GOF-South LIII Report
Where to Start, there were so many facets to the Event:
The Statistics: Number of MGs' Registered 90, number of owners and their guests 187, cars registered to drive the Road Track at the Speedway 73.
The Hotel: The Plaza Resort & Spa was the final choice of the GOF Committee. The Plaza is best described as 'Elegant', with a great history. It had recently undergone a revamp and was ideal for our event. The rear of the Hotel opened onto the beach and early risers could watch the spectacular sunrises from the Terrace or Pool level. It was well worth crawling out of bed before the crack of dawn to witness the spectacular colors created by the sun as it rose over the Atlantic Ocean. The weather can only be described as perfect, and the view from some of the hotel rooms was as spectacular with the sun rising and the deep Blue of the Ocean on full display.
The Registration Desk was sited at the end of a long colonnade to emphasis the Elegance of the Plaza. The large hospitality room was down two short flights of stairs adjacent to the registration desk. For guests who had problems negotiating the stairs, there was an elevator a few paces from Registration. Tech. Sessions were hosted in a conference room across the Hallway from the Hospitality room.
Thursday, April 11: The morning was setting-up for the event. A few of us arrived early to help unload and move 'stuff' around. GOF Committee Chair, Jim Hall, assisted by Mark Cooley appeared with a truck hauling a U-Haul trailer. The trailer was packed with 'stuff' of every description, all the items necessary to run a GOF. By lunch, everything was unloaded and moved to its' appropriate place. As time progressed more 'early birds' arrived and Mike Hogan and Vanessa Albright opened up registration. A major concern was how to keep the Plaza parking lot free from interlopers who did not have a MG. We required to park all the ninety MGs' and several trailers in the lot. The hotel had placed temporary fencing across the entry to the lot. However, it required to be opened to let in arriving MGs', and policed to stop interlopers who decided the MGs' only sign didn't apply to them. Various volunteers took turns as the 'gatekeeper', it was a hot job as the sun was high in the sky.
By 3.30pm we headed out for a short drive to the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse with sixteen MGs. A few intrepid folks scaled the steps to the top, but a majority of us perused the items in the Gift Shop, saddled up, and drove back to the North Turn Restaurant for dinner, before heading back to the Plaza.
Unfortunately, Gary Whiting, our ace photographer scaled the Lighthouse to take photos and missed the restaurant on his return drive, so we have no photos of the North Turn. By the time we arrived at the Plaza the Hospitality room was buzzing until closing at 10 pm. A few of us headed to the Hotel Bar for a nightcap, before retiring to our rooms.
Some of us were fortunate to see the Space X rocket launch from the Kennedy Space Center watching from the Plaza parking Lot. We had a clear view of the two boosters separating and falling back to their landing pads in a controlled manner.
Friday, April 12: Friday was an action-packed day. A majority of MG Owners and their guests arrived to register, there were two Tech. Seminars in the morning, the 'Drive laps at the Daytona Road Track' scheduled for late afternoon, followed by the First Timers' Car Show, and the Meet and Greet BBQ. The 'Gate Keepers' worked diligently, allowing MGs' in, and keeping interlopers out. Parking trailers was quite a task. Fortunately there were no accidents or damaged MGs.
Jim Hall conducted a Seminar on Five Speed Gearbox conversions, followed by Richard Gross demonstrating how to take care of, and balance wire wheels. Both sessions commanded interest, and a lively 'Question and Answer' session.
The late afternoon challenge was herding the cars to line up in the Plaza parking lot to caravan to the Speedway. Once in line Mark Cooley risked life and limb standing in the middle of Highway A1A to stop traffic in all directions, while a procession of MGs' crossed the north-bound carriageway to allow the MG caravan to enter the south-bound carriageway, enroute to the Speedway. Marshaling the cars to enter the Speedway was an impressive sight, a long line of MGs all assembling ready to go. A 'Release of Liability' form was signed by all present, and the MGs' started to roll through the entry tunnel to the Track. Naturally one MG stopped in the tunnel, declined to start, and had to be pushed up a steep incline out of the tunnel. One MG ran out of gas on the track, and there was one minor rear-end bump when a driver was distracted taking photographs. Fortunately, nobody was hurt, and no damage reported on either MG.
The GOF Sponsor, MOSS Motors, subsidized the Track event and the purchase of photographs taken by the Speedway Photography company. Dawn Williamson, the MOSS Marketing and Events Coordinator, joined us for the three days of the event, and rode 'Shot Gun' in Sybil Bradley's MGB round the Track.
You will be able to access a Photo Album of all the Track Photographs by Clicking the link at the end of this Article.