Photos by

Steve Cote

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Steadfast in Sturbridge

~The 34th Annual IMOC Rally~

 

by

Steven Rossi

(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.

 

2019 by Joseph Tamarkin

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