Sponsored by the Triumph Club of the Carolinas, this 3-day event has grown to become one of the preeminent British car events in the Southeast. This year, the event had something for everyone, from the picturesque rallye on the Blue Ridge Parkway and parts and accessories auction on Friday to the tire squeals heard during the autocross on Sunday.
The six Italias, organized by Vintage Triumph Register Italia coordinator Tyrone Stoner, were the featured marque and one of the highlights of the event. These specially bodied cars based on the TR3 were designed by Michelotti and bodied by Vignale from 1959 to 1963. Approximately 300 were produced, although no one is quite sure! As far as we know, this was the largest accumulation of Italias in one place at one time since they left the factory. In addition to the Italias, there was an ultra-rare Michelotti-designed and Vignale-bodied Alfa Romeo 2000 that complimented these Anglo-Italian hybrids.
Altogether there were over 250 British cars on display during the show on Saturday. With the show taking place on the grounds of the beautiful Shelton Vineyards winery, the scenery was exquisite and as varied as the marques present. In addition to the more common MG’s, Triumphs, Jaguars, and Austin-Healeys, there were Allards, Lotuses (Loti?), Sunbeams, TVR’s, Mini’s, Standards, Morgans, and even a Marcos vying for prizes and generally just enjoying a beautiful spring day in the Carolina mountains.
Other features of the event included Wrench Wracing with many junior participants, wine tasting and appreciation classes, lots of parts and accessory vendors during the show (helped by no vendor setup fee) and a down-home southern cooking buffet banquet with “the best food in six counties!”
While the rallye on Friday afternoon could be challenging for those inclined to try to answer every question, Rallyemeister Ron Hassell prepared a beautifully scenic 50+ mile route through parts of both North Carolina and Virginia that had some scrambling for second gear up some of the twisting mountain roads.
Sunday saw about 30 brave participants autocross their cars around a course prepared by the new VTR Event Coordinator Jack McGahey. One notable participant was Dave Hutchison’s Italia, pushed to the limit by Dave. Dave easily won the Italia class at the autocross!
The Triumph Club of the Carolinas would love to invite you to next year’s event. Next year’s event will be held April 16-18 in Dobson; for more information visit www.triumphclub.org.
Triumph Italia Featured at The Gathering – Photo Gallery
[Source: Special thanks to the Triumph Club of the Carolinas’ Jamie Palmer, who penned this article and coordinated many of the pictures as well; picture credit – unless noted, Al Wolford]