The British Car Club of Southwest Florida made our annual run to Arcadia, Fla., on Memorial Day, May 27th, for the 25th Year Memorial Service to honor the twenty-three RAF cadets who died while in training in Florida during World War II.
With the Nazis’ constant bombing of the British Isles, the United States allowed the Royal Air Force to train at six sites on this side of the Atlantic. Two of the training schools were in Clewiston and Arcadia, Fla. When the first training death accrued in 1941, the British government made arrangements for a burial site in Arcadia’s Oak Ridge Cemetery. The Arcadia Rotary Club has been holding a British Memorial Service on Memorial Day for the last 63 years.
This year President Cecil Carter and Isabel, Larry and Marcia McCartt, Gary and Trish Maue, and Bill and Mary Newman made the trip. The McCartts’ Rolls-Royce and the Newmans’ Mini were the only British cars in attendance, and our club was the only British car club there as well.
Cecil presented a wreath from our club after the singing of “America” and “God Save the Queen.” Small Union Jacks and Poppy Wreaths were placed at each gravesite when the names of the British dead were read.
This is always a very moving ceremony. There was no guest speaker from the U.K. this year, but American Chief Warrant Officer Michael Wilcox, a career military aviator and attack helicopter pilot in Vietnam, gave a great speech.
The Newman Mini ran beautifully at good speeds for the trip to Arcadia, leading the Rolls, a Honda and a Lexus. The ceremony was great as usual, and the next stop was lunch at the Celtic Ray Pub in Punta Gorda, Fla.
That was the good part of the story. Next is the bad.
When I tried starting the Mini there was nothing. There was no juice coming from the battery. I had recently installed a new battery and negative cable and cleaned all the ground connections, but I checked everything again. Still no juice from the battery.
At this point I called for a tow truck. No sense in hanging around with the temperature at 95° and no tools to do any work.
While waiting for the tow truck to arrive, I went back the battery and gave the negative cable a tug. The cable fell away from the clamp. I was able to fix the broken connection and the Mini fired right up. I made a call to cancel the tow truck and were on our way to the Pub.
Before we reached the Cemetery gates, the Mini’s engine sputtered and stopped. Several restarts produced the same results. Again I called the tow truck, waited and hour for it to arrive, loaded the Mini and made the trip home. The $235 towing fee was well worth it just to get in the air-conditioned cab.
When we got to the house, the tow truck unloaded the car in the front of the house and I expected to have to push the Mini into the garage. I got in the car and tried to start it. The Mini started with ease, idled nicely and drove right into the garage, purring like a kitten. Sometimes, I think, our British cars enjoy causing their owners problems and like to ride home on a tow truck.
I suspect that the second issue is a fuel problem and I will be replacing the fuel filter and possibly the electric fuel pump. Results of my troubleshooting will be reported in another issue.
Thanks to all the members who offered help and support at the Cemetery.
FT. MYERS, Fla., May 14 — The meeting was called to order by President Cecil Carter at 6:30 p.m. There were no guests or new members. The Treasurer was not present and we did not have an updated report. The Secretary stated the minutes of the last meeting as well as past meeting were on the website and also in the British Marque.
The Saturday Breakfast at Mimi’s did not go well and the club discussed other options. A suggestion was made to go to the Alva Diner. A motion was made and seconded and passed by the members present. An e-mail will be sent to members who can then RSVP to Cecil Carter. Steve Cleveland held an open house at his Shop following the Mimi’s Breakfast. He plans on having some more events at his shop.
The club held the 2nd Annual Cinco de Mayo Luncheon on May 5th at the Celtic Ray Pub in Punta Gorda. Thanks to all who came.
Future events (as of the meeting date)
The Memorial Day Service for the fallen British pilots who trained in the Arcadia area and are buried in the British Plot at the Oak Ridge Cemetery will be held at 10 a.m. on May 27th. The club will meet at the McDonald’s on Jones Loop Road and proceed to the Cemetery. The members who wish will meet at the Celtic Ray Pub for lunch after the service.
Marcia and Larry McCartt are sponsoring a Boat Tour & Luncheon to Cabbage Key on June 8th on the Tropic Star. The Secretary will send an e-mail along with instructions about making reservations.
The Triumph Club is sponsoring a tour of the Babcock Ranch on May 22nd. There will be a lunch following the tour.
The Gold Coast British Sports Car Club has proposed a joint event with our club in October and November.
The President will be seeking officers for the 2020 term. If you are interested contact Cecil Carter.
SCCA Club Racing has two upcoming races. They are June 8th and July 20th.
