By 1975 the MGA was twenty years old. Some cars were being re-conditioned by British sports car enthusiasts, and some were undergoing complete restorations. With the arrival of reproduction parts from companies such as Moss Motors,the most popular British sports cars could be made to look brand new again.
With the founding of Paradise MGA’s in “southern” California and its association with the North American MGA Resister as a chapter club, it was decided that a get together for the Southern California and Northern California MGA owners in a “central” location would be a desired event.
The first NMS was held in San Luis Obispo in November 1978 at the Motel Inn, billed as the world’s first “motel”. Most of the Motel Inn has been torn down, but if you pass through San Luis Obispo today, re-construction is taking place on portions of this original location, although its future use is not known as this time.
The first NMS involved less than 30 cars, but the participants had such a good time that it was decided to have the event again in a couple years.
the club changed its name to Paradise MG’s and the welcome mat went out
to all models of MG cars. While on scenic drives and luncheon outings
in the area other British car owners contacted the group. Some of
these enthusiasts owned cars such as Austin-Healeys, Triumphs, and assorted
other British cars. They mentioned that there were no local clubs
for their particular marque. No problem was the reply, you can hang
around with us. Within a couple of years the name of the club changed
again, to Paradise MG’s-All British Car Club.
As a result, the North Meets South event put out the invitation for all types of British cars, old and new. By 1995 the final change was made in our club name, to Paradise British Car Club. With these changes the North Meets South event has drawn more interesting British cars and a larger group of cars, averaging 125-150 vehicles at our NMS car show.
North Meets South is always held in April or May and it is not just a car show. The event is designed to allow for a relaxed atmosphere where British car enthusiasts can relax for a couple of days and really get to know each other. We encourage folks to come to the registration party, held on Friday night, where the club hosts a variety of food and drink. Don’t just pick up your packet of information, but stay a while and have a good time.
The next day we have a car show, organized by class. We play some music over the PA, give out some door prizes, look at our favorite British cars, and again meet some new and old friends. A luncheon meal is served as part of our event, either at the show, or along the rally route. Yes, we leave the car show and drive some scenic roads for an enjoyable rally, usually lasting 2-3 hours.
The rally takes you back to the host hotel, where the rally sheets are turned in. We allow a few hours before dinner to take a nap, shop, take a swim, or swap stories with British car friends. We have another pre dinner social where snacks and a beer, glass of wine, or soft drink are provided, then we depart for our group awards dinner, where we again eat, socialize, and provide awards to the winners of the car show and rally.
South has utilized different themes and different locations over the years.
To provide a few highlights for the North Meets South may we provide a
brief synopsis of some of our events:
In 1990 the meet returned to San Luis Obispo with scenic wine country tours being the order of the day.
In 1993 the event was entitled “Hearst Castle Tour” and the group obviously visited Hearst Castle and toured the scenic area surrounding the Castle, with our car show in scenic downtown Cambria.
In 1996 the event was held at the Santa Maria Inn and the theme was “In The Old West” with cowboy regalia being the order of the day.
In 1998 we moved to Pismo Beach for Cruzin’ in Paradise, held at the Sea Crest Hotel, with the rally held on ocean view roads in the area.
In 2000 the theme “Back To The Future” featured an invitation to the Delorean Club, which responded with a turnout of over 20 Delorean cars. The rally included trivia questions from the Back To The Future movies, with the banquet room decorated in the similar theme from the high school dance from the first movie. The Santa Maria Radison is located at the airport, and we featured the opportunity for participants to purchase a ride in a 1920’s British open Gypsy Moth bi-plane!
For 2002 spy movies and the British cars used in them created “Spies In Paradise”, as our theme.
In 2004 the theme of “Back From The Future”, also held at the Santa Maria Radison again capitalized on the popular triad of themed movies.
In 2004 NMS was held in old town Arroyo Grande. The scenic roads of back country San Luis Obispo County provided the backdrop for this event.
In 2007 we moved to the Marriott Hotel in Buellton, with the theme being “Old Mission Country”. The location was near two of the original Spanish missions, with tours of these missions being part of the event, and a scenic rally through the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley wine country providing a backdrop for our guests.
We returned after twelve years, in 2010, to Pismo Beach for “Cruzin In Paradise II”, also held at the Sea Crest, with our car show and bar-b-que lunch held nearby at the beautiful Thousand Hills Ranch. This venue proved so desirable that by popular demand we again hosted Cruzin In Paradise III in Pismo Beach.
Our theme for 2014 was "British Invasion", featuring all the great 60's music from British bands at the car show, luncheon and awards banquet, plus a trivia contest as part of the rally and a costume contest at the awards banquet. For a complete report on North Meets South 2014 click on our newsletter button and see our special report on North Meets South 2014.
We have been working very hard since January, 2015, to plan the best possible event we can plan for 2016, and have selected a venue that we think will be very pleasing to you. Please click on the link below to see our flyer that describes the event, and the “Register” link to access the registration form.