Members of the British Car Club of Southwest Florida remained active during May in spite of restrictions brought on by the coronavirus.
The virtual May 12th meeting was attended by seven participants. Lively discussions about members’ cars and the future dominated the meeting. The club’s financial status was presented by Tom Brewsaugh. Cecil thanked Tom and Bill Newman for articles that were submitted to the Marque and encouraged other members to do likewise.
Inasmuch as the State of Florida was moving into Phase II of its reopening, members decided to hold a face-to-face breakfast gathering on May 30th. The House of Omelets in Cape Coral was the restaurant of choice.
Twelve club members attended the May breakfast gathering. This was our first contact since early March and members greeted each other at a distance, but enthusiastically. Several members drove their British cars, which provided the focus of much conversation among members and other restaurant patrons before and after breakfast. Social distance guidelines were followed throughout the morning.
Cecil shared with those present that Famous Dave’s could now accommodate the club and the June 9th meeting would be held there. (See the accompanying article.) Members were thankful for the return to some degree of normalcy.
President Cecil Carter called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 9th. He observed that this was the first face-to-face meeting since March. The two previous meetings were virtual. Twenty members were present. There were no new members or guests.
Tom Brewsaugh presented the Treasurer’s report.
Cecil mentioned several British cars for sale that were brought to his attention. Cy Ling announced his Rover for sale. He also announced the completion of his book detailing his passion for cars, which will be published in the near future.
Past events were discussed. They included the Sports Car Club of America races at Sebring. Approximately 210 cars participated. The Rolls-Royce event was cancelled. The club breakfast gathering in May was face-to-face at the House of Omelets in Cape Coral.
Future events, as of the meeting date, were mentioned. The Austin-Healey drivers would be hosting a tour of Pine Island on Wednesday, June 10th, start time at 10:30 a.m. All BCCSWF members were invited to join them.
The Jaguar Club of Southwest Florida would be hosting Cars & Coffee on Sunday, June 14th, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. BCCSWF members were invited.
June 27 — BCCSWF Breakfast Gathering, Penny’s Café, Punta Gorda, Fla.
July 11 — Celtic Ray Lunch, Punta Gorda, Fla.
October 24 — All-British Field Meet & Autojumble, Safety Harbor, Fla.
October 28-November 1 — International Jaguar Festival, Ft. Myers, Fla.
October 31 — Wheels Across the Pond, Jupiter, Fla.
November 14 — BCCSWF Snowbirds Pool Party, Cape Coral, Fla.
Three members received traditional BCCSWF birthday wishes.
The 50/50 was won by Cecil, who promptly returned his winnings to the club.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned. —Ken Taylor
I suppose you could say growing up in the 1950s and ’60s made it almost inevitable that cars should pique my interest. I remember it was about the age of 8 when I watched a short film on the Indianapolis 500 and was completely amazed. Not long after I came across a program on the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Watching what looked to be exotic street cars racing on country roads completely blow me away, but being a small boy in Ohio I figured I’d never see any of those cars up close.
As luck would have it, at least for a budding young car guy age 9, I had a sister eight years older. She was the typical teen girl of the late ’50s — long blond hair, attractive and outgoing. Needless to say, there were always hot rods around the house.
Then one day things changed. Her new boyfriend pulled up in a British Racing Green TR3. This was the type car I only saw in in the car magazines at the drug store, and here it was in my driveway.
Larry, the only guy she dated I remember, must have noticed my jaw hit the ground because he said with a smile, “Go ahead have a seat behind the wheel!” The size and shape of that car was nothing I had ever experienced before.
Not long after that first encounter, I was sitting in the passenger seat, cruising the twisty, hilly back roads. I was in heaven. That year for Christmas Larry gave me a model kit of the Jag D-type. I was hooked, convinced it couldn’t possibly get any better than this.
