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Well once again the folks at The Roadster Factory (supplies of M.G. and Triumph parts) came through with their Annual Summer Party. This year's event officially started on Friday, 11th August and finished up on Sunday, 13th August with a car show on the main street of Indiana, Pennsylvania. This weekend extravaganza attracted participants from all over the United States and Canada. The theme of this year's event was the Allied victory in World War II.
The unofficial start of the event is on Thursday when the early-birds start out prime space on the TRF camping field. They arrive from near and far ready to party into the weekend, and we were no different. A group of 20 members of the M.G.s of Baltimore, Ltd. Car Club made the 230 mile journey to the mountains of Western Pennsylvania from Baltimore, Maryland.
This was supposed to be a 4 hour trip, however one car in our entourage had fuel pump trouble. We initially fixed it only to have it recur 60 miles later (this car finished its trip on a roll-back tow truck). Another lost its exhaust system, further delaying us. With a stop for lunch and back-ups caused by road construction and an accident the trip took 9 hours.
Once at The Roadster Factory we promptly registered and headed to the camping area. There the TRF staff showed us an area that we could set up for Club use as more members were scheduled to arrive on Friday. The Club tent was raised and the group went about setting up their own tents and trailers.
Friday was the beginning of the activities with a tech session at 9.30 a.m. Vintage drag racing was held from 11.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Yes, that's right: MGBs, Midgets, TR-6s, and Spitfires raced on the track. As the day progressed the camping field filled up as the owners of various British cars made their way to this event. It is open to all British cars but is primarily an M.G. and Triumph get together.
Evening brought a street party to downtown Indiana. The party featured a contest for the best WWII outfit for uniform, hamburgers and salads, English Ale and other beverages. This was followed by the big band sounds of the Tommy Philips Orchestra. The band played many of the songs that were favourites of the wartime era. A dance contest also took place and ribbons were given to the three best participants in both the uniform and the dance contest. Back at The Roadster Factory the night was capped off with a huge bonfire.
Saturday was a very busy day if one wanted to try to take part in all the events scheduled. Here's a sample of what the day had to offer: At 8.00 a.m. the cars queued up for the time, speed, distance road rally; at 11.00 a.m. the autocross started at the Jimmy Stewart Airport; at noon a gymkhana began on Philadelphia Street in Indiana; at 2.00 p.m. a tour of the mountain roads left The Roadster Factory; and at 4.00 p.m. a tech session was held on buying a pre-motored sports car. This was finished off with an evening field party and dinner. A local band 60s and 70s rock & roll as the crowd danced the night away.
Sunday was the end of a long weekend as could be told by the faces of some of the revellers who had partied just a little bit too much. At 10.00 a.m. the cars started lining both sides of Philadelphia Street for the culmination of this spectacular event: the Concours d'Elegance car show.
Approximately 300 cars took part in this event with the M.G. marque making a respectable showing. Awards were handed out at 3.30 p.m. by Charles Runyan, the owner and Lord Governor of The Roadster Factory. He and his band of merry man and women make this one of the premier British car gatherings in the eastern United States.