The 2001 New England 1000 Rally

My excitement was barely containable. For the FOURTH consecutive year, I would be driving in Rich and Jean Taylor’s wonderful vintage car rally, along with about 50 like-minded car enthusiasts. My good friend and rally partner Steve would again be joining the troupe, with one significant difference: we would each be taking our own cars. Steve would be teamed up with his girlfriend (now wife) Carol in their Sunbeam Tiger, and I with my fiancé (now wife) Margaretanne would drive our recently-acquired ’72 MGB. Oh boy.

Packing the Tiger's trunk: spare parts, tools, and the all-important wash bucket
Packing the Tiger’s trunk: spare parts, tools, and the all-important wash bucket

 

Cover page of our route instructions; the rally at this time was still sponsored by M-B
Yogi provides all the driving philosophy you need

 

They can’t say they didn’t ask for it. As alluded to in an earlier post, after three straight years of hearing us rave about the rallies, the ladies wanted in. We departed from Steve’s home in Morristown NJ and caravanned to the rally starting point in Lake Placid NY. My B, purchased just a month prior, was relatively untested, and I’ll admit to some trepidation about its roadworthiness (Lucas electrics and all that). However, Steve’s British car (aside from its Yank lump) had been a bastion of reliability all these years, so I did my best to cast aside doubts.

 

En route, the two Brit roadsters sit at a NY Thruway rest area
En route, the two Brit roadsters sit at a NY Thruway rest area

Arriving at the Mirror Lake Inn on Sunday May 20, the field of rally vehicles did not disappoint; if anything, this year’s variety of cars got more interesting. The number of domestic vehicles was greater than previously seen, and included a ’64 Corvette Sting Ray, ’70 Ford Mustang, ’63 Dodge Dart, ’61 Chrysler 300G, and ’62 Ford Thunderbird (ALL convertibles).

Nice overview of the parking lot, prior to the rally's start
Nice overview of the parking lot, prior to the rally’s start

The European sports cars continued to dominate the field, and we became almost blasé at repeated sightings of Mercedes 300-SLs, Porsche 356s, Aston-Martins, Jaguar XKs, and Ferraris. The BMW 507 seen earlier returned; and of special note to me, our friend Dave Allison, who had previously entered an Alfa Giulietta spider, a Porsche 356, and a Lotus Elite, showed up with a 1971 Austin Mini. His conclusion? Of the four, the Mini was his favorite to drive!

 

Aston, Jag, BMW (would make a nice collection for my garage)
Aston, Jag, BMW (would make a nice collection for my garage)

And drive we did; as always, it’s almost exactly 1,000 miles over four days (that’s why it’s called the N.E. 1000), not including our mileage up and back. Fears about the MGB were totally unfounded; we suffered no ill effects from driving an almost-30-year-old car (not counting a very fiddly convertible top). For my wife, truth be told, getting up early and adhering to a rigidly-scheduled day was not her idea of a vacation, but she did admit that the concept and the camaraderie made it fun.

Typical queue waiting for our time out
Typical queue waiting for our time out

 

And this was the line behind us
And this was the line behind us

 

The future Mrs. Reina takes her tun behind the wheel of the B
The future Mrs. Reina takes her turn behind the wheel of the B

The return trip was uneventful. I kept the MG for the remainder of 2001, but with the BMW Isetta finally being show ready, I wanted to focus on only one collector car. Besides, the newish ’93 Mazda Miata in the garage offered plenty of sporty top-down driving whenever I wanted, so in the spring of 2002, I sold the B for exactly what I paid for it.

Shortly after the conclusion of the 2001 rally, Steve and Carol relocated to California. Due in large part to our geographical separation, it would be another four years before we again entered a vintage rally together, driving a yet-to-be-purchased vehicle. Stay tuned for that story.