One sunny afternoon I rode my bike up to the corner gas station to put air in the tires, and there in front of the service bay sat a bright red Jaguar XKE, bonnet open and those chrome valve covers glowing in the light. I couldn’t help but wonder, why wasn’t anything like this built by our American car companies?
We moved to Florida when I was 15 and as usual made new friends. Turned out one had a British Racing Green TR3 and another had a British Racing Green Spitfire, and these were the first British cars I drove. But for some reason as I started driving, I gravitated more towards the Chevy Camaro — yet the little British car still held a place in my heart.
Fast forward many years. Due to the type work I did I had sold my car and bought my dad’s pickup truck. After all, my soon-to-be wife had a car. One Friday evening I was just driving home as usual and out of the corner of my eye I spotted a blue sports car on a small used car lot. It must have called out to me, because I had to turn around and check it out.
There it sat — a Triumph Spitfire — but the lot was closed. When KiKi got home from work I told her that we were going to go look at a Spitfire in the morning. Her reaction: “A what?” My reply: “Don’t worry I’ll show you!”
True to my word, Saturday morning we headed into town to look at the car. Unfortunately, that little blue Spitfire was nowhere in sight. I felt let down. Then I heard KiKi shout, “What’s that?” Sitting right in front of us was a maroon Spitfire getting all cleaned up.
I asked about the blue car. It had been sold later Friday when the lot owner had returned from dinner, but he had taken this other one in on trade just before we arrived.
As soon as the car was done with its bath we took it for a test drive. We had not even driven half a block when KiKi said, “Let’s buy it.” Wanting not to let on I responded, “We’re not married yet and it’s my money!”
Needless to say we gave the dealer a deposit, went to the bank on Monday to get the remainder owed, and picked up our Spitfire.
Then one day life just seemed to have gotten in the way. We had our first child, bought a house, changed jobs, then child number two came and everything that goes along with those responsibilities. There was no real reason to have our little British car.
But as our girls grew up and became young women, there started to be more time for us. KiKi was looking through our local community newspaper and found an ad for an MGB for sale nearby. We jumped in our car, drove over to the seller’s house, and bought it on the spot.
That MGB became my daily driver for the next four years. About the time I was due to retire I once again needed another pickup truck. Although we both enjoyed the “B,” we decided to let it go to make room for the truck.
Over all the years we still talked about the fun we had with our Spitfire and how we hated having to sell it. I guess it was fate when fellow members of BCCSWF Bill and Mary Newman told me of a 1980 Spitfire for sale. After looking at a photo Mary had of the car, I asked her to text it to me. When I returned home from the meeting I showed the photo to KiKi. A few days later we went to look at the car. It was not in perfect shape, but nothing I couldn’t handle. KiKi leaned over to me and said in a low voice, “If you can get it for what you think is a good price, I’ll get it for you as a retirement present.”
That little Spitfire is now in my garage and has had a few changes made to it. When our eldest daughter heard about it, she said that after growing up hearing all the stories of our first Spitfire, she would have been disappointed in me had I not purchased this car.
In the last five years I have helped restore an MGA, TR6 and a Sunbeam Tiger. We got a Sunbeam Alpine for a parts car that turned out to be pretty nice once it was cleaned up. Got it running put on a new set of tires and sold it.
Most any day I can be found working on some little British car. I guess you can say I caught the bug as a kid. Just wish I could find a kid to infect.
[Note: Originally this was printed in the June 2002 British Marque. Since we have so many members that were not here then, I am hoping they will enjoy this story of old, and others will enjoy its retelling. —BN]
All of the used-up Triumph Spitfires in Southwest Florida eventually find their way to Gary and Trish Maue’s home in Cape Coral, to give up their last useable parts. Such is the case for the latest find, a 1976 Spit 1500, which was discovered in Lehigh Acres, Fla. Before I venture into the painful disassembly ritual, the story of the capture of the beast must be discussed.
