Steadfast in Sturbridge
~The 34th Annual IMOC Rally~
(Photo’s courtesy Steve Cote)
Fixed in direction…firm in purpose…unwavering resolve. That’s how Mr. Webster defines the adjective "steadfast" which certainly describes IMOC’s allegiance to…and affection for…Sturbridge.
Year after year, the Italian Motorcycle Owners Club (IMOC) has made its way to what the Tourist Bureau calls “the crossroads of New England,” in the Bay State. Specifically…24 Hamilton Road, which is where the Hamilton Rod & Gun Club is headquartered.
Why? Because the lush, lakeside setting is idyllic, Sturbridge has proven to be logistically ideal, the Gun Club infrastructure brings its pleasant Pavilion and tasty, turnkey food service with it and the Northeast locale offers unparalleled, Italian motorcycle enthusiasm to complete the canvas. You gonna mess with success? No! So we returned to Massachusetts yet again, for the 34th Annual IMOC Rally on Sunday, September 24, 2017. Leading up the event, the world around us was besieged by everything from hurricanes to earthquakes. No doubt, it was a severe and scary September for many, though fortunately, we were essentially spared. After Mother Nature ultimately relented, we were blessed with a bit of Indian summer in the wake of Harvey, Irma, Jose, Maria, et al.
A hot, sunny, 80+ degree afternoon enticed another, now traditional abundance of Italian stallions to take to the two-lanes and super-slab, with all sights set on Sturbridge. Chomping at the bit, down the hill from New Boston Road they thundered, as they emerged from the surrounding pine woods to the Club’s entry gate, in what’s become an annual symphony of sensory delight. That alone is worth the price of admission!
But even better…as is the norm, this year’s Rally benefited the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (J.D.R.F.). With all proceeds in excess of expense being donated to this critical cause. In addition, our long-standing retail partners came out in force and did their fair share to ensure that the IMOC Rally was yet again…unprecedented! The Piaggio Group, in particular, deserves special thanks for their “unwavering resolve” in supporting the event with door prizes, while Marsh Motorcycles remained ‘firm in purpose” by donating an inventory of original parts and accessories, that were sold to further support J.D.R.F. And certainly, the Hamilton Rod & Gun Club is clearly “fixed in direction” by continuing to serve as our gracious host.
Other commercial enterprises that went the extra mile and contributed to make our 34th Annual event the outstanding success that it was, included:
Seacoast Sport Cycle Wagner Motorsports Dunbar Eurosport
Tide-Mark Press Ride-CT The Laverda Club Marty Volker
Then of course, there were all those who brought bikes and displayed them on the luscious lawn beside Hamilton Pond. As initiated last year, we displayed Moto Guzzi on the far end of the field and Ducati on the near side, with everything else in between. After the 2016 trial, we learned that the bookends-arrangement harmoniously binds the field together in a more balanced way…with all the off-beat stuff in between…and therefore provides a more enjoyable experience for show-goers and photo buffs. Compared to what was previously more like a congested parking lot. In case you’re wondering, Parilla…which was produced from 1946 to 1965, in Milan…was our 2017 featured marque.
But beyond the aforementioned galloping greyhound brand, here’s who came home with the hardware this time:
Best Aprilia Jim & Gina Urbano 1995 250 RS
2nd Aprilia Francis O’Conner 2003 RSV 1000 R
3rd Aprilia Wallace French Tuono Factory
Best Benelli David Cassady 1967 Montgomery-Wards
Best Ducati Bevel George Vincensi 1958 Grand Prix 125
Best Ducati Belt-Drive Jack Fiero 1973 750 GT (Oops)
2nd Ducati Belt-Drive Steve B. 2002 MH 900 e
3rd Ducati Belt-Drive Andrew Mouneault 2004 ST3
Best Ducati SuperBike Mike Weber 1984 TT1
2nd Ducati SuperBike Michael Lanselofi 1986 750 F1
3rd Ducati SuperBike Jim Moultan 1992 851
Best Etceterini Chris Mauro 1954 Moto Devil
2nd Etceterini Jim & Gina Urbano 2000 Ghezzi-Brian
3rd Etceterini John Hatch 1987 Cagiva Elefant
Best Italian Single George Vincensi ‘54 Ducati Grand Prix 125
2nd Italian Single Chris Mauro 1957 Aermacchi Chimera
3rd Italian Single Steve D’Angelo 1969 Ducati Mk. 3
1st Laverda Louis “Rocket” 1970 American Eagle 750
Best Moto Guzzi (Big) Peter Campisal 1973 Eldorado
2nd Moto Guzzi (Big) David Pagniucci 1978 LeMans 850
3rd Moto Guzzi (Big) Mark Ellis 1983 LeMans III
Best Moto Guzzi (Small) Bud Clauer 2017 V7 III Racer
2nd Moto Guzzi (Small) Joei Bassett 2009 V7 Classic
3rd Moto Guzzi (Small) -- 2004 Breva 750
Best Moto Morini Al Howker 1986 350 K2
Best MV Agusta Tim Morther 2002 750 F4
2nd MV Agusta Mike Brennan 2015 Dragster
Best Parilla Steven Rossi 1965 250 Tourist
2nd Parilla Jon Stein-Sharon Mayor 1960 250 Trailmaster
Best Scooter Nelson Pacheco 1965 Vespa 125
High Mileage Award -- 53,000
Longest Distance John Hatch from California (3,000)
IMOC Concours Cup George Vincensi ’54 Ducati Grand Prix 125
People’s Choice Jim & Gina Urbano 2000 Ghezzi-Brian
Special thanks to Co-Chairman, Trivia Contest impresario and chief Door Prize purveyor Bob Andren, who also arranged for the spectacular weather, resulting in another incredible IMOC event. Which further reinforced the long-established sentiment…”you’ll see anything and everything at the IMOC Rally.” If you don’t believe me, check out the really cool video that Bud Wilkinson posted on Ride-CT: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7CBtv_2dcA). And no doubt, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (J.D.R.F.) will be happy with the sizeable contribution which we were able to provide this year. Thank you, all!
So yet again, we…motociclisti…remain steadfast on Sturbridge. And judging by the great, 34th Annual turnout, the cognoscenti concurs. Which is why we look forward to seeing you for number 35 at the Hamilton Rod & Gun Club, on Sunday, September 16, 2018…where the featured marque will be Laverda. Keep an eye on www.imoc.website for more details.
Because when it comes to the Annual IMOC Rally, it's easily descrived. Fixed in direction...firm in purpose...unwavering resolve, indeed.