Trails West - GT42 in Historic California

Photo for Trails West - GT42 in Historic California

Working with the leaders of NAMGAR, the Paradise British Car Club and the MG Owners Club selected Solvang, California, for the location of NAMGAR’s annual Get Together in June, 2017.

Both local clubs have a long history with NAMGAR. The Paradise club began as an MGA club. The MGOC incorporates the former NorCal NAMGAR chapter that hosted GT9 in Tiburon, California. Both clubs include many longtime NAMGAR contributors.

Solvang is located in the historic Santa Ynez Valley that is the central part of Santa Barbara County. This small area – only 20,000 residents – offers so many and diverse features and attractions, that it has been difficult to decide what to promote for the GT. In the end, we just offer you the whole “smorgaasbord.” 

Within the Santa Ynez Valley, there are six unique small towns, a thriving wine country, many food specialties, Ronald Reagan’s Rancho del Cielo, Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch, a restored Spanish mission, historic stage stops, multiple mountain ranges and valleys, a casino, Danish windmills and other Danish sites, automotive museums, live theater, hundreds of miles of horseback trails, lakes, and a national forest. It is the home of Split Pea Soup, more than 80 wineries, Ostrichland, Mayberry (1986 movie), and a Botanic Garden. And I can’t overlook the antique shops, art galleries, and golf. Early explorers, Franciscan monks, cattle drives, stage coaches, wagon trains and Spanish-American banditos all traveled through this beautiful valley on the El Camino Real. The real-life inspiration for Zorro rode this valley on his powerful steed. One of the small towns looks like an Old West stage set.

The half-timbered buildings of Solvang create a friendly old-world atmosphere that is enjoyed by car show organizers. The Danish bakeries and restaurants are popular with their aebleskiver, frikadeller, medisterpolse and rodkaal. Besides the Elverhoj Museum and the Hans Christian Andersen Museum, there is the Vintage Motorcycle Museum and the Museum of Gasoline Pumps and Petroliana. There are four full-size windmills, as used by the Danish to grind grain. The Old Mission Santa Ines was built in 1804 and renovated in 1904. A performance of the outdoor musical theater is on the agenda with a mix of professional and top aspiring performers.*

Our host motel is located in the midst of this smorgaasbord and is a short walk to the Mission and all the sights and activities in Solvang. The car show will be held at the Mission.

The climate is coastal California, warm, dry and sunny inland and cool at the coast. Santa Barbara is 20 minutes away. The Valley is two hours from Los Angeles and 4 hours from San Francisco. Other areas of the Central Coast are not far, including Hearst Castle, Monterey, Big Sur and Highway 1 along the coast.

Central California, its exploration and settling, is the land and legend of trails. There is the De Anza Trail, the Old Spanish Trail, the Santa Fe Trail, the Old Gila Trail, the El Camino Real, the Old Camino Viejo highway, the California Trail, the Mormon Trail, the Pony Express Trail, Cooke’s Wagon Road, the Middle Route Trail, the Butterfield Overland Mail Route, and more recently Route 66 – the Mother Road, the Lincoln Highway (old US40), and the California Wine Trails.

Make your own Trail West to GT42. Join us for a unique, beautiful and fascinating experience of MGs, Solvang, the Santa Ynez Valley, and the Central Coast of California.

* Pacific Conservatory of Performance Arts’s Theaterfest

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Reader Comments (1)

Picture of Rand Smith
Rand Smith (Irvine, California)
on February 23, 2017 7:41pm
Hello Friends,
I'm a former NAMGAR Member due to work obligations at the time we fell away from those great times we were able to enjoy our Mkll Roadster. We attended the GT held in Welches, Oregon, and still speak of it to others who share this uncommon interest of owning a British Sports Car when great drives are mentioned. So, now, with Gt-42 returning to the West Coast, there's no way we're going to miss out on those Fabulous Valley Roads throughout the Solvang area. As a family sculpted to travel for pleasure, Solvang is no unfamiliar place to us. And one very enjoyable, memorial, frequented Community that will always be at the top ten places to take Friends n Family during vacation visits.
I hope all of you who attend this GT will enjoy it as much as I know my Wife and I will. I really envy those.of you who'll be driving across this Country, and who are coming to this Event from other Countries. Impressive!.
Travel Safety Fast...We want to see you all in the best of health, geared for an enjoyable four days of Good Friends...Great Food...and WINE.

Smith, over & out

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Last updated on December 12, 2016.

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