Curbside Rallye Outtake: Mezzo 200 Reliability Trial MMXV

I’m completely kicking myself over missing the inaugural run of the Mezzo 200 Reliability Trial, first, because I learned of it a bit too late to change previously-made plans, and second, because neither of my vintage Volkswagens is anywhere near being drivable (and my ’50 Ford 8N is a bit too slow). The event started in Peoria Heights, Illinois and actually passed within ten miles of my farm during the 200-mile run that covered some of the best and most scenic roads in Central Illinois.

From the event web site, “Cars eligible for registration are any sports or touring car produced in or before 1973. This is a fun day of driving for enthusiasts of old cars, not a snobby car show. Breakdowns are encouraged and rust is part of the fun. Bring the strangest thing you’ve got! There are no points, no penalties, no registration fees and no prizes, just a fun, free day of classic motoring.” CC heaven, in other words.

Leaning toward the “strangest thing you’ve got” end of the spectrum were this pair of somewhat out-of-place-in-the-midwest Citroën 2CVs (deux-deux chevaux?) that tootled along with a big brother DX. My coworker Matt ran his ’62 Single Cab VW and said the nearly all-day event was a total blast.

At the more refined end of the automotive spectrum was this beautiful 1935 Auburn Speedster stopped at one of the scenic checkpoints along the route. Most of the entrants successfully completed the run, but several who had driven down from the Chicago area peeled off at the northern-most point and headed home from there.

Underscoring the “reliability” aspect of the run, this Lotus Europa made it only a block from the starting line before suffering a rallye-ending breakdown. Bet they still had as much fun as everyone else, though.

I’ve already signed up to be notified of next year’s event, and now have a deadline for finishing those Volkswagens! More coverage and photos of the event, can be seen here and here.

Vehicle photos provided by Matt (thanks!). Map photo and video from