our arrangements and Sonia who created a special card in honour of the event. Sonia, we hope that someday you do get your E-type.

Thank you to everybody who attended this event and the other rallies during the past 17 years.

Thanks for the memories and may all your time faults be zero and your eyes good enough to see the answers to the questions.

Rallymasters, Linda & Murray Smith

Here are some photographs taken at the Fall Rally ...

Photos © Dr. Murray Smith

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October 21, 2009 by Webmaster