Published on Tuesday, 09 October 2012 15:10
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In November, 1962, the most successful and longest held Oklahoma Region Rally began when George England conducted the first Warpath Rallye. His account from the December, 1962 Gazette read:

“The Warpath was my first experience at conducting a Rally of any sort and proved quite interesting and educational. Thanks to the efforts of Co - Chairman Jeanie Reudy with tremendous assists from Lou Maystrick and my spouse Margaret I survived the week-end.

The turnout of contestants from our Region was disappointing; four of the nine entries were from out of state-and leads me to wonder if our club really wants to include two day rallies in the yearly program. I realize the past eight weeks have been loaded with activities and the week - end after the race caught a lot of folks just plain exhausted so maybe we just picked a lousy time. Anyhow, a lot of members missed a fine weekend of rallying.

Among the out of state entries was Ann Van Camp of Albuquerque, Secretary of the Rio Grande Region, who took one of our trophies home as did the Ogilvies, Meads and Richardsons of Dallas. We had one entry cancelled at the last minute by an unfortunate accident, Dr. & Mrs. Moorish of Norman were on the way to register Saturday morning and totaled their new TR - 4. Fortunately there were no serious injuries.

The weather turned out just perfect, the navigating was precise and no one got lost; at least not for long. Dave Dooley did have a little trouble in Perry when he tried to outguess the Rallymaster, but he was soon on course - with 300 points penalty. One of the highlights of the Warpath was the gathering at Western Hills where both conversation and refreshments flowed freely and everyone relaxed after the long days run.

Special thanks are due to the following workers who manned the checkpoints and made the Warpath possible: Tom Davis, Bill Roberts, Anatoly Arutunoff, John C. Stone & family, Streeter Flynn and Dana Chilcoat, Glen and Marilyn Leonard, Randy and Chloe South, Helen Rambo of Tulsa, Dan and Laverne Craig, Dave Wood and son, Alan and Kevin Leslie, Mike Dickey and Steve England.

1.         Charles and Reva Ogilvie                           164
2.         Gene and Miriam Mead                               246
3.         Bill and Montine Foerster                            275
4.         Ann VanCamp and Darrel Munson            517
5.         Mac and Mable Richardson                        608
6.         Bill Butler and Bill Watson                           643
7.         Dave Dooley and Elouise Norris                902
8,         Monte and Alfred Goldman                          985

Saturday Only Dan and Laverne Craig                  737

Trophies were given to the top 4 contestants overall and to the first and second each day among those not in the top four. Richardsons 1st Sat., Butler/Watson 2nd, Goldmans 1st Sun., Dooley/Norris, 2nd. “

Oklahoma Region had a long history of holding two day rallyes as evidenced by Bob Vahlberg’s comments in the October, 1971 Gazette.

“Well, George England, you are better at naming rallies than winning them.

Before Divisional Rallyes started in 1963 (the first Warpath: 8 entries to a lake in the East occurred in ‘62), Oklahoma Region always had two 2-day similar events per year: long 1000 mile rallies. The first one was in the fall of 58. I remember it because it was my first rally - we came in second. There were 10 entries - to Eureka Springs, Ark. These old rallies had many names: “Speedy Lewis,” “Post Mark,” “Post Mark Revival,” “Vallie,” etc. Only Warpath stuck--a good thing.”

Editor’s Comments: Bob Vahlberg was arguably the best rallyist in Oklahoma Region until Jim Duea joined the region in the 90’s. Bob, a noted Oklahoma City Architect, drove a red Porsche Super 90 that always needed a wax job. His voice was a dead ringer for Jim Baccus and he always had a big stogie in hand. The last time I saw Bob was when he and C.A. Leslie drank martinis and watched the 1989 “Great American Race” classic cars pass through downtown OKC.

Jim Croft, Rallymaster for four Warpaths, gives some insight into the festive and social nature of the event. In 1973 Jim wrote:

“It is this rallymaster’s contention that most rallists bring their own traps to any rally on any given day; however, to keep anyone from feeling left out the rallymaster provided a few of his own. More about traps later.

