A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine and I participated in a Gimmick Rally sponsored by the Jaguar Club of Houston. Beda owns the Jag—a sea frost green beasty she calls Catnip. Her license plate is STRAY1 because she got so lost in a real rally once that she got the “Stray Cat Award.”

I have no sense of direction. Left/right/east/west are just words to me. I do know up from down however. (I probably should write I HAVE NO SENSE OF DIRECTION in capital letters). The reason for this tidbit of information is that Beda drove and I navigated. So you can imagine my terror that we would never make the end of the rally.

In a Gimmick Rally, you aren’t running time v. speed v. distance as in a normal rally. You are given a sheet of directions—Turn right at Royal Drilling (which may be a sign on a post or an actual structure). You are also given a list of questions to complete as you go on your merry (and fast if Beda is driving) way. Example: On what road can you buy goats? You are scored on the answers to your questions and your odometer reading (to see how many times you got off course).
Beda blew past the very first turn, and we spent so much time driving up and down this one street that the residents thought we lived there. But then we retraced out steps and got back on course, thinking that we had blown the odometer part of the rally, but just having fun with the top down and the wind in our hair. Beda laughs a lot, and with me as a navigator, I suspect she thought it would take a GPS to get us to the barbecue restaurant at the end of the rally. In Texas, it always seems to be a barbecue place!

Now the amazing fact is that we made it to the end. The incredible thing is that we won third! With me navigating! I still haven’t gotten over the shock.
We received a carry bag with goodies: a Jaguar pin, 2 Jaguar hats, a club patch. The fun thing is taking my car in for service wearing one of the Jag hats. It’s a sports car, too, and the techs give me wondering looks.

There’s a car club for almost every make—enjoying camaraderie with people with the same passion—and other fun events like slaloms (running as fast as you can in and out cones set up in a challenging course) and autocross (running as fast as you can around a course with real curves and straight aways).
Cruising top back in the country top down, barbecue and a third place win. My idea of a great day.

As you can see, the cars in the photo are not Jags. I didn’t have a picture of Catnip, so I am posting a picture of 3 little Z-3’s. The gray one is Z3PO, my handsome boy.


  1. Mary Marvella // May 8, 2010 at 1:02 PM  

    Sounds like fun! Winning 3rd the direction challenged leading the direction challenged worked just fine.

    You look so sporty there!

  2. Mary Marvella // May 8, 2010 at 1:02 PM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  3. Mary Marvella // May 8, 2010 at 1:03 PM  

    I deleted the duplication, honest!

  4. Nightingale // May 8, 2010 at 1:27 PM  

    Directionally challenged is a bit of an understatment.

  5. Beth Trissel // May 8, 2010 at 2:09 PM  

    Wow, Linda. You are so much kewler than me. I'd pass on this for sure. Not my speed. Too fast. Anyone for a cup of tea?

  6. Judy // May 8, 2010 at 4:28 PM  

    Such fun! I'd never heard of rallys until you posted about them. Would love to do it...

  7. Nightingale // May 8, 2010 at 5:29 PM  

    Beth, cup of tea sounds good, but I like the thrill and rallys aren't as hair-raising as slaloms.

    Judy, find a local sports car club and tag along. Visitors are usually welcome. You could try BMW and Jag. There are also Ferrari clubs. It's a lot of fun as long as you have a navigator who can navigate!

  8. Mary Ricksen // May 8, 2010 at 9:58 PM  

    Sounds like a blast Linda.
    We used to own a 56 Corvette.
    That was one loud car.

  9. Joanne // May 9, 2010 at 9:18 AM  

    I have never heard of a Gimmick Rally. Sounds like a fun and interesting day.

  10. Barbara Monajem // May 9, 2010 at 10:21 PM  

    Oh, what fun. I'm glad you posted this, because I've been wondering about how a Gimmick Rally works.

  11. Scarlet Pumpernickel // May 10, 2010 at 9:41 PM  

    What fun! I can imagine just what a challenge this might have been. I too am less than skilled in directions! I would love to give this a try inspite of my handicap.