NAPLES, Fla. — Fifteen British cars participated in “Cars-on-Fifth” in Naples, one of the premier car events held in Southwest Florida, on Saturday, February 6th.
The event, which is sponsored by the Ferrari Club of Naples, showcases more than 600 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. Matthews House, an agency that provides services to indigent individuals throughout Southwest Florida. This year’s Cars-on-Fifth, and related activities, raised approximately $500,000.
The day was perfect for displaying the cars. Temperatures were in the low 80s and the skies were overcast.
The British cars gathered early in the morning in a nearby shopping plaza and at 7:15 a.m. caravanned to Fifth Avenue. There were no causalities along the way and by 8 a.m. all cars were in place.
There was a good mix of British marques that included Aston Martin, Jaguar, MG, Triumph, and Lotus. Brad Rosengarter’s 1962 Daimler SP250 was recognized as the Best in Show British Car.
Even with the pandemic precautions in place, by 10 a.m. Fifth Avenue was crowded with spectators who appreciated all of the cars, especially the British cars. A local band, 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, once again enabling all to admire the uniqueness of British cars.
It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of one of our members, Cy Ling.
In the last British Marque we highlighted some excerpts from his book Odyssey: One Man’s Life With Cars. His wife Marcia assisted him with the book.
Cy was a member of the British Car Club of Southwest Florida for many years and in the past held the office of President. He also was a member of several other car clubs, including the Porsche Club of America, Bentley Drivers Club, and Rolls-Royce Owners Club amongst others.
His book covered 90 cars and 27 different makes. Twelve cars were British — representing the Triumph, MG, Jaguar and Bentley marques.
He will missed at our meetings and events. —Mary Newman
The meeting was called to order on Tuesday, February 9th, by President Mary Newman at 6:30 p.m.
New members Steve Goldberg, Edward Aiello and Jim Pase were acknowledged.
The Treasurer sent his report, which stated we had 35 members as of February 8th.
Several members attended the breakfast at the House of Omelets in Cape Coral on January 30th.
Ed O’Neil led a luncheon run to Babcock Ranch on January 23rd. Several members attended and had lunch at the Gator Shack on the property.
Secretary Bill stated there will be vintage races at Sebring Raceway February 13-14. Bill and Mary will be spectating on the 14th.
Vice President Cecil Carter discussed the Cars-on-Fifth show (see accompanying article). He stated there were 10 or 11 British Cars at the event.
Future events (as of the meeting date)
Several car shows were discussed: the B.I.G. (British, Italian, German) Show, to be held on March 7th the Collier Transportation Show, on February 26th the Knights of Columbus Show in Naples, on March 20th and “Wheels Across the Pond” in Jupiter on April 3rd.
[Wheels Across the Pond has been cancelled. —Exec. Ed.]
The club discussed the yearly Picnic and will see if we can reserve the Park for April 17th.
The next Club Breakfast will be held at the Old 41 Restaurant on February 27th. An e-mail will be sent to the current members.
President Mary requested articles for British Marque. She also requested members to sponsor events.
The meeting adjourned at 7:12 p.m. —Bill Newman, Secretary
[Contrib. Ed. note: The following are excerpts from a book written by one of our long-time members and past officer of the British Car Club of Southwest Florida. If you are interested in learning more, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. —BN]
As a reader might expect, a pursuit of cars and the chronicle of the journey, which I have titled Odyssey: One Man’s Life with Cars, have not been isolated events.
My first steps on this path were sponsored by my parents’ support of my first car — a 1954 Triumph TR2.
From that point on, relatives, friends, neighbors, and fellow car club members have all provided advice, experiences, and guidance that have enriched and encouraged my efforts.
Growing up in Detroit had its benefits, too!
In the book’s Acknowledgments, I offer special thanks to my cousin Don, a GM dealer members of the Porsche Club of America, Chicago Region those members whom I’ve met at 18 annual Porsche Parades and members of the British Car Club of Southwest Florida.
My wife, Marcia, is due gratitude for her preparation of the manuscript and all of the computer work organizing data — on 90 cars!
