25th Anniversary 1980


Oklahoma Region celebrated its 25th year of incorporation in 1980. George England was elected to his second term as Regional Executive, his first being way back in 1965. His opening column, "By George" from the January Gazette gives the challenges facing the Region. His closing words from the December Gazette show how the Region exceeded, met and failed some of those challenges. His words could also apply to the Region in current times.

"By George" January, 1980

Oklahoma Region has a great heritage. Not only are we one of the first SCCA1980 GLE Regions, we've also been one of the strongest. Our Region has grown and my immediate goal as your new RE is to maintain our good, total program. We have prospered under a succession of strong leaders. Betty Wills not only distinguished herself as the first female RE of our Region, she also was a most active competitor, bringing home a national championship for her Solo II activities. It’s a tough act to follow, Betty, but I’m sure going to try!

One of my pre-election goals has been met, I’m happy to say, and you are reading it now--the Gasket Gazette is back, thanks to Mike McCarville who let his arm be twisted a bunch. I hope everyone shares my joy in having it back but don’t forget that Mike will need help. It’s not a one-man show. We need copy so if you think of something of interest, draft it up and send it to Mike. With everyone helping, we can keep a healthy newsletter, even these days when costs are going out of sight.

As we enter the 1980’s, we face a lot of uncertainties - and I’m confident there will be many changes ahead. I’m equally confident we’ll meet the changes with a program of motor sports to fit the economic and technical scene, whatever it may be. The great American love affair with the auto will continue, as will motorsport. I predict a growth in SCCA regardless how high the price of gas goes, or how slow the cars become. It’s getting tough for the average guy to enjoy his car in this society of 55 MPH, EPA restrictions and exploding inflation. SCCA is the only national organization that offers different ways to have fun with the family bus or with motorsports in non-driving capacities. How our national organization meets the changing scene will determine SCCA’s success or failure, but don’t forget - WE are SCCA. Our Region program must meet these challenges and perhaps we can lead the way in some small degree.

TSD rallies as we used to know them were big events with large club attendance. They were fun events the family could enjoy and which were springboards to autocross and racing activity. I’m not sure what has really caused the change, but rallies have declined in recent years to where they are but a shadow. . . this is not a local problem, but a national one. Meanwhile, pro rallying has grown with its emphasis on driving skill and performance rather than the navigator’s mathematical skill. I’m not sure we’re ready for pro rallies but something needs to be done if we are to continue with a rally program. Our new Rally Chairman, Phil McCubbins, will be working hard to come up with a program that will be fun and challenging to all members, old and/or new.

Our Solo II autocross program has stayed healthy-but has not shown the growth here it is experiencing nationally. It appears we have two problems: Communications, and Sites. Having the Gazette back will solve the first problem. The second is tougher. We just don’t have enough places to have our solo events. Our contract with Tinker gives us four dates each year and from there it’s bleak. The only answer to date has been to rent the fairgrounds which adds to the cost. I solicit suggestions from every member - if you have an idea for a site, please pass it on to Ray or Jim or myself.

The Number One event each year in the Region is, of course, the Ponca City Grand Prix. This race not only is our largest single source of club revenue, it is also one of the premier sporting events of any kind in the State of Oklahoma, and through it we gain tremendous media coverage for both our club and motorsports in general. I shall give Ponca City Grand Prix top priority in my agenda of things to do as RE, but I’ll not neglect the balance of our racing program, which at present includes a Driver’s School and regional race at Hallett. It is not beyond the realm of possibility for us to add another race at Toly’s place. With Hallett being under NEOKLA jurisdiction, there are numerous problems connected with such plans but this is on my list of things to look at and investigate.

This is your Region, and as your elected RE, I’ll do all I can to keep it strong and healthy and a leader within the Sports Car Club of America. I solicit your comments and suggestions and together we’ll have a great l980.

"By George" December, 1980

In the January issue of the Gazette I set forth some goals I hoped the Oklahoma Region would achieve during the 1980 club year together with some problems we faced in working toward these goals. Now that the club year is over, let’s take a look at where we've been.

The Gasket Gazette came back and we've had a newsletter on time every month. On top of this, the Gazette has, thanks to some loyal advertising friends of the Region, pretty well paid for itself. I must thank our hard-working editor, Mike McCarville, who made it all possible. On the negative side, however, several issues were pretty slim due to lack of copy and this was not the fault of the editor. There’s lots of news available about what’s going on in the Region but someone must write it up and get it to the editor each month if it is to get published. This is not a new problem but the answer lies in you, the membership.

Our TSD rally program is still in the doldrums and neither myself nor your directors were able to figure out a way to revitalize it. Phil McCubbins worked hard as rally chairman but club interest just wasn't evident. This remains a big challenge for the new officers and directors in 1981.

Our Solo II autocross program did not grow this year which is disappointing. We have a solid core of active members in this activity but we have been plagued with a lack of sites for events and the resulting out-of-town events were not too popular with lots of people. We have not kept pace with the national trend in Solo II, so our 1981 directors have another challenge facing them.

One of our bright spots this year has been our racing program. Ponca City was, in my opinion, better than ever in most phases. Despite a scheduling conflict with the Southwest Division we attracted a good field of cars and had two days of exciting and safe racing. We also had a couple of memorable parties to add to the fun The Region did well financially despite the slightly-lowered entries and prospects are good for a really super 20th Anniversary Ponca City Grand Prix in 1981.

Also, our annual Drivers School/Regional Race at Hallett attracted our largest field of entries ever and was a resounding success even to the point of breaking into the black financially. All was not perfect in the racing program however, as we had a pretty slim turnout of workers, particularly for the Hallett event. This must not be allowed to become trend if our racing is to stay healthy and prosperous. All of these problems I've just mentioned have been addressed by the current officers and board of directors and some progress has been made in finding solutions but the work is just beginning.

The every-member questionnaire mailed this month will hopefully give the new 1981 board valuable input as to what the members really want and I earnestly solicit your response in case you haven’t already mailed it.

To sum it all up--I can say it’s been an interesting year for me, not as successful as I had hoped, but for overall it’s been fun.

I appreciate being able to serve as your RE and I have great faith in the Oklahoma Region and its proud heritage as a member of SCCA.

Don’t forget to come to the Awards Party on December 13th; it is going to be one fine party for sure.





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