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Off to Points Unknown: Car rally group begins scavenger hunt in city

DAILY LEADER / JUSTIN VICORY / European Motoring Club member Keith Anderson converses with another rally participant in the Railroad Avenue parking lot Saturday morning before the cars left Brookhaven in a scavenger-like road rally throughout the southwest Mississippi countryside.

DAILY LEADER / JUSTIN VICORY / European Motoring Club member Keith Anderson converses with another rally participant in the Railroad Avenue parking lot Saturday morning before the cars left Brookhaven in a scavenger-like road rally throughout the southwest Mississippi countryside.

A car scavenger hunt that began Saturday morning continued into the night, as rally participants attempted to decode clues to determine a final destination point. The rally is an ongoing series of events that pits a driver and navigator against their wits, sponsored by the English Motoring Club and Deep South Alfa Romeo Club of Mississippi.

Saturday morning, the club gathered in downtown Brookhaven to begin the

rally, bringing with them their prized European cars including two Ferraris, a Porsche, two Jaguars and an MG.

The rally is an ongoing tradition of club members who have traveled all across the state in similar endeavors. It is part leisure and part competitive spirit, according to rally participant Brian Anderson of Brandon.

“It’s a great time. It’s also a challenge. While it’s enjoyable, there’s a certain amount of desire to beat the other guy,” Anderson said Saturday as he waited for the rally to start.

Before the onset of their quest, participants were given a list of clues to decipher on their journey. An official with the club checked each vehicle’s odometer and provided the participant a contact number in case they stray off course.

Each vehicle departed three minutes apart from one another and then headed off into the southwest Mississippi countryside.

A series of questions, once deciphered, allowed the drivers the chance to move on to their next clue. Each clue is specific to the terrain, including specific features of a road sign or a reference to a store or business along the route.

Keith's son, Brian Anderson also a rally participant, gets ready to take to the road in a classic Jaguar.

Keith’s son, Brian Anderson also a rally participant, gets ready to take to the road in a classic Jaguar.

Once clues were figured out, participants could confirm they were on the right path. This continued throughout the day and into the night.

“I have been doing this since the age of 12,” said Anderson, whose father, Keith Anderson, also was on hand in Brookhaven for the rally.

“It’s a huge mystery. No one knows where they are going,” Brian said. “All of it is determined by the driver and navigator. That’s part of the fun.”

Rally participants set off from Brookhaven, into Lincoln County, Lawrence and Jefferson Davis counties and beyond, continuing onward to the Laurel/Hattiesburg area.

While not much is known of the route, or the final finish line destination, the appearance of Porsches and Ferraris in downtown Brookhaven was an event all its own. Both newer and older model Jaguars also offered residents a look at some unique European luxury cars.