(story by Marshall Moore, President of TVR Car Club North America)
The third annual Griffith/TVR Gathering was held the weekend of June 26-28, 2009 in conjunction with the Vintage Grand Prix races at Mid-Ohio Sportscar Course in Ohio USA.
A large British car show was part of the weekend’s activities and a total of 23 Griffiths and TVRs were on hand for the event, including 9 Griffiths and 14 TVRs ranging from a Grantura Mk. 3 to the mid-80s 280i.
Participants were able to enjoy a weekend of great vintage racing as well as all the cars on the showfield, including some 75 Minis that were there to help celebrate the Mini’s 50th anniversary.
Among the TVR Griffiths on hand was a project Griffith 400 #043 owned by Robin and Andrew Sheets. This TVR Griffith has been modified with a large ungainly air scoop on the bonnet and needs a complete restoration, but they got plenty of ideas for their project from other TVR Griffith owners during the weekend. Also there was the rolling chassis of Clyde Riley’s TVR Griffith 200 #118 that was beautifully done. Hopefully, Clyde’s car will be completed in time for next year’s gathering.
There were also two TVR Griffith 200s on hand that have been with their both of their respective owners since 1965. Doug Mann’s light blue #141 has only 6,900 original miles and is an example of what one of these cars was like when it was almost new.
Judy Stream brought her red 200 #116 which she will soon begin restoring. She had all of the original paperwork including the original bill of sale for the car.
Also on hand were Chris McArdle with his silver 200 #006, Willie Seitz with is white 200 #011, Colin Comer with his silver blue 200 #085, Chip Young with his incredible red 200 #181, and Tom Shelton’s beautiful red 400#031.
On Friday night, Tom and Terry Shelton graciously invited the group over to their beautiful home for a “cookout” and an opportunity to see Tom’s car collection which, among other things, included a recently acquired Allard J2X, a Shelby 427 Cobra, a magnificent 1957 Fuel Injected Corvette and a Mustang GT350.
On Saturday, we all headed out to the track for the car show and had a beautiful, albeit hot, sunny day. When the voting was complete, the top two awards in the TVR and Griffith classes went to Chip Young’s Griffith 200 in the Griffith class, and Paul Guinn in the TVR class for his museum quality restoration of a 1970 Tuscan V8 widebody. Then, when the overall awards for the entire show were announced, Chip Young’s TVR Griffith 200 took the Best in Show award, certainly well deserved for what may quite possibly be the best TVR Griffith 200 on the planet.
On Saturday night, we had dinner at a beautiful inn in Ohio’s Amish countryside and following dinner, were treated to a panel discussion of TVR Griffiths by four people who worked for Jack Griffith while the cars were being built. They were Len Bailey, Karen Bocsusis, Willie Seitz, and Mike Mooney.
It was a great weekend for all and everyone is now looking forward to a bigger and better event in 2010.