Gary discovered the car during his job as “evil disconnector” of power for non-paying customers of the local power company. While trying to talk to a resident about a non-payment (and the car), he was attacked by the property owner’s large goose, which had a Doberman’s attitude about defending his turf. Gary escaped with his life while managing to get the property owner to agree to sell the Spitfire for $50. Gary also managed to convince me to collect the car using my trailer, telling me the goose story was only a joke.
On a beautiful Florida winter day, a Saturday afternoon, Gary and I took my truck and trailer into the bowels of Lehigh Acres to retrieve the “perfect” Spitfire that Gary had described. Upon arrival, Gary instructed me to talk to the owner while he sat in my truck.
My first indication that Gary Maue is a liar is when I heard a goose honking. The goose fortunately ran past me, evidently smelling Gary in the truck. When I discovered that no one was at home, I inspected the Spitfire — finding a pitiful car with a flat tire. Upon my return to my truck I encountered the goose. The goose attacked me with its head low, running at 35mph. I, in turn, tried to imitate a bigger goose by waving my arms and honking.
The goose just missed my groin area with its beak as I leaped over him when we met. The only thing that saved me from castration was the karate chop that I gave the goose as he passed under me (sorry, PETA). After Gary calmed down from his hysterical laughter, the goose allowed us to inflate the Spitfire tires and load the car.
The goose watched me leave my phone number on the door so that we could arrange for payment, but nobody called. I suspect the goose ate the note.
The car stayed at Gary’s house for about two months (under a car cover) prior to the “Tear-down Party” on April 21st. Gary supplied the beer and Trish cooked burgers and sausage for the event — which was attended by Cecil Carter, Craig Disney, Chuck Maher, John Ellsworth, Harvey Desnick and Dave Maslako, along with Mary and myself. Everyone agreed on pieces that they wanted, and the dismantlement began with people swarming all over the car. The only problem we had was that everybody wanted the same tool or wrench size at the same time.
Despite having to wait for wrenches, the car was totally disassembled and the frame cut into six pieces in two hours. Cecil and I received mashed fingers while loading the tub on my trailer, but the cold beer eased the pain. The tub was delivered to non-club member, “Earring Tom,” who had a vast collection of Spitfire and GT6 parts, but no assembled car. (Tom keeps telling his wife he is going to build her a car someday. She must love him very much.)
In any case, Trish Maue is thankful that the car is gone, and she did a fantastic job of providing food for the working crew.
Updates to this story
My best friend Gary Maue has become old and has retired from the local power company. He currently spends his time eating prunes to keep himself “regular” and occasionally looks at the Triumphs and Minis in his garage. Trish Maue, however, continues to stay young and does her best to keep Gary in line.
Craig Disney is no longer a member, but I did buy my #44 GT6 from him. John Ellsworth, Harvey Desnick and Dave Maslako have moved from the area, but Dave has become an honorary member of BCCSWF for life.
Earring Tom, also known as Tom Brewsaugh, and his wife KiKi are now members of BCCSWF, but I now have all of his Spitfire and GT6 parts. They now have an LBC (see story above) and KiKi still loves him very much.
The goose has become an urban legend. Residents of Lehigh Acres speak of the “Cujo Goose” in hushed tones, and children of British car owners are fearful at Halloween. I have vowed not to venture to this part of Lehigh Acres ever again. —Bill Newman
Due to the coronavirus pandemic and related restrictions, all BCCSWF activities were virtual during April and the beginning weeks of May.
Eight members participated in the April meeting was held through Zoom. Several members displayed models of their cars and others wore their nametags. Cecil reminded them that they would receive points for doing so.
The financial report was provided by Club Treasurer Tom Brewsaugh. Discussion centered on the numerous cancellations and hopes that the situation would improve soon.
There were no April birthdays celebrated at this meeting. All members reported the good health of their cars. Members agreed that the April breakfast meeting would be a virtual cars and coffee event on the last Saturday of April (see Cecil’s report below).
After some lighthearted banter, the meeting adjourned. —Isabel Munoz
The April Saturday breakfast gathering of the British Car Club of Southwest Florida was a virