Tulip Rallye Report

Springtime must be here because we ran the Tulip yesterday!

It was rather surreal as I thought we were going to be late, and drove like a madman over the hill from Arlington into the Skagit for the start. We arrived at the Cascade Mall parking lot among the first few cars… only to find out some sort of construction-related delay in Everett had prevented the vast majority of participants from arriving from Seattle, much further south.

The Tulip is sort of like the “Opening Day” for car enthusiasts here in the Pacific Northwest and draws several hundred participants in an unusual array of vehicles, with a large portion of them being British (The local MG Club hosts the Tulip Rallye.) Jaguars were a tad under-represented this year, with only about 10, two big Saloons, a couple of XJs and a “one of each” group of E-types. Zillions of MGs & Minis/MINIs, lots of Healeys, Corvettes, Alfa-Romeos, Lancias, Fiats, Porsches, a smattering of Soltice/Sky drivers, rounded it up to somewhere between 250-300 cars.

This year the route ventured west through the tulip fields (in partial bloom) then north around Lake Samish to Fairhaven in Bellingham, then back down Chuckanut Drive, Padilla Bay and out to the Finish at the Swinomish Casino.

My car ran fine despite the lack of a functioning radiator fan. The temps got a wee bit high (90°C+) as we waited through a couple of lights for a left turn in Farihaven, but I was always able to get the car up to speed and cool down again.

checking out a S3
Above: At the finish in Swinomish, Doug Martin (left) and Greg Bilyeau (inspecting) check out the engine bay of a particularly well-sorted out E-type Series 3 2+2. Greg drove his ’74 S3 and Doug left his E-type at home and drove a Miata(!) Can you name all the cars in this photo?

We arrived at the finish pretty early (12:45ish) and then since there were SO MANY cars the wrap up lingered on a tad too long. I was planning a lunch stop on the way home but after waiting more than an hour for the awards Doug & Constance Martin offered Chris & I a sandwich from their cooler. That probably saved our lives as Chris gets really cranky if not fed. Thanks!

Chris had to get back home for an event later in the day so we had to bail out before we found out how we placed. Oh well. (It was well after 3 by this time though!) On the drive home I ran into some Tourist Tulip Traffic… coming off Fir Island into Conway and had to shut off the car a couple of times to prevent it overheating. The gauge never registered higher than 95°C so the car should be fine.

The rains are due to return tomorrow so perhaps I’ll start troubleshooting this fan issue.

I didn’t take any photos while the Rallye was underway.. so no tulip fields for you! I did grab a few shots of obscure cars for the ongoing “Car Photo of the Day” series, so stay tuned for that.

Weekend Plans: The Tulip Rallye with Chris

Springtime is here, and the weather is supposed to be good on Saturday. So Chris & I are going to fire up the 65E and head over the hill to the Skagit Valley for the annual Tulip Rallye.

Yeah sure, my exhaust is still cockeyed, who know what else needs to be fixed, and the Tulip is not exactly a serious rally, but hey… it is time to drive!

Chris is jazzed. I’m ready to go.

By the way a Jaguar buddy in Bellingham is looking for a Navigator, anyone up for it? Roger? John?

Here are some pics of Chris doing stellar navigation duty over the years (guess which one is on a transit?)

Chris again
Chris & I

Car Photo of the Day: Name that car.


This particular sort of car came up in discussion on the Jag-Lovers.org E-type group, and I commented on the way cool dashboard with the Dome-a-rama gauges. I knew I had a photo of it to share but could not find it at the time. Today I’m looking for more Bugatti pics and tripped right over it! I’ve abandoned the Bugatti theme for this one guys. Once I find the Bugatti pics I’ll post them to yesterday’s CPOTD. Since the discussion of Jag-Lovers named this car in today’s CPOTD any participants in that group are not eligible for guessing, sorry guys. Anyone else know what sort of car this is?

Hard to see from this angle, but that gauge cluster above the wheel is fully encased in a plexiglass dome that extends up along the steering column. Very Gemini-Capsule, Jetson-o-rama, retro-o-futurism! Makes me want to go watch “The Right Stuff” at the Cinerama.

Hard-core “name that car” people can have a go at all the stuff in the background too – though given that this was taken at a local car show at the NAPA store in my little town, the variety is not exactly on par with Amelia Island or Pebble Beach! 😉

(BTW Tomorrow’s CPOTD is a real stumper from Amelia so gird your loins!)

Car Photo of the Day: Back to my Bugatti theme…


Here’s another Bug I have some photos of in my collection. My photo collection that is!
The car belongs to Dean Edmonds, who graciously provided a bunch of rallyists a tour of his car collection and shop on a break of the final running of the Forza Amelia a few years back. It was his favorite car in the collection. Dean is the gentleman in the center of the photo. We’re all jacketed up as after the tour we had a formal dinner sitting among the cars of another famous collection, a story for another time. This Bugatti Type 55 was immaculate, I’ll share some more photos of it later.

Here they are: