Not sure if this counts as “motorsports” but I participated in the Lane Museum’s “Rally for the Lane” in 2009.

Three buddies and I started in “La Belle Orange” - a 1974 Citroen DS rally car.

About 15 miles into the rally, my buddy who was driving told me “watch out, the throttle is a little sticky.” A few miles after that,the four cylinder under the hood went WOT and was we could not get the throttle pedal unstuck. We shut the car down and I called the emergency number.

Meanwhile all the other cars were passing us while we were stuck on the side of a rural two-lane road somewhere in Tennessee.

One of those cars, a Tatra T-603, contained two friends also participating in the rally, one of whom was actually familiar with the DS:

My four colleagues poke around under the hood of the DS, and determine that the end of the throttle cable is frayed and will not retract into its sleeve. The owner of the house we are parked in front of arrives to investigate these odd vehicles and then offers his help in the form of a can of WD-40 and some tools.

Meanwhile, I am directing traffic around the DS and Tatra. I got a lot of strange looks from the natives and the occasional “what kinda cars are they?”

Soon, one of the ralliers comes back the opposite way; then another. I stop the third one who tells me that there is a train stuck on the tracks along the route and a state trooper gave them directions on how to get around the blocked road.

About this time, Jeff Lane shows up with his female companion driving the 1992 Tatra T-700.

While we are bringing Jeff Lane up to speed, another rallier comes back the opposite direction. Jeff asks me to stop all the cars trying to drive around the train. I let this newly bestowed authority go to my head only just a little.

Soon, there are about 20 cars from the museum’s collection parked in front of the owners’ house. The wife walks down the driveway and begins taking pictures, asking questions and gleefully telling no one in particular “I can’t wait to show these at church tomorrow!” Jeff’s companion begins chatting with the wife and offers a handful of passes to the museum to pass out to her friends at church.

After a few more minutes, the museum’s flatbed arrives along with a back-up car, which may or may not have been the 1977 Alfa Romeo Alfetta (my memory is a little foggy on this point)

Jeff suggests that my two buddies and I take the Tatra T-700 while he and his companion take the Alfa. Shortly after, Jeff follows the flatbed back to the museum while another museum employee leads the line of ralliers to the half-way point between the museum and the Jack Daniel’s distillery in Lynchburg TN.

About 10 miles outside of Lynchburg, my two companions and I head a loud buzzing sound coming from somewhere in the T-700. It stops, then starts again a few minutes later. All three of as get this feeling of dread and look at each other with an expression of “Oh shit, now what?”

Eventually, we find the buzzing is coming from Jeff Lane’s iPhone, something none of us had ever encountered before. While the Iphone continues to buzz, we unsuccessfully try to figure how to answer the damn thing. Once we arrive at Jack Daniel’s I track down Jeff and hand him his phone.

After a tour of the distillery and lunch at a little restaurant in Lynchburg, we switch places and now I take the wheel of the T-700. I find the pedals off-set to the right, which requires me to angle my legs relative to the wheel to reach the pedals. To add to my frustration, the rear mounted V8 is a torqueless wonder, meaning I have to rev the engine to 3500-4000 rpm to set off from a stop.

Making matters worse, we are stuck behind the DAF 66 1300 for much of the trip back to the museum/ The DAF seems to be even more gutless than our Tatra; any time we approached the slightest incline, the DAF for slow to a crawl which required me to downshift at least two gears.

By the time we get back to the museum, my clutch leg is worn out and my back is sore. As I pull into the garage, Jeff Lane is there to greet us and asks me what I thought about the Tatra.

Trying to be diplomatic to our host, I reply that i liked the car despite its quirks.

Jeff responds to me “Yeah, not my favorite car to drive....absolutely no torque.”