Tiny Texas town races ahead

Our weekly roundup of car show news and notes

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Groesbeck GP
Sports racer among cars competing in Groesbeck Grand Prix Festival of Motoring in Texas | Event photos

Groesbeck is a community of about 4,500 people living around 40 miles east of Waco, Texas. But it also is in the process of becoming the headquarters for The Gentleman Racer: Life at Speed, the automotive website and clothing company run by Mike Satterfield, who also was responsible for organizing the recent and inaugural Groesbeck Grand Prix Festival of Motoring.

The event included a concours at historic Old Fort Parker and a 1.5-mile time trial on a closed section of highway.  

“The feedback from the drivers has been great,” reports race director Richard Tomlin. “They love the relaxed family atmosphere, the challenge of the course, and the overall uniqueness of this event, many are already planning to come back next year and figuring out how they can optimize their cars to chase the course record set by Craig.”

That would be Craig McCormick, who ran the course in 47.34 seconds in a Ford Mustang.

“We had to put in an artificial cap on the event due to COVID so we could allow people to spread out and feel comfortable,” said Satterfield, “but even so the fact that we sold out of tickets so quickly is encouraging.”

Proceeds from the weekend benefited Parkinson’s care and research through the Drive Toward A Cure program.

BYO is theme for British automotive breakfast 

British automotive leaders drive their own cars to Bicester Heritage gathering | Event photos

British automotive leaders from motor shows, the car industry and other facets recently staged an inaugural breakfast cruise-in at Bicester Heritage, where the twist on “run what you brung” was “bring your own vehicle.”

“Cheap to expensive, vintage to modern, (the) car mix demonstrates that depth of enthusiasm that runs through the auto industry,” according to the post-breakfast news release on the event.

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The event was organized by the team behind the British Motor Show (scheduled for August 19-22, 2021) and its National Automotive Industry Day Facebook page.

“Bringing together movers and shakers from all aspects of the car industry, from senior executives to high profile motoring media, the day was as much about networking as it was about enjoying the cars, which ranged from a £50 Volvo 850 to an Aston Martin Vantage, via all stops in between,” organizers reported.

“As well as a chance to talk motors and business, have a late Sunday breakfast and swap car buying stories, the attendees also took to the track to give their classics a workout – an opportunity that 2020 hasn’t offered for many of them so far.”

“We had a far bigger turnout than expected and the eclectic mix of cars and characters at Bicester underlined what a fabulously enthusiastic industry UK Automotive is,” said Andy Entwistle, British Motor Show chief executive. 

“While we all work tirelessly and professionally in all aspects of the car industry, a lot of us work in automotive because we adore it. We love cars and we love meeting fellow petrolheads, and it was so reassuring to see just how many true enthusiasts there are working in the industry today.

“The diverse selection of vehicles at the event each had one thing in common – they are owned by a true enthusiast who chose it out of a love of cars, be it a battered old Volvo or a beautifully restored MGC. That passion is the one thing that unites us all.”

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Virus impacts Muscle, Japanese, NYC events

Two more hits against the collector car hobby by the coronavirus pandemic: 

  • The annual Japanese Classic Car Show in Long Beach, California, will become a week-long virtual event this year. World Matsuri Week is scheduled for October 3-10 (Matsuri is the Japanese word for festival).
  • The annual Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals, held in Rosemont, Illinois, has been canceled for 2020 due to state regulations limiting such indoor events to 100 people. Dates for the 2021 event have been set for November 21-22, 2021.
  • Also canceled is the New York City Concours, which was scheduled for September 17-18. Organizers are planning a series of smaller “club concours” starting in November at various locations in the city.
  • Another recent cancelation is the PRI show, the annual motorsports equipment trade show in Indianapolis.

“Nothing is more important than the well-being of our family, friends and community during this unprecedented time,” said concours founder Maria Jannace. “It would be irresponsible of us to try to hold The Concours during the health and economic challenges we are currently experiencing.”

Vintage Rolls club welcomes newest model

20-Ghost Club welcomes newest version | Rolls-Royce photo

A few days after unveiling its new Ghost model, Rolls-Royce invited members of the 20-Ghost Club, the oldest Rolls-Royce car club, to an exclusive event at which 20 pre-1936 cars were staged in the company’s central courtyard for a photo shoot with the new Ghost.

The 20-Ghost Club is devoted to pre-1940 Rolls-Royce motor cars and those displayed in the photo shoot all were driven to the event.

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Among the cars taking part was a 100-year-old Silver Ghost limousine by Mulliner. The car was acquired by its current owners in 2011 and has been driven 17,000 miles since, mainly on 20-Ghost Club tours.

Fall car-show calendar

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the fall car-show and concours calendar continues to evolve. Here’s the updated schedule, based on official announcements but subject to change, as of September 15, 2020:

September 18-20 —Street Rod Nationals Northeast (Vermont), Arizona FuelFest, Balfour Car Show (Denver), Holley MOPARty (Bowling Green, Kentucky), Art on Wheels Weekend (Wisconsin), Classic Car Drive In Weekend (Bicester Heritage)

September 23-27 — Salon Prive (England), Telluride Festival, Ironstone Concours d’Elegance (California), St. Michaels Concours d’Elegance (Maryland), Goodguys Lone Star Nationals (Texas), Catskill Conquest Rally (New York)

October 2-4 — Fall Carlisle, Street Rod Nationals South (Knoxville, Tennessee), Jagstravaganza Concours (California), Holley Ford Intergalactic Festival (Bowling Green, Kentucky)

October 9-11 — Zoute Grand Prix and Concours (Belgium), AACA Eastern Fall Nationals (car show only), Chico Concours d’Elegance (California)

October 16-18 — Goodwood Speed Week, Keels & Wheels, Lake Mirror Concours d’Elegance (Florida), Mid-American Street Rod Nationals (Missouri), Astin Mansion (Texas), Off-Road Expo and Sand Sports Super Show (Arizona)

October 19-23 — AACA Central Divisional Tour (Oklahoma), Astin Mansion car show (Texas)

October 23-25 — Charlotte Auto Fair

October 30-November 1 — Copperstate 1000 vintage rally car show, Western Street Rod Nationals (Bakersfield, California), Rennsport Collective (England)

To share news of your local car shows and cruises, email larrye@classiccars.com

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