More than 130 attend driving event and awards ceremony in Malibu hills
By all accounts, the return of MPG Drive Day was an unmitigated success. The 2022 edition of the Motor Press Guild’s most well-known event attracted 135 participants, nine sponsors, and 50 media relations and sponsor representatives. The daylong festivities, whose title sponsors were MOTORTREND and Mecum Auctions, was staged at Calamigos Ranch in the hills above Malibu. In addition to a full day of driving new 2022 and 2023 model year vehicles, participants got the bonus of attending the MPG Best of Automotive Journalism Awards program. In all, it was a perfect day for those who cover vehicles and the automotive scene.
A total of 17 brands were represented among the vehicles available for evaluation and test drives over routes devised by MPG. MPG VP Mike Harley scoped the on-road routes, while MPG member Greg Whale laid out two separate off-road courses. Some 25 vehicles were available to the 76 Journalist and Analyst members for drives throughout the day.
Beyond the vehicle drives, another highlight was the Ride With Us motorcycle training course sponsored and operated by the Motorcycle Industry Council and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. The course gave gearheads skilled in driving four-wheel vehicles the chance to see what it’s like to ride on just two wheels.
At lunchtime, all driving ceased so the participants could sample the hearty California meal sponsored by the Motorcycle Industry Council. During the lunch break, the MIC made a presentation on the Ride with Us program, and that was followed by a talk by Mecum Auctions’ TV personality John Kraman on the state of the collector car industry in the post-COVID era.
Driving resumed immediately after lunch and continued through the afternoon. In between drives attendees got the chance to see the BulletLiner display and chat with the company’s representatives. When driving ended many attendees stayed to take advantage of the happy hour sponsored by Mercedes-Benz and witness the announcement of the 2021 MPG Best of Automotive Journalism Awards. That presentation was hosted by MPG member Aaron Gold with assistance from MPG President Jack Nerad. The award winners will be detailed in another story.
The Motor Press Guild is extremely grateful to all the event’s sponsors and participants. As mentioned, MOTORTREND and Mecum Auctions were title sponsors. The Motorcycle Industry Council sponsored lunch, and Mercedes-Benz sponsored the social hour. Other sponsors were Acura (beverages), BulletLiner (breakfast & gourmet coffee), Nissan (dessert), Stellantis (hors d’oeurves), and Toyota (awards trophies.)
Based on the success of this year’s event, plans are already underway for next year’s version. If you attended this year’s event, thanks. If you didn’t, don’t miss the 2023 edition.