The eleventh annual running of Warpath September 29th had 33 entries from as far away as New York, New Orleans, Huntsville, Houston, Denver, Des Moines and cites in between. We credit the good turn out to having the event about a month earlier than usual and to having an enjoyable rally last year. As last year there were no claims and not many complaints. Most rallists can’t find many things to complain about as they are collecting 0’s, 1’s and low scores in general. Most rallists and checkpoint crews on the 16 checkpoints enjoyed the nice weather.

There were many extras put into the rally to help make it a successful and enjoyable event for both entrants and workers. The course was mostly scenic country type roads in Northeast Oklahoma. The odometer run ended at the Skelly Pro-Am truck stop at 1-40 and Choctaw Road which is sometimes nice to have after a 28 mile tire-warm-up and Odo run. After 6 checkpoints and about as many traps, the morning rest break was at the Coachman Inn Restaurant. The long leisurely lunch break was after checkpoint 9 at the Surrey House Restaurant which was large enough to handle our crowd with fast good food. There were also several unique gift shops at the Surrey House. The afternoon rest break was at Lincoln Park with refreshments provided.

Some of the other extras were Jenni Green’s personalized notes to the entrants informing them of their car number and other bits of information. She used note cards printed at Indian City with paintings of Indian children. Also Indian City made the Indian Pottery awards which were wall plaques, colorfully painted with the Oklahoma Region Indian in his car along with the place and class. Jenni and her mother also made OJO’s (Eyes of God) for each entrant. We made up a sheet explaining the OJO and its good luck qualities for rallists. Zebbie printed these on some colorful stationary.

Some other extra was the accurate scoring by Hank Kliner and Jack Breimier. The very original scoreboard was made by Dave Brown. The party snacks and drinks were provided by Zebbie and her helpers. Last but not least the accurate timing provided by the checkpoint crews. The best checkpoint crew awards which were similar to the rally awards were won by Ann William’s crew who were dressed like Indians. They had a real blast.

Now back to the traps or as Zebbie likes to call them “course following problems”. The traps used were based on the main road rule, the generals, and one was based on the rally regulation which was a BEAR RIGHT. For rallists who went right at an intersection where there was only one opportunity to turn right instead of two or more arrived at the next control a little late.

Most traps were located immediately before checkpoints with at least two ways to go which made for some interesting times for rallists and checkpoint crews. A few traps were based on note instructions which were all L at T (Left at T). Many novices did quite well considering they had never been on a rally with note instructions. All cars finished the rally with respectable scores and a good time was had by all.”

The last Warpath in 1978 reflected the declining interest and changing emphasis on rallyes by SCCA National. It is interesting to note that four of the Region’s most successful race drivers began their SCCA careers at the original Warpath Rallye; Bill “Doc” Foerster, Dave Dooley, Eloise Norris and Al Goldman.

 HISTORY OF WARPATH

YEAR  RALLYMASTER                               ENTRIES       STATUS

1962   George England                                8                      Two Day Regional

1964   George England                                23                    One Day Divisional

1965   Bob Vahlberg/Dick Workman            N/A                  One Day Divisional

1966   George England                                35                    One Day Divisional

1967   Zebbie Ramsey                                 36                    One Day Divisional

1968   Bob Vahlberg                                   N/A                   One Day Divisional

1969   Paul Harris/Dave Rollow                  N/A                   One Day Divisional

1970   Zebbie Ramsey                                N/A                   One Day Divisional

1971   Bob Vahlberg                                   25                     One Day Divisional

1972   Jim & Linda Croft                              N/A                   One Day Divisional

1973   Jim Croft                                            32                    One Day Divisional

1974   Jim Croft                                            26                    One Day National

1975   Norm Foster/Dave Brown                33                     One Day National

1976   Zebbie Ramsey                                 17                    One Day National

1977   Jim Croft                                            16                    One Day National

1978 Pat Morrison                                       N/A                    One Day Divisional