Beautiful backdrop for classic car lineup
Beautiful backdrop for classic car lineup

 

Dave shows all of us what that Mini can do (he WON the competitive driving award this year)
Dave shows all of us what that Mini can do (he WON the competitive driving award this year)

 

Big Chrysler almost looks at home among the sports cars
Big Chrysler almost looks at home among the sports cars

 

Two M-B 300SL roadsters sit it out
Two M-B 300SL roadsters sit it out

 

The best of Britain: Jaguar E-Type and Aston Martin DB-6
The best of Britain: Jaguar E-Type and Aston Martin DB-6

 

Drizzle required top-up, no quick job in the MG
Drizzle required top-up, no quick job in the MG

 

Lotus Europa
Lotus Europa

 

Aston Martin DB-5
Aston Martin DB-5

 

Alfa Romeo GTV #1
Alfa Romeo GTV #09

 

Alfa Romeo GTV #2
Alfa Romeo GTV #39

 

BMW 507
BMW 507

 

Dave Allison's Austin Mini
Dave Allison’s Austin Mini

 

Jaguar XK-150
Jaguar XK-150

 

Ferrari 275GTB/4 NART spider
Ferrari 275GTB/4 NART spider

 

Porsche 356
Porsche 356

 

Hard to believe, but this Maserati Mistral just passed our MGB
Hard to believe, but this Maserati Mistral just passed our MGB

 

All photographs copyright © 2017 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.

 

8 thoughts on “The 2001 New England 1000 Rally

  1. Dear Doc. Reina, While I thoroughly enjoy your tales of participating in the NE 1000 and the many pictures of some very fine automobiles, I am sadly disappointed in the lack of pictures of THE only America sports car that participated. Namely the 64 Corvette Stingray. As a fellow automobilista (I sort of made that up) and former Corvette owner I must protest this snubbing of what is surly an equal to some of that fine Eurotrash! As I impatiently wait for your next blog, I am hoping you will prominently place several pictures of the Corvette(s) that participate.

    Grazie Mille,

    Doc. Maggio

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Like

  2. Unlike John, I see no need for close-ups or details of (yawn) yet another plastic casket Corvette. It would be nice to have some details on the only car there I can not identify easily. the white low-slung coupe with the number 71. If I’m not mistaken, it’s a Kellison bodied something or other. http://www.kellisoncars.com/
    It would be interesting to know what’s under THAT piece of fiberglass.

    Like

  3. Hi Bob, thanks as always for your insightful comments!

    I went back to the route book, and there it is, listed under “Early Vintage over 3.0 Liter”: Vehicle #36, a 1959 Kellison J-4R Coupe. It’s almost like a game of “Where’s Waldo”, but the Kellison is in 3 of the photos in this blog post.

    Googling “Kellison J4R” brought this result:
    http://collectiblecars.nytimes.com/View_Listing.asp?ListingID=COL1002073
    Same car! Note the #71. That was fun to find. Perhaps my rally brother has some additional recollections to share.

    Thanks,
    Richard

    Like

    • I was pretty sure that’s what it was. The little ads for them in the back pages of R&T, C&D and SCG seared that shape into my adolescent mind. Interesting that the Times piece notes that Rich Taylor was it’s second owner and probably the driver in that Rally. A little digging through the Kellison website back to the “original” site unearthed this article by Rich from Popular Mechanics (!?) wherein he tells of its acquistion, restoration and his Excellent Sebring Adventure with it: http://web.archive.org/web/20000824043024/http://www.seemall.com/KELLISON/J4PMART.HTML

      Like

  4. Hi Bob, that is a neat story in PM. I have absolutely no memory of Kellison ads (after all, I am a decade younger than you); the ads riveted into my subconscious
    are the “Playboy’s Dream!” ads for the Volvo 1800 convertibles that our friends at Volvoville were building. Little did I know that years later I’d know that crew all too well.

    SLH, any recollections of this Kellison, either from the ’01 NE1000, or from car magazine ads?

    Richard

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s