Following these announcements the meeting adjourned. —Mary Newman, Secretary
On April 27th, the Car Club met for our regular Breakfast Run to Mini’s Café in Fort Myers. Following breakfast we traveled a few miles south to Steve Cleveland’s shop for a tech session.
Steve had some help from Tom Brewsaugh and Ken Taylor in setting up a few equipment demonstrations. The main display in the shop was a blue Sunbeam Tiger that Steve and Tom are finishing for a customer. There was quite a bit of sheet metal work and fiberglass work that went into the project. Steve showed his skills and equipment in cutting and shaping metal. Tom described the fiberglass work that went into the custom bonnet for the Tiger.
Everyone had a great time at the session, and many members went home with British car magazines and posters that Steve gave away. Thanks go to Steve, and hopefully he will invite us back to look over his next restoration.
The following weekend, on May 5th, was the Club’s 2nd Annual Cinco de Mayo at the Celtic Ray Irish Pub in Punta Gorda. Tom and Martha Lambert in their MG TD and Larry and Marcia McCartt in their Rolls-Royce met Mary and me in our Mini at a supermarket parking lot for the 20-mile run to the Celtic Ray.
This pub is one of our favorite watering holes. Owned by Irishman Kevin Doyle, it features traditional Irish food, Irish music, and of course whisky and beer. When we arrived we met Hermann and Jeri Schaller, who live in Punta Gorda and drove their 1954 Lagonda convertible. The Lamberts had invited some friends who were seated with the Schallers, all having pints when we got there. We were soon joined by Gary and Trish Maue and President Cecil Carter with Isabel.
Everyone ate, drank and talked cars for a few hours until the threat of rain had the open-car members thinking of heading home. Mary and I did run into some rain on the way home, but it was good because it washed off the bug splatters we got on the way to the pub!
FORT MYERS, Fla., Apr. 9 — The meeting was called to order by past President Bill Newman due to President Cecil Carter being ill.
Tom Brewsaugh gave his Treasurer Report and stated we have 67 members. He received a renewal from member Jim Andrews.
Mary Newman, Secretary, gave her report and stated that the minutes of previous meetings were on the website and in the British Marque.
Hermann Schaller introduced his guests, Mary Jo and Jerry Strom. They are looking to buy a Jaguar.
The Picnic on March 16th was discussed. There were 15 attendees. Ken Taylor was thanked for his duties as chef for the affair. Cecil and Isabel were gracious enough to host the games. Bill Newman won the pasta game, John Frioli (a guest) won the corn hole game and Cecil Carter won horseshoes.
Peter Sales gave information about the Island Walk Car Show in Venice, Fla., that was put on by the Jaguar Club.
As of the meeting date, we were looking forward to the following events:
April 14 — Oak Hammock Middle School Car Show, East Fort Myers, Fla.
April 20 — Wheels Across the Pond Show, Jupiter, Fla.
April 26-27 — Pensacola “Brits on the Bay” show.
April 27 — Tech session at Steve Cleveland’s Shop after Mimi’s Breakfast, Fort Myers, Fla.
Also upcoming were the Annual Cinco de Mayo at the Celtic Ray in Punta Gorda, Fla., and the Arcadia Memorial Day Observance commemorating the British pilots buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery.
The McCartts related their past experiences with a car club tour event similar to one that President Cecil Carter has proposed called the “Tour de Southwest Florida.” They passed around their log book as an example of what they did.
The 50/50 raffle was held, after which the meeting adjourned. —Mary Newman, Secretary
Saturday, March 23rd, was a picture-perfect day in Southwest Florida as we headed north out of Ft. Myers to Venice in “Lady Jane” (our ’62 Jaguar Mk2), with its 3.8, straight six breathing in the cool morning air. The destination was the Island Walk community, conveniently located on Rt. 41 in South Venice, where the 4th Annual Island Walk Car Show was held.
On arrival we were greeted by the organizer, Phil Mannino (President of the Southwest Florida Chapter of JCNA), who guided our car into a predetermined spot and invited us to enjoy complimentary coffee and cake, which was most welcome after the 70-mile drive.
In addition to the wide range of about 30 classic cars of various marques there was a crafts and art fair, multiple customized baskets as raffle prizes and a 50/50 cash draw. The show appeared to be very well attended by community residents who fully supported the chosen Community Emergency Response Team charity.
Around midday all show car participants were invited to a complimentary lunch held beside the beautifully designed community pool area. At 1 p.m. very nice custom designed glass trophies were presented in four specific classes, and everybody was invited to continue to enjoy the really nice facilities rather than leave immediately. We enjoyed receiving a “1st in Jaguar Class” trophy and a swim in the gorgeous pool before heading back south.
