Mostly sunny, pretty good performance, and fun roads.
We zeroed the first segment, and racked up 1 penalty point in the second (we were actually dead-on, but the rallymaster’s clock was half a second slow. =\), then we visited an awesome car museum, almost missed the start of the next segment toubleshooting a non-existent fuel leak, and finally nailed/zeroed a VERY difficult segment that caught most of the rally off.
The rally started from the front of the hotel overlooking Mirror Lake. It had rained on and off most of the night, and the distant mountains wore a fresh dusting of snow, but the sky was mostly sunny and the weather pleasant and cool. I slept a little late, still being on Pacific Daylight Time, and some cars were starting while I was still at breakfast. I brought the camera (fresh batteries!) with me and grabbed some shots after I ate.
Above: Two views of Joe Hayes’ gorgeous 300sl at the start. Love that car!
Above: Henry Michie’s deep blue Ferrari 330GT. His starter didn’t work and everybody gave him grief all week about pushing/bump starting his car. Henry has a great sense of humor and suffered all our ribbing with aplomb.
I got myself ready and went down to get our car ready for the day. The green Maserati Ghibli parked a few cars down had a dead battery and wound not start. I pulled the 450sl along side and the rally mechanics and my dad hooked up the jumper cables. I recorded the event:
That’s me, helping the driver sort out what lights (the parking lights) were responsible.
This Maserati was being driven by a father/daughter team. Always nice to see parents and kids (like us!) enjoying these events together. I love the wheels on this car… they capture that 70s Zeitgeist so well!
We pulled the MundaneSL around to front and got our checkout time, then hit the road.
The first segment was very easy for the navigator (me) and I assume fun for the driver, as it was long stretches of wonderful, rolling two-lane roads through the Adirondack Mountains. There were a few representatives of the New York State Police out there and we heard quite a few rallyists were waylaid and assessed various infractions and fines… thankfully none of them ran into us. We just had nice open roads and nice lakes and hills (I hesitate to call these “mountains”) to look at. The only trouble along this segment was a strong smell of gasoline we kept getting when we opened the windows. At first we thought it might be from the Ferrari in front of us for a while, but even after it was gone we could still smell it.
Minimal navigation and otherwise enjoyable driving brought us to the first segment checkpoint, located behind a gas station. We arrived with enough time to hang out in the stand-off area while I shot some photos.
Above: Miles Collier’s “resto-mod” Cunningham C3 Vignale Continental Coupe alongside Jaime Muldoon’s Ferrari 250.
Above: The answer to the question from the other day about what was in the reflection, a Lancia Flaminia 3B coupe
Another view of the 250 and the Muldoons
Above: All work and all play, Mick Pallardy from Porsche has some smiles on the job.
Above: Gideon’s Trumpet protruding from the posterior of a Maserati.
We zeroed the leg, dropped the convertible top, swapped seats, and I drove the next segment. It was very similar to the first segment, at least at the beginning, with enjoyable back road highways but eventually we left the hills and arrived near the town of Saratoga Springs where roads started getting crowded. Oh well. I did manage to grab one good shot out the driver’s side of the top as we had fun on the first part:
Additionally it seemed we had lost some gasoline and now figured we had a leak somewhere. We stopped in mid-segment (rare on a timed leg, but we had banked time) to fill up the car as we feared running out. I gave the area under the car and under the hood a good look over, but could not find any leaks. The strong smell seemed to have faded but was still there. It seemingly only came on with hard acceleration, but no amount of throttle blipping with my head under the bonnet could locate any leaks.
The checkpoint was at the Saratoga Car Museum, and as per his desire, dad drove the last part of the segment through the checkpoint. I snapped a photo of him preparing for that run in the museum parking lot. You can see the final checkpoint in the background.
The one thing we didn’t do, which is even allowed in these rally’s rules, is to wander over to the checkpoint and check our clock against the official rally time. Big mistake. We proceeded through the checkpoint, nailing it according to our clock, but in fact were half a second early by Official Rally Time. Grrrrrr! The rules don’t take half-seconds into account, so we were penalized a full second. Oh well. In order for us to win now everyone else will have to screw up more than us. 😉
The museum itself was nice, with an interesting collection of cars. I took plenty of photos but I’m hoarding them for future “car photo of the day” posts where my readers guess the car in the photo. I will share this one image however, as it is very cool:
Anyone know what car this is from?
We ambled back to the parking lot and since the rally mechanics were there attending to Henry Michie’s starter problems we engaged them in looking for our suspected gas leak.
No leak was found… but at the last fill up dad did notice that the gas cap was loose. Oddly enough that seems to be the cause of the “leak” or at least the smell of gasoline… go figure.
Adjacent to us in the parking lot at the Museum was Wayne & Graceia Golomb. Loyal readers will remember them from the 2007 Going To The Sun Rally, especially day two, where Shaun & I fixed their borrowed Jaguar Mk. 2, and day five, when Wayne drove my E-type the way it was meant to be driven. Wayne didn’t bring one of his Ferraris to the New England 1000, he brought something even more special: a 1990 Cadillac AllantÃ©! I kept telling Wayne that the Allante was “a Duesenberg of the future”… being something of an oddity/rarity. He kept thinking that I was joking, but I think I may be right. Who knows… at least for the next 70 years or so… at which point we’ll both be dead! 😉
Anyway, I love seeing oddball cars at events like this. Besides, if I see another red Ferrari I think I’ll fall puke. There were no less than a half-dozen red Ferraris in the rally, ranging from the 250, through 275 GTBs, 330s, to Daytonas, and a gaggle of newer models I can’t keep track of nomenclature for (their all on the depreciation curve anyway…) I’d rather see Allantes, Morgans, Maseratis, Mercedes, Jaguars, etc. Red Ferraris are OK but too much is too much. Vintage sports car events are sick with red Ferraris like small town show & shines are sick with Camaros & Mustangs. No disrespect to red Ferrari (or Camaro/Stang) owners, just my opinion.
Anyway, on the last leg I snapped an epic shot of the Allante:
Dad drove the last leg of the day, from Saratoga back up to Lake Placid, though along a mostly different route. While leaving Saratoga we encountered a traffic jam of sorts, and Dad went off-course (against my expressed desire) but he was able to just sidestep the delay by a few blocks and get us back on course and moving again. I was more concerned with odometer drift, but in the end he was proven right. Even with the detour, we barely made the checkpoint, arriving at the stand-off area with less than a minute to spare before our check-in time. Good thing Dad did NOT listen to me as most competitors racked up big penalties on this section, whereas we zeroed it.
From the checkpoint to the hotel was a 15 minute drive. There was a boat ride scheduled but we chose to skip it and get a nap. I also wandered around and shot some photos, including some of Scott George caring for the Cunningham C3.
Dinner was fantastic. I can’t recall the name of the place, but I remember that the line for the shuttle was long so Dad & I chose to drive. We were followed by Joe & Marge Costa in their 1973 V-12 E-type 2+2. While we waited for the rest of the group to arrive we sat at the bar and had a great conversation. Joe & Marge were obviously having a great time, as they had huge smiles plastered on their faces all week.
At dinner we were told that our start atop Whiteface Mountain was in doubt due to weather, but we were optimistically looking forward to another great day of rallying.