This is a work of fiction as I’m not certain the Statue of Limitations has expired in all instances in the story. It was inspired by all the feedback I received about Vettes never having a backseat. All the feedback was nice and polite but the sheer number of people telling me about it was overwhelming.
In the mid-1980’s when my wife and I were a whole lot younger we lived near Tampa Florida. We participated in a Road Rally club. Its members were mostly thirty to forty years old. We had a Toyota MR2 in those days.
Our club would have a monthly fun rally. This was opposed to the Time-Speed-Distance (TSD) rally’s that we had driven in when we lived up North.
A word about TSD rally’s, they were a pretty straight forward event. You went a certain speed for a given amount of time and followed the next instruction, like drive two minutes and forty five seconds at forty-five miles per hour then take the next left turn. Or you went a certain speed for a given distance and then obeyed the next instruction. This was stop watch and map work in those days. No GPS.
As a matter of fact you had to use two stop watches at least; one for your actual time for each step and one to show where you were at for the entire rally course.
Naturally things didn’t always go smoothly and you would lose time. Did you know if the instruction was to drive thirty miles an hour for one minute and turn left you would get the same effect by driving sixty miles per hour for thirty seconds? Lord help you if you were off when it said drive sixty miles per hour for one minute, see opening statement.
As you can see things could get interesting. I was the navigator and my wife the driver. Not my foot on the gas!
Fun road-rallies were a complete different kettle of fish. They were meant to be fun by being a puzzle as you drove. It was a driving experience and a challenge to your ingenuity.
The most common rally would be to show up and run the mileage adjust course, normally about five miles. This was to cancel out variations in odometers. The object of the rally was to come as close to the Rally Masters mileage as possible.
The instruction would be a printed sheet with a list of places to visit in order. You would have to map the shortest trip possible if you were going to match the Rally Master.
When you got to the location, normally a city or county park you would have to read a plaque to gather information to prove you had been there. This was prior to the internet.
The shortest route might take you down back ally’s, sand roads, railroad siding roads (if they were listed in the Florida Gazetteer as a legal road.) There would be times we would open the gate and drive through an orange grove past the farm house as the road was maintained by the county but treated as private by the grove owner. I always wondered if money changed hands to make that happen.
The ending of the Rally would be at a pizza parlor where we could drink beer and eat while the calculations were being done.
What I hadn’t mentioned was that we always started several minutes apart so we couldn’t follow each other. Invariably we would see each other in the parks and a good time was had by all. Road Rally’s would be twenty to thirty miles long in town.
There was another type of rally where all you had to do was follow the instructions. Like make the eighth right turn. Oh yes they had you driving into a traffic circle so you really had to go around the circle twice and head back the way you came.
I’m not even going to try to explain the dreaded ‘onto’ instruction. Basically it meant follow the name road no matter what.