Rallye Navigating Made Easy
Corona Competition entry, week 3
by Wayne Hardy
Way back in 2008, we took our little 1958 MG ZB Magnette sedan out to Waco, TX for the TMGR fall GOF. I hadn’t been to Waco in 30 years or more, so I was really looking forward to the event. A special treat for this outing was that Ms. Marilyn Lane, my car’s second owner would be joining us for the event. Ms. Lane’s father had been the original owner of this car. He purchased it new while stationed in England in the Navy, with every intention of bringing it back to the states after his tour there, hence the left-hand drive layout. After 10 years and 100,000 miles of ownership, her father had given her the car, as she always loved it, and it continued in her ownership for another 12 years. So the first 22 years of ownership of this little car were well accounted for. Marilyn even provided me with a couple of pictures from the day the car was purchased new, and her father picked up her and her sisters at school in England. So this was to be a somewhat special outing for our little car.
Among the planned GOF events was a self-timed and checked rallye on Friday afternoon—run it when you wish, you keep track of your times and identify landmarks as required to prove you ran the course, and time closest to the set time wins. Now, my wife can be a good road navigator when she wants to, having won trophies at previous GOFs navigating for Wayne Kube and Talley Bell in different outings. She was proud of this fact, too. This ”trophy winning” navigator decided that we needed to do the Friday driving event in order to show our out-of-state visitor some central Texas scenery, and to show off her navigating skills and let Marilyn enjoy her little car again.
Off we went, with me going exactly where the navigator said to go (the only way it works). Even though I had my doubts about some of the route, I kept being assured that we were under the guidance of a “Prize Winning Navigator,” so we pressed on with our nice little drive along the river on the edge of town. “Turn left, turn left,” said the navigator suddenly, even though I was looking at a sign that said this little side road goes to the Waco Zoo. “Go, don’t worry, I’m a prize winning navigator,” said our navigator, while our passenger and out-of-town guest just observed the whole affair. And suddenly, there we were in a nice grassy field, next to the parking lot for the zoo. The navigator flipped the page on her instructions sheet, and BINGO, we were on the display field for the Saturday morning car show, which was supposed to follow a little drive from the hotel to the show area. We’d just followed the Saturday directions to the display field, rather than the rallye route for Friday. We were on the wrong day at the wrong place. So we returned to the hotel, went to the beverage area and got a nice adult beverage—at least our guest and I did, while wife/prize winning navigator went and hid in the room for a while.
No harm done really, and we certainly were able to lead the way in the car convoy to the car display grounds the next morning. On top of this we won “Show Favorite” at the Saturday event, thanks in part I’m sure to Marilyn’s staying with the car all morning, telling everyone who ventured by all about my little car’s very earliest life adventures, complete with a couple of old photos from 1958 and later.
So much for prize winning navigators.