The Fall Folly Road Rally was held on a beautiful Saturday in November, with participants meeting up at the starting point, the Brass Armadillo Antique Mall in northern Phoenix.
Our team was comprised of Lou (Scout and Co-Conspirator), Larry (Navigator and Recorder) and me, Kent (Driver and Trivia Contributor).
Many of you are aware that I like to push the envelope “just a tad,” so I dressed up my team in black nylon skull caps, black leather jackets and black sunglasses… hence the Taliban Trio! We made a stealthy entrance at the rally’s designated starting line. Hunkered down in my ’77 Buick Electra sedan, we darted from one corner of the parking lot to another, emergency flashers engaged, blowing a mysterious sequence of horn blasts meant to imply an upcoming jihad should our rally competitors attempt to escape our surveillance.
Once we joined the group (and posed for a number of photos, of course) it was time for the trio to get down to business! Rally masters Mark and Don spelled out the instructions for the day, and then the competition was on! A total of five teams were released at intervals into the bowels of this enormous antique mall, tasked with finding a variety of visual clues. Interestingly, all five of the vehicles participating were special interest-type cars. Besides my ’77 Buick, there was a 1970 Ford Torino GT convertible, captained by Rob, a 1989 Mustang 5.0 convertible belonging to Larry Schroeder, a Howard and Tom’s 1983 Buick Riviera, and a 1995 Oldsmobile Regency Elite with Mark Howard at the helm.
Although automotive trivia dominated the clue quizzes, there were other topics such as celebrity residents of the Valley… did you know that Steven Spielberg and Wayne Newton spent much of their youth here? Even though we were allowed to use our smartphones, there were enough obscure questions that made the internet fairly pointless. (Do you know what the manufacturer’s suggested retail price of a 1957 Ford Skyliner retractable hardtop was? Well, neither does your smartphone without some serious surfing.
The Taliban Trio had an amazing combination of chemistry and enthusiasm which made our experience even more fun and exciting. Tackling the quizzes and correctly opening the route instruction envelopes made us feel like we were on the TV reality show, “The Great Race.” The course of this 66-mile trek took us through some breathtaking vistas and historic landmarks that exist right here in our own backyard!
The finish line was at the gorgeous midcentury modern home of Steve Bultemeyer and Richard Ridley, where we were joined by a number of our Lambda brethren who hadn’t been able to participate in the rally. Top-shelf hospitality and a delightful catered dinner completed this awesome day.
After grading all the paperwork, Mark and Don announced the results. The winning team was the “Bitch Brigade”, consisting of Steve, Mark, and Shari!
The challenges, the adventure and the extreme amount of creativity and organization made this an incredible event. We could hardly fathom the number of hours of planning that Mark and Don committed to this! Cars and fun and friendship… we have to do it again! Because the Taliban Trio must win!