Editor's Comments: Found this Nostalgia article in the September 1990 Gazette just after hearing of Marylin Leonard's passing.  I don't remember if she worked Checkpoint 2 with Glen, but I dedicate this story to her memory.

Just last month your publisher and I were privileged to enter the Canadian Blackjack Rally (story elsewhere in this issue). This was the first time in years for me to enter a Divisional quality TSD Rally and it was a most enjoyable experience. Adding zest to the event was the fact this was the first time in twenty-one years that we had rallyed together in a serious TSD event.

It was in the fall of 1968.. .Steve was enjoying his last year of college before his all expense-paid trip to Viet Nam — I had just recently acquired a Plymouth Road Runner, the original “beep beep” version, for a tow car. I decided to try it for rallying; it didn’t look like a typical rally car of the day, but in its NASCAR trim it looked and sounded tough and would impress the “natives” along the rally route. It was short on instrumentation but with a Borg-Warner 4 speed box, it was fantastic when it came to making up lost time.

Steve and I hadn’t rallyed much together although we started our SCCA careers together in Bill Butler’s Whistler Rally in 1961 in the then new red TR-3. This day in 1968, Steve was navigating again with his trusty circular slide rule and stop watch. We started off in a blaze of glory with less than ten penalty points through the first two check points, and visions of a 1st place trophy raced through our mind - we were “on a roll” for sure.

Our dream of glory was short lived when I fired up the Road Runner to leave Checkpoint 2, the engine started but the starter refused to disengage and belched out ominous black smoke. It was hopelessly stuck and the only way we could stop it was by disconnecting the battery. After the checkpoint was closed, the captain, Glen Leonard, towed us back to town - thankfully the Road Runner was still under warranty. That was to be the end of our rallying together for the next twenty one years.

I hadn’t thought of that long ago rally for many years until Steve reminded me of it. As the memories flashed through my mind, I was reminded of how much family fun rallys can be. Parents and children, husbands and wives, all can join as equal partners in a competitive sport. Racing and autocrossing are great fun and can be enjoyed as a family to some extent but rallying is tops for a true family sport. I think a good many folks are not taking advantage of the possibilities -I recommend everyone try rallying.



HTML Hit Counters
HTML Counter