A final surprise was being passed on I-75 by good friends and fellow BCCSWF members Lionel and Jackie Hill, who were en route from their new home on the Florida Panhandle to visit friends around Ft. Myers over the following week!
It was a pity that few BCCSWF and JCNA members/cars attended this event, but Phil was positive that this show will continue to grow stronger over time. It should — it is a very well planned, friendly classic car show with something of interest for everyone.
The club held its Annual Picnic with about 15 members attending. There was a threat of rain so the turnout was less than expected. We want to thank Vice President Ken Taylor for being our chief chef with help from some others.
Isabel and Cecil Carter organized the games and the winners were as follows:
Pasta Contest — Bill Newman
Corn Hole — John Fraioli
Horseshoes — Cecil Carter
They each received a gift card.
Thank you, Cecil and Isabel, for your help, and everyone else who helped the Picnic be a success by attending. —Mary Newman
The British Car Club of Southwest Florida has reinstituted its Member Point System. The System is designed to stimulate participation of all club members in more and in a variety of activities.
Club members receive “points” for participating in various activities. At the end of the calendar year, the three club members with highest point totals will be recognized.
The activities and points awarded for each activity are listed below:
• Attend a monthly meeting (2 points)
• Drive your British car to a monthly meeting (2 points)
• Wear your name tag at a club meeting or activity (1 point)
• Write an article for the British Marque (5 points)
• Participate in a club activity (3 points)
• Lead a club activity (5 points)
• Attend the club Saturday breakfast (2 points)
• Drive your British car to the club Saturday breakfast (2 points)
• Recruit a new member (3 points)
Members may record their points at each club meeting through November. The club president will maintain the records and will announce the winners at the 2019 Holiday Party in December. —Cecil Carter
FT. MYERS, Fla., Mar. 12 — The meeting was called to order by President Cecil Carter at 6:30 p.m. Mary Newman gave the Treasurer’s Report in Tom Brewsaugh’s absence. She stated the minutes of all meetings are on the website and printed in the British Marque.
Guest John Frioli from Colorado was introduced. He has an MGB.
The Cape Coral Charity Car Show was held on February 16th at Jaycee Park. Many members attended.
The Gold Coast All-British Car Show was held on February 17th at a new venue, the Palm Beach Outlet Mall. Peter Sales won a 2nd place with his Jaguar. John Sergeant won a 1st with his MGA. Bill and Mary Newman attended with their 1972 Clubman, and John Welch, with his Jaguar, also made the trek.
The BIG Show was held March 3rd at Jaycee Park in Cape Coral. The British car winners were a 1929 Austin Seven Tourer owned by Robert Faria of Englewood, Fla., Hermann Schaller’s Lagonda with 2nd place, and John Shoemaker’s MG with 3rd.
February and March birthdays were celebrated.
The membership discussed the upcoming Picnic on March 16th at the Franklin Lock Park.
The Breakfast Runs were discussed. Steve Cleveland made a motion to continue to go to Mimi’s and the motion carried. Glenn Vrooman volunteered to make the reservations.
Upcoming events (as of the meeting date)
April or May — Bill Newman would be organizing a luncheon run to the Celtic Ray.
April 20 — Wheels Across the Pond show.
April 26-27 — Pensacola Brits on the Bay show.
April 26-28 — Sunshine Speed Show, Lakeland, Fla.
Other club business
President Cecil Carter will be writing an article for the Marque on the new Member Recognition program.
Vice President Ken Taylor and Steve Cleveland will sponsor upcoming tech sessions including these topics: Inspecting Your British Car Troubleshooting your Car Preparing to Show Your car Basic Welding Electrical Session Powder Coating. Dates will be discussed at future meetings.
Cecil discussed an ongoing event idea brought to him by Larry and Marcia McCartt. It is based on touring Southwest Florida in your vintage car and documenting your visit with pictures of each of the counties. A log will be kept and ultimately the logs will be submitted and the winner will be recognized at the Christmas Party.
President Cecil wants to send out a survey to see what the members are interested in.
The meeting adjourned. —Mary Newman, Secretary
NAPLES, Fla. — Thirty British cars participated in “Cars on Fifth” in Naples on Saturday, February 9th.
Cars on Fifth is one of the premier car events in Southwest Florida. The event, which is sponsored by the Ferrari Club of Naples, showcases more than 400 cars along Naples’ Fifth Avenue. The British Car Club of Southwest Florida is one of the supporting organizations. Proceeds from the event are donated to St. Matthew’s House, an agency that provides services to indigent individuals in the area.
This year, the event hosted approximately 50,000 spectators and raised about $250,000.