I have been truly blessed to have had the opportunity to experience the work of so many designers, engineers and auto employees, and to associate with “car nuts” from the U.S. and abroad.
The Table of Contents gives an overview of what the book covers:
• Cars owned 1958-2020: make, model, year, color, body type, engine type
• Commentary on individual cars
• Evaluation of major characteristics: handling, comfort, speed, construction, reliability, styling, what was surprising, what was disappointing, favorites, keepers
• My model collection (1:18 scale)
• Art and photos by the author
• Automobile club affiliations, current and previous, and finally,
And the opinions, impressions and conclusions I share in the book are mine and cannot be blamed on anyone else!
The British Car Club of Southwest Florida will again run its member point system. The system is designed to stimulate participation of all club members in more activities, and in a variety of activities, by receiving “points” for participating. 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: 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 British Marque (25 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 Vice President will maintain the records and will announce the winners at the 2021 Holiday Party in December. —Cecil Carter
FT. MYERS, Fla., Jan. 12 — The meeting was called to order by President Mary Newman.
There were no visitors or guests.
Secretary Bill Newman stated the minutes of the previous meetings are on the website.
The Treasurer had recent eye surgery, but sent his report to the President. There were 30 member renewals as of this meeting.
The President asked for articles for the British Marque. She stated they could be a “My Car”-type article with a picture.
Past events — Bill and Mary Newman attended an HSR event at Sebring in December.
Upcoming events (as of the meeting date) — The SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) is having a race, including Vintage, February 13-14. Some BCCSWF members will be racing and attending.
There will not be a Celtic Festival in Ft. Myers this year.
“Cars on Fifth” will be happening February 6th in Naples.
The BIG (British, Italian, German) Show will be held on March 7th at Jaycee Park in Cape Coral, Fla. Masks will be required when walking around.
The “Wheels Across the Pond” car show will be held April 3rd in Jupiter, Fla.
The Knights of Columbus Car Show is on March 20th, in Naples, Fla.
The next club breakfast will be January 30th at the House of Omelets in Cape Coral.
The meeting adjourned.
[Wheels Across the Pond has been cancelled. —Exec. Ed.]
Mr. Gerry Coker, 98, passed away on November 13, 2020. He was responsible for the design of the world-famous British sports car, the Austin-Healey 100.
Gerry was employed by Donald Healey in 1950 and conceived the “Healey 100,” which would be built in Healey’s Warwick factory. The projected production was five cars per week!
In 1952 the prototype Healey 100 was presented to the public at the London Earls Court International Car Show, placed behind a column to hide the trapezoidal shaped grille that Donald Healey reportedly was not thrilled with.
The four-cylinder 2666cc engine/drivetrain was taken (stroked) from the earlier Austin Atlantic model, obviously linking the Healey company with Austin, one of the largest car manufacturers in Britain.
When the boss of Austin, Mr. (later Sir) Leonard Lord saw the Healey he was more than impressed. Following a very successful exhibition launch he persuaded Donald Healey to transfer production of the 100 to Austin’s plant — and the car was immediately badged as an “Austin-Healey.”
Over 4,000 100/4 series cars were manufactured between 1952 and 1956, with 80% being exported to America.
Gerry left the company in 1957, moving to the USA to take a job with the Chrysler Corporation, followed by Ford, and on retirement moved to Sarasota, Fla., and became a member of the Tampa Bay Austin-Healey club.
I owned a 100M from 1991 through 2020 and have to thank Gerry for many happy motoring miles, mainly around Florida. My 1956 100M Healey always caused a lot of interest at various British car shows, which included the annual Tampa Bay club’s Safety Harbor event. In 2013 I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Coker, who was gracious enough to award my Healey a 2nd in the Healey class!
I sold my Healey last year and it now resides in St. Tropez, France (see photo).
Thank you, Gerry, for designing such a classic sports car and for the years of enjoyment given to Healey enthusiasts around the world. Rest in peace.
