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Rallye Glenwood Springs the wheel deal

Joelle Dorsey had wanted an MG convertible for 28 years.”My dad wouldn’t let me have one,” she says.”You’ll wrap yourself around a telephone pole,” her dad told her.”When I was 16 looking for the MG, Dad would steer me towards the Volkswagens,” said Dorsey last Tuesday afternoon as she sat on her driveway with her father and mother, Bob and Doris Smith, and her husband Mike, admiring her red 1975 MGB convertible.”Last summer he went with me to buy one.”Smith owed his reluctance to let his daughter get an MG, a British sports car, to Dorsey’s sister, nicknamed “Leadfoot Louise.”But Smith may owe his daughter’s desire to get an MG to himself.Smith owned a spoke-wheeled 1954 MG TF, and used to let Dorsey ride in the back.”I just liked sports cars, that’s all,” he said. “It was definitely not a family car.” When Dorsey got too big to ride in the back, grew up, and wanted her own MG, Smith said it became a case of “don’t do as I do, do as I say.”But for Dorsey it was “in her blood” and her desire to have an MG lasted 28 years.This weekend Dorsey and about 100 others will drive and show their cars as part of the 52nd annual Rallye Glenwood Springs.The MG Car Club’s Rocky Mountain Centre puts on the weekend’s event, which includes a tour, rallye, show and “funkhana.”The tour leaves from Denver on Friday morning and arrives Friday afternoon in Glenwood Springs and includes about 110 cars. The rallye is the second driving event and leaves from Two Rivers Park on Saturday. It requires drivers to follow a specific route and speed limitations, coming as close to an allotted time as possible.The most enjoyable part of the rallye for non-drivers will likely be the show and funkhana on Sunday.During the funkhana, drivers have to negotiate a series of obstacles in their cars, from passing a ball from one cone to another, to backing in a circle around a cone without tipping the cone over. During the show Glenwood residents will get the chance to see a variety of cars – BMWs, Lotuses, Triumphs, Jaguars, Alfa Romeos -from as far back as the 1920s and ’30s, said Rallye chairman Ron Akin.But the most popular cars in the show will likely be the older MGs, he said.”That was the one the American GIs fell in love with back in the second World War,” he said. “And they brought a lot of them home.”But the cars are also popular with collectors because they are relatively inexpensive – Dorsey bought her restored and completely original car for $6,000 – and because they were made famous by Hollywood and wins on European racing circuit. “There was a classic one that Dorris Day used to drive in all her movies,” said Akin.The cars are so popular in the United States, in fact, that they are hard to find in Britain anymore.”They (the British) are importing them back from here, and converting them back to left-hand drive,” he said.Even years after the cars were made famous and 25 years after MG stopped production, riding in an MB is still a thrill.They are low to the ground and small, most are convertibles, and they handle very well. They are the perfect car for driving around the blacktop on the outskirts of Silt on a summer afternoon. Dorsey’s husband, Mike, a math teacher at Riverside Middle School, took hers out for a trip around the block on Tuesday. “It’s about as fast as a Volkswagen was,” he said as the car leaned, cutting a corner on to another road, “but it can corner.”Mike Dorsey won’t be driving this weekend, however, in his and Joelle’s first-ever rallye.”I ride well,’ he said. “Somebody has to keep the passenger side down.”The truth is that Mike Dorsey will be doing a lot more than keeping his side of his wife’s car down. He will be Joelle’s navigator. Doing well in the timed rallye event is difficult. Drivers and navigators must try to complete specific legs of the drive in a certain amount of time and must take into account time lost at stoplights, wrong turns, or traffic. “My sixth-grade math will get me through it,” he said.As for predictions of just how far his math and navigation skills will take him, Dorsey is cautious.”I hope we’re home by Sunday,” he said. Contact Ryan Graff: 945-8515, ext. 520rgraff@postindependent.com


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