Aviation funkhana in Wright Brothers hometown

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The North American MGA Register (NAMGAR) conducted an aviation themed funkhana at its GT-37 meet on July 10, 2012, in Dayton, Ohio. More than 150 of these sleek British sports cars from the 1950s and ’60s were driven from across the US and Canada for this five-day event.

Pointing to help blindfolded driverAttendees were treated to driving and sightseeing tours, a rally, sumptuous dining, camaraderie and informative tech sessions aimed at keeping their vintage cars roadworthy. In recognition of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, the group conducted the MG Olympics, a humorous competition that someone referred to as a “funkhana tasks without cars.” Visitors were also treated to an open house at the fascinating British Transportation Museum.

Dayton is all about air travel, thanks to its most distinguished residents: Wilbur and Orville Wright. It was here that they operated their bicycle and printing businesses and went on to invent the first practical fixed-wing aircraft in 1903. Today, Dayton is home to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the spectacular National Museum of the US Air Force.

It’s only natural, then, that the funkhana would have an aviation theme. And who better to organize the competition than local MG Car Club members, Terry and Carole Looft. Terry, a recently retired commercial pilot, and his wife, Carole, travel extensively in their MGs and have won several funkhanas at the national level. Their clever challenge for the visiting car owners required the driver to take on the persona of an airline captain, while the passenger served as co-pilot. Adding to the authenticity were the pilot’s caps given to the participants and the short line of cars/planes waiting for clearance to depart.

Reproduced below are instructions given to the funkhana teams, along with a sampling of photos and videos from the eleven tasks that comprised the event. For a complete gallery, click here.

Terry Looft (left), organizer of the MGA funkhana along with his wife, Carole, is interviewed by Jimmy Dinsmore, Wheels Editor for the Dayton Daily News. In the photo gallery, Dinsmore can be seen serving as co-pilot to Dave Gribler in a white MGA.

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Those Magnificent Men in “A” Flying Machine!

  • This is a timed event. Completion of the course should be done in a safe manner and does not require dangerous driving.
  • Participants deemed to be driving in an unsafe manner, not completing the course in the proper order, not smiling, or otherwise having a good time, or for any other reason are deemed to be violating our rules, will be DQ’d and asked to leave the course.
  • Knocking over a marker, moving it from its marked position or touching it with any part of your car will result in point deductions.
  • Crying, frowning or cussing will be cause for immediate point deduction.
  • Items you will need will be given to you throughout the course. If you drop any item out of your car, you cannot retrieve it.


Pull your car up to the starting point. Turn the engine off. Both Captain and Co-pilot get out to push it out of the gate to a designated spot. (Those unable to push, can power back with imposed penalty.)

STOP! GET DRINK TRAY. Captain flies through turbulence while the co-pilot balances coffee, tea, and milk on a tray. ( I hope you don’t cry over your spilled milk. )

STOP! GET MASK. Captain covers his his eyes – Co-pilot is directing the flight.

Fly to the mail box, pick up the air mail letter. PUT THE RED FLAG DOWN.

Maneuver your way through the clouds (balloons). Be careful!

Co-pilot is steering the car from the right seat while the captain is snoozing.
Captain: Hands in the air.

Line up between cones – drive straight without hands on wheel –
Captain: Hands in the air.

Co-pilot tosses the barf bag in the toilet. NO STOPPING.

Return to the mail box – deliver the letter. PUT THE RED FLAG UP.

Circle two times and get ready for your landing.

Pull completely into the gate without hitting the cones. Congratulations – a good flight!
Exit the course!

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