Monday, April 24, 2006


25th annual MG Car Club Tulip Rallye

I drove in the 25th annual Tulip Rallye sponsored by the MG Car Club Northwest Centre this past Saturday, April 22nd. It was a beautiful sunny day and there were 254 cars that entered the event, making it the largest ever of all 25. My friend, L B, who is the instructor of the digital imaging class I took last fall at the local college went along with me as my navigator. I started at the Starbucks across the street from the shopping center where the rally started, so I did get my mocha. When L arrived we drove across the street and picked up our entry stuff, learning we were car number 80.

Here is a scene of people talking with each other and enjoying looking at the cars before the start of the event:
Tulip Rallye 1

One of the entrants was a green MGA with it's mascot traveling on the luggage rack that mounts on the trunk (boot for those closer to their British roots.) Here is that car & mascot:
Tulip Rallye 2

The cars started leaving from three seperate lanes in groups of twenty. We were in the fourth group as car #80. You couldn't just follow another car as there were three seperate sets of instructions, so they didn't all go the same way. Also, that other car might be lost. We drove through Burlington & Mt. Vernon, soon getting out of town. This area is well known as a nesting area for eagles and we spotted this nest in the top of a tree, still visible because the leaves are not out in full yet:
Tulip Rallye 3

We spent a lot of time on Whidbey Island. You should have seen all the sports cars in the towns of Oak Harbor and Coupville! Plus they were going all directions. Remember there were three seperate sets of instructions. We paused on the way into Coupville to take a couple of photos of the landscape:
Tulip Rallye 4

Here is the second one from the same location. This one has Mt. Baker in the background across Puget Sound:
Tulip Rallye 5

It becomes a challenge to come up with a place large enough to end an event like this, with so many cars and people. 254 entrants plus those working on the event. For the second year in a row they used the Swinomish Indian Tribe's Northern Lights Casino on SR20 near Anacortes, WA. I was able to take a lot of photos of cars while we were waiting for others to come in and the results were computed.

This first one is probably the oldest car in the event. I talked with the owner but do not remember what year it was built. I know there were not too many of these built and some were melted down for their aluminum to build WW2 aircraft. The guy who has this one has owned it for six years and drives it often. There is the front of a Triumph TR3 in the corner of the photo. This is a Bentley, a British car that I believe is still being built and is in a class with Rolls Royce:
Tulip Rallye 6

This is the interior of the Bentley. The owner and his navigator wore period costumes, including leather head wrapping helmets while on the road:
Tulip Rallye 7

I have loved the look of the Jaguar XKE since it was introduced, I think about 1961. It's lines just kind of epitomize what I think a sports car should look like. I think there are some similarities in shape with the Miata and that may be why I like Miatas so well. This is a great example of an XKE:
Tulip Rallye 8

The last MGBs were built in 1980. By then the company had been sold and was under the same ownership as Triumph. The owner's decided to drop the MG sports car and concentrate on building the Triumph line. Some years later a British heritage group acquired the molds for body panels for the MGB and started building a few cars, using the aluminum V8 that Rover had purchased from General Motors and was used in Buick & Oldsmobile mid-size care in the early 1960s. This made a pretty high performance car out of the MGB.

I don't know if this is one of those cars but think it is a US car from the late 1970s that the owner has modified. But, he has added that same V8 engine & 5-speed transmission, along with a nitrous oxide system for additional power when wanted. The engine seems to fit pretty well:
Tulip Rallye 9

Any car club that had at least three entries of their members was competing for a trophy. My Club Miata NW had six or eight and the winner of our trophy also won last year and I think someone told me she won the year before. She likes this event and is always an early entrant. Here is her Miata, with it's number 18 on the windshield:
Tulip Rallye 10

One of the more exotic of the newer sports cars is the Lotus Elise. There were two of them in the event, including this yellow 2005 model. Cars with fewer than 3, or not in a car club, competed in an open category against each other for a trophy:
Tulip Rallye 11

I like this photo as it combines two veteran British sports cars, a Morgan in the foreground and an MGB behind it. The other Lotus is behind the Morgan but you can't see much of it. Mt. Baker is also visible in the background:
Tulip Rallye 12

I have other car photos and may use them at times in the future. This was the first car rally I have been on in quite a few years. Annie & I used to go on this event on a regular basis and enjoyed it a lot. It was still as much fun but as much as I like L, I wish my Annie were still here to go on them with me. I guess maybe she is still there in the car. Wonderful memories.

We have never attend a car show like that. Looks like fun. Thanks for the informative pictures and captions.
A bittersweet time for you, huh, Dick? I'm glad you are enjoying yourself, and not sitting at home moping and grieving, like many widows and widowers do. :)

It all looks like great fun, and you have some beautiful photos of the scenery and the cars. I look forward to seeing where your next adventure will take us. Give Huggy some lovin' for me. ;)
My son attends a lot of car shows. He loves them. He owns a limited edition 1990 Grand Prix Turbo, they only made around 900 of them, I keep asking him for it, and he tells me NO WAY!!

MY BIL owns a 1970 Hornet in mint condition, it was garage kept, (still is) and belonged to a little old lady who barely drove it, he bought it cheap and has won several awards for it at shows.
Wow, amazing photos. Looks like you had a wonderful day. I'm sure Annie was riding along there with you, all the way.
I got your postcard today, thank you, the tulips are just gorgeous.
Take care, Meow
Wow, alot of sports cars there!
I bet you had fun. It sure was a great day for it!
Hi Dick, Some awesome cars here, your camera really takes nice photos, great color.I really love the eagle nest photo, and the ones of Puget sound too. Nature pics are so spectacular. Also Dick, great pictures of the flowers in the post below, my favorite flower is your grandaughter, she is lovely. Cheers,
Wonderful photo's of the cars, and that scenery..WOW! It looks like you had a great time, and I'm glad. You deserve it. And about those tulips in the previous post: beautiful.

Thanks for the link, Dick!
thankyou for sharing this fantastic experience with us the cars a great and so many different types, I was the proud owner of a gold MG many years ago,but did not get to attend rally's thru your post I am able to remember the joy of the country rides in the G. You have some beautiful countyside where you live. you annie would be right beside you.
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