I bought my first GT6 for $800 around 1995. The rear hatch window was shattered due to the previous owners’ son bouncing a basketball on it one too many times. My plan was to restore the car and use it as a daily driver. A parts car was purchased from Paul Tsikuris and stripped for all usable parts, including a rear window.
The GT6 was a 1972 MkIII with a rust-free body and totally stock. The restoration took over two years and fought me all the way, especially the front and rear suspension. The engine was rebuilt and the car was repainted the original Pimento Red.
I had about enough of the GT6 by the time the restoration was complete but tried hard to learn to have fun with it. Mary and I trailered the GT6 to the Vintage Triumph Register’s regional event in Lake City, Fla., and promptly broke the transmission input shaft during the autocross event. After repairing the tranny, electrical gremlins began driving me crazy. I sold the car to a local guy, and the last I saw it was in an auto repair shop.
My next GT6 was a racecar that I purchased from a former club member in 2009. This car was built as a tribute to the Group 44 MkIII GT6, and Bob Tullius had given the car his blessing.
The previous owner had complained about overheating issues and poor braking, so I had to spend some time sorting things out. Overheating was corrected by backing off the total ignition timing, which was too high, and the brakes were fixed by going to a different brake pad compound.
I really enjoyed racing this car after competing with my MkI Spitfire. The rear suspension and engine lower end were built by Rick Cline. The cylinder head had been race prepped by someone with the name Fat Larry (I never found out anything about him). Twin 1 3/4-inch SU carbs supplied fuel. Front brakes were Toyota Land Cruiser four-pot calipers and the transmission was a Toyota four-speed. I eventually replaced the tranny with a Ford T9 five-speed.
My GT6 consistently qualified at the upper end of the grid and I raced the car for ten years with SCCA and HSR at Sebring, Homestead, Daytona and Road Atlanta. My favorite race was the 2012 Kastner Cup Race at Road Atlanta, where I finished 16th out of 33 quality drivers.
My last event was the 2018 Put-in-Bay vintage race at South Bass Island, Ohio. I was having difficulty breathing due to COPD and hoped the cooler weather would help. It did not. As it happened, we had dinner with a fellow whom I had raced with in the past. He said his son might be interested in the car, so I made contact and brought the car to his shop in northern Ohio. We made a deal and the GT6 now belongs Jason Sukey in Amherst, Ohio — and continues to be raced. —Bill Newman
FT. MYERS, Fla. — The meeting was called to order by President Cecil Carter at 6:30 p.m.
The Treasurer, Larry McCartt, gave the Treasurer’s report.
The minutes of the previous meeting are on the website and in British Marque.
The November Breakfast event was held at Skillets Restaurant in Ft. Myers. The event had 12 members in attendance and a potential new member who brought his Sunbeam Tiger. There would not be a December Breakfast event due to the Holidays.
Vice President Ken Taylor discussed his racing effort at Sebring with SCCA this year. Ken won the GT2 class and will receive an award for his efforts. Bill and Mary Newman spoke about attending the Historic Sports Car (HSR) event at Road Atlanta in November.
Cynthia Mahoney reported on the Car Parade for the Children’s Hospital. There were 150 cars of various makes and models.
Member Cy Ling discussed Formula 1 racing and his interest with the Series.
Cars on Fifth in Naples — February 6th.
BIG (British, Italian, German) Show — March 7th.
President Cecil Carter announced a slate of new officers. A motion to accept was made by Cy Ling and seconded by Gary Maue. The motion carried. The new officers are as follows: President, Mary Newman, Vice President, Cecil Carter, Secretary, Bill Newman, Treasurer, Larry McCartt.
Cecil Carter gave the Participation Award to Bill and Mary Newman. The runners-up were Marcia and Larry McCartt and the Engleharts.
Cecil gave the incoming President, Mary Newman, the Club Awards from the Port Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club Show.
Member John Sargent told about his adventure in driving his TR3 on a 3,200-mile trip in 12 days.
Bill Newman gave awards to outgoing President Cecil and Vice President Ken Taylor for their service as officers.
The meeting then adjourned.