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Vernal Equinox Rally - 3/21

Tim McNiff, Editor | Published on 3/21/2021


Vernal Equinox Rally - 3/21

The L.A. Jaguar Owners Club invited the San Diego Jaguar Club and the Austin Healey Association to participate in one of Mark Mayuga’s “infamous” time, speed, distance rallys through parts of North Orange County and some of west San Bernardino County. The event was scheduled to start at 9am from the parking lot of Mimi’s Café on 17th Street in Tustin.


As a one-time resident of Tustin and fully vaccinated I decided to take part in the drive; plus, it was a 4- point event on the Club calendar. I pulled into the parking lot at Mimi’s around 8:35 to find it already full of a variety of Jaguars, Austin Healeys, and even a 1952 Alvis. Many of the participants grabbed breakfast in the Café while others strolled through the parking lot admiring the cars and catching up with club members and meeting new members. Personally, I met a few new members: Lindsey Maine and John and Diana Hamo. I also visited with Steve Kirby (driving his Jaguar), Phil Caliva, Dex Kaytis, Tom and Paige Rubinate, John Hummer and Alice Johnson, Dave and Jackie Deamer, and Bruce Steele.


When the organizers finally corralled everyone, had a driver’s meeting, and handed out route instructions cars started leaving in groups of five around 9:50am. We first headed west on 17th St to Newport Blvd, turned north through Cowan Heights to Santiago Canyon Rd. A left turn and then a number of right turns took us through Villa Park and Anaheim Hills.


Passing under the 91 Fwy we entered Yorba Linda and then found ourselves headed east on Carbon Canyon Rd until we reached the Chino Hills Parkway and turned north. Three more left turns found us in Diamond Bar headed south on Brea Canyon Dr/Brea Blvd, turned south onto State College Blvd crossed Imperial Highway and ended at Craig Regional Park.


At the park, participants were going to picnic and receive awards based on the rally results. The goal was to come as close to the projected time of 100 minutes, 51 miles and an average speed of 30.6 mph. No individual achieved perfection, but three Jag Club members won a specific category. Don Becker had 101 minutes, George Renshaw totaled 50.5 miles, and Bob Baumhefner averaged 31 mph.


We had a great time, an enjoyable drive (north Orange County has changed a lot in the last 55 years), and good driving weather. What more can you ask for; besides an end to the pandemic!