Travel: This Might Be The Perfect Casual Rally

This Might Be The Perfect Casual Rally

By Petrolicious Productions
October 15, 2015

Story by Noah Lambert // Photography by Matt Winte

I assumed the best automotive events were for other people, other cars, and in other countries.

The idea for the Mezzo 200 Reliability Trial was sparked just a few months ago after reading of such adventures in this very publication, Petrolicious. Why am I missing out on all the fun? It was time to act. It was time to organize.

I contacted an old friend, and we spitballed the possibilities. Kyle Tezak is a graphic designer by trade. More importantly, he gets it. He knows a real sign is painted by hand. He appreciates a well-executed perf line, and he finds joy in the familiarity of a stubby bowling pencil. He was on board.

We spent three months concocting our idea of the perfect motoring event. We cut out the frills and tried to focus on the fun stuff. None of that TSD nonsense, no plastic trophies, and no registration fees. Just 200 miles of the best pavement in 6 counties with plenty of good food along the way.

We began in Peoria Heights, Illinois. Coffee was flowing from a vintage Aervoid thermos. Jimmy Smith on the PA. Local apple cider donuts. Something about that old stainless thermos struck a chord with me, and you could say it summarized the whole event: a well built machine, used and maintained properly, still working just as it was intended many decades later. A lot like our cars, if we’re lucky.

As we racked up the miles and blew through the checkpoints I think we slowly realized that this wasn’t the one-hit wonder we had intended. Time to dig in and prepare for next year.

We’ll call this a practice run… See you next October.

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Ricky Shull
Ricky Shull(@shulltography)
6 years ago

The photo of the Galaxie 500 is absolutely brilliant. Awesome story and photo coverage.

Larry Philyaw
Larry Philyaw(@lphilyaw)
6 years ago

In 50 years of participating in and putting on all kinds of driving events including TSD, gimmick, fun and serious rallies, this was one of the best organized and planned out runs I’ve been on. With the exception of the uninvited parade that put a chink in the departures, Noah and Kyle’s attention to the smallest detail in both layout and execution made this an event I can’t wait to do again next year. In this time of high-tech, smart watches, gps-in-everything, even driver-less cars, how refreshing to see there are still a couple of romantics who see the value in meshing art, nostalgia, and automobile camaraderie just because they can. Well played, gentlemen. Carpe viam!

Darel Matthews
Darel Matthews(@darel)
6 years ago

My wife and I are participating in exactly the same sort of thing tomorrow (and the rest of this weekend)! Check out the ABRR at:
We’re team Nuclear Family. Originally they had a TSD as well as a “cruise” group but the TSD was cancelled due to lack of interest (although we were interested – my wife is an outstanding TSD navigator and almost necessarily, mathematician). Overall by the time we get to the start line and home again it should be about 850 miles added to my TR6 through the Finger Lakes at the peak of fall colors.

Our cars need to be driven – they were built to do just that. We’ve got two “fun” cars, the TR6 and a ’65 Volvo 1800S (purchased from the author of the Maserati Mexico article last week) and they are driven to work every day it doesn’t rain, and we regularly participate in rallies – TSD and “fun” – in them, sometimes hours away from us.

Don’t be afraid of your classic!

Oscar DeSoto
Oscar DeSoto(@fb_10104347668469381)
6 years ago

This is excellent. Great job!

David Slyman
David Slyman(@fiat500c)
6 years ago

Great idea Noah and Kyle! I just enjoyed walking the parking lot and soaking up the atmosphere of those beautiful cars. I would have loved to give it a go in my 911, alas, it does not have the right amount of “patina” yet. But having a seat in an Aston Martin was not a bad way to start the morning! Looking forward to seeing what you come up with next year.

Matt Shepherd
Matt Shepherd(@shep)
6 years ago

What a great event! Thanks for letting us take part in the “practice run.” We’ll definitely be back for next year’s version (providing the single cab cooperates, that is). 🙂