25th Annual Rio Grande Regional Rendezvous

During the 25 years the British Automobile Owners Association of Albuquerque has been putting on the Rendezvous, the event has rotated to many venues around New Mexico. Santa Fe, Taos, Farmington, Chama, Ruidoso, Carlsbad, Silver City, and Gallup have all been Rendezvous sites. This year Las Cruces was chosen as the site of the 25th Rendezvous.

I have attended eight previous Rendezvous, and didn’t want to miss this one. My Alpine had just received an engine rebuild, and I was anxious to give it a shakedown cruise. I left from Bullhead City, and planned to spend a couple of days visiting my Mother in Cottonwood, AZ before driving to Las Cruces. This gave me a chance to do some nice stretches of the “Mother Road” on the way. I picked up Rt. 66 a little before Oatman, and got a couple of mug shots with my furry friends who walk the streets there.

Other photo ops. were found along the way at Cool Springs, the Road Kill Cafe in Seligman, and Grand Canyon Caverns, where they have created a replica of “Radiator Springs” from the movie “Cars”.

In a fit of nostalgia, the locals have put up Burma Shave Signs with witty gems like “30 days has September, April, June, and the speed offender”; and “Cattle crossing, please drive slow, that old bull, is someone’s’ beau”.

In Jerome, city of Artists, someone had decorated this XK8, apparently with finger paint. No accounting for taste.

Arriving at Las Cruces after an 850-mile trip, I found about 35 LBCs in the parking lot of the Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces. The field was heavy on TRs, but with a good collection of other marques like Jaguar, MG, Austin Healey, TVR, Jenson Healey, and Rolls Royce. There was also a Lotus 11 replica by Westfield. Mine was the lone Sunbeam.

The weekend included a rally, banquet, and a Sunday morning car show. A slide show featuring 25 years of Rendezvous was enjoyed by all. The distance award went to a member of the Southern Calif. delegation of TR 6 drivers (3 cars) who happened to live a few miles further than the others did.

The car show included a number of classes, as well as a Concours judged class. That was won by an immaculate XK140 from Las Cruces that looked like it had just emerged from a time capsule.

I was assigned to the “Various” class along with the TVR Vixen, A Morgan +4, a Jenson Healey, and some classic Minis. My Alpine won First Place in that class and I received a very nice award done by tile artist Ace Fry. Not bad for a car that logged over 2000 miles for the trip. The awards are stunning, and, alone, are worth the trip. The car ran great all trip, cruising at 70-75 on the interstate. The only problem I encountered was brake fluid getting into the vacuum chamber of my brake servo. It was a slow leak, so I was able to just add a little fluid. Later, I had two more sleeves put in by Apple Hydraulics & rebuilt it.

If you’re looking for a fun Fall event combined with a Rt. 66 run, consider attending the next RGVRR in New Mexico in mid-October. You’ll meet a great bunch of LBC owners, enjoy the drives, banquet and show, and possibly score a nice award. The BAOA will be selecting a venue for next year, and you can get details at their website at www.nmia.com/~bsavage/baoa, or just enter BAOA on your search engine.

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