The day was perfect for displaying the cars. Temperatures were in the mid-80s without a cloud in sight. The British cars gathered early in the morning in a nearby shopping plaza and at 7:15 a.m. caravanned to Fifth Avenue. By 8 a.m. all cars were in place.
There was a good mix of British marques that included Aston-Martin, Jaguar, MG, Triumph, Rolls-Royce and Lotus. Unique among the cars was a miniature, petrol-powered 1969 Jaguar E-type, which arrived loaded in the back of an SUV. It had a Honda gas engine and three-speed transmission with clutch, all hand-assembled and painted in Poland.
A 1952 Austin-Healey BN2 100M that was caught in a disastrous garage fire two years ago returned after a beautiful total restoration.
By 10 a.m. Fifth Avenue was crowded with spectators who appreciated all of the cars, especially the British ones. Two local bands, multiple vendors, and several hospitality hosts added to the festive atmosphere.
In keeping with tradition, at 3:45 p.m. all cars were started and the police-escorted exit parade began. The drivers proudly took their places among the cars and slowly exited Fifth Avenue, thus enabling all to admire the uniqueness of British cars.
February and March have become “Car Show Months” in Southwest Florida.
As you just read, on February 9th was Cars on Fifth, a big show held annually by the Naples Ferrari Club).
February 16th was the Cape Coral Charity Car Show put on by the Cape Coral 1st United Methodist Church, with proceeds donated to the Cape Caring Center. The multi-marque show raised over $30,000 and was attended by Mary and me with our Mini Clubman and Al Iagemno with his Jaguar XK140. I don’t know the winners since we left early, but did stay long enough to win a big gas grill door prize. The grill would not fit in the Mini, so we sold it to a visiting couple from Canada who attended our last meeting.
Mary and I left early to drive the Mini to West Palm Beach for the All-British Show put on by the Gold Coast British Sports Car Club on February 17th at the Palm Beach Outlets Mall. Our little car made the three-hour trip across the state with no problems and continues to build my confidence in driving the car long distances.
The Gold Coast club put on an excellent show at a new venue this year. Since Mary and I are members of GCBSCC, it was a great time to renew friendships and recall past adventures. We were joined by BCCSWF members John and Angela Sergeant, who took 1st place with their 1959 MGA, and Peter and Pam Sales, who were in the “Jaguar Other” class with their MkII Jaguar. John Welch also joined us with his 2007 Jaguar.
The BIG (British, Italian & German) Show was sponsored by Triumphs of Southwest Florida and was held on March 3rd. There were over 100 cars, with the majority being of British manufacture. Many of our present and past members were in attendance and I will provide the winners next month. —Bill Newman
FORT MYERS, Fla., Feb. 12 — The meeting was called to order by President Cecil Carter at 6:30 p.m. at Famous Dave’s in Fort Myers.
We welcomed guests Barry and Joy Preston from Kitchener, Ont., Canada. Also we welcomed guest Al Rios, who has an MGB.
Cecil detailed a participation program for the membership. He will keep track of the points and pass a sheet around at every meeting. Two members volunteered for planning the Christmas Party.
Secretary Mary Newman said the minutes for the January meeting were on the website and in the British Marque. The Treasurer gave his report and stated we had 53 paid members as of that meeting.
Past events were discussed, and they included the Celtic Festival that was held on January 26th in Centennial Park in Fort Myers. Twenty-one cars signed up, but due to concerns about the weather only six cars came. The weather turned out fine and those who came had a great time. The winners were John Sergeant for the ’50s, Peter Sales for the ’60s, Mary and Bill Newman for the ’70s, and John Welch for the ’80s. The plaques were presented by the Festival MC. Headley Wilson also participated.
Cecil discussed the “Cars on Fifth” in Naples on February 9th. Thirty British cars signed up, including a small-size Jaguar E-type. Isabel Carter sat in the little car and it looked like it fit her fine.
The McCartts stated they attended a Rolls-Royce event.
Ken Taylor discussed the February Sebring races. There were 15 vintage cars. Ken drove his Triumph TR7.
Future (as of our meeting) events include:
February 16 — Charity Car Show in Jaycee Park, Cape Coral.
February 17 — Gold Coast British Sports Car Club Show, Palm Beach Outlet Mall.
March 3 — BIG (British, Italian & German) Show, at Jaycee Park in Cape Coral.
March 16 — Annual Club Picnic Franklin Locks Park in Alva.
April 6 — All-British Car Show, Winter Springs, in Central Winds Park.
A discussion was held regarding Club Breakfast Runs. It was decided that members could attend breakfast at Mimi’s on February 27th and/or breakfast at Skillets on March 2nd.
The 50/50 was held and the meeting then adjourned. —Mary Newman, Secretary