Better Late Than Never – 2014 Motherlode 400 Report

Though the Motherlode 400 rally usually runs the second weekend in June, the photos sat in the camera until last night. Here’s a fun set of pictures to get you thinking about what you’re going to do with your car before winter sets in, or make plans for next year’s rally season. First is this picture on the way up into the Sierra, showing (from left to right) the RustyButTrusty Alfa Romeo Spider, Porsche 356, BMW 1600, Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Speciale, and Toyota Celica.

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On the climb up into the Sonora Pass, the spider was running lean, requiring a few stops along the way to let things cool down. This netted a couple of nice pictures, including this one of an Alfa Giulia 1600 spider. Though originally blue, it’s now finished in white, which seems to work very well on the Giulietta/Giulia shape.

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Next up is a 1969 Alfa Romeo GTV 1750, finished in silver. Aside from being repainted, the car was largely original, and the owner reported finding it via a friend, who saw it listed in the classified section of a small local paper! Apparently, the digital age has not managed to dominate every corner of our hobby.

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Here again is the RustyButTrusty spider, having made it to the top of Sonora Pass. The car went on to conquer Ebbett’s and Monitor Passes, and at these near 10,000 foot altitudes, overheating was no longer an issue due to the low ambient temperatures. One of the great things about taking your car up to these elevations is how powerful it seems when you get back down to sea level.

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Here’s a portion of the field, which included everything from Minis to a Dodge Dart Swinger modified for fast back road touring. An MG BGT, BMW 2002tii, Sunbeam Alpine, hot-rod 2002, Ford Fairlane, and a Ford Mustang are also shown here. The Motherlode 400 is a 2-day rally that runs around the Motherlode Gold Country of California, where the Gold Rush of 1849 occurred, up through the area just south of Lake Tahoe, CA.

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One more view of the field – as you can see, there was a great diversity of cars, including the Alfa Romeo Junior Zagato in the foreground. Can you spot the Citroen Mehari and Fiat 850 spider? This beautifully scenic drive finished off with a dinner at the Ironstone Winery in Murphys, where these last two pictures were taken. When are you signing up for your next classic car drive?

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