The 2021 Run
September 17th - 19th
The fourth running of the Reliability Run was enjoyed by all despite a couple of attempts by Mother Nature to get us wet. Scenic drives and a lively social scene left everyone looking forward to next year. Let’s get the tough news done with, this was the first year our Reliability Run had a car fail to complete the drive. It was bound to happen eventually, and the dubious honor goes to Sam Patterson whose newly restored TR250 suffered a loss of oil pressure in the first hour of the run, just north of Lime Rock. Preliminary investigation suggests a thrust washer was to blame. Happily, Dave Icaza loaned Sam his own TR250 and Sam and Kim were able to join the group later on Friday in Glens Falls and complete the Run with the replacement car. The lesson learned here is that reliability takes work and is built over time with these old cars. Sam was very unlucky as thrust washers usually go for some time before wear becomes a concern and this sort of failure was an extremely low-probability event. The Reliability Run is not the most extreme test of cars but it does require that cars be maintained and driven regularly and over some distance so that emerging problems can be recognized and resolved before they become problems. Sam didn’t have the time for this given that his car was finished just before the event and unfortunately paid the price. Most of the cars and drivers taking part have done this run before without issues and deserve credit for keeping their cars in tip-top condition. I think we all shared in Sam’s disappointment and were happy to see Team Patterson Oil back in the running by the end of the day. It had been a day where the weather followed a somewhat familiar pattern: a bit damp and cool at the start, but improving as the day wore on. The dampness in Connecticut extended to some fairly thick mist on route 63 from Litchfield to Goshen. We escaped the mist by dropping down route 4 into Cornwall Bridge and then making a less direct progress to Sharon by running alongside the Housatonic and down route 41 into Sharon. The view on the approach to Sharon was quite dramatic as the sun started to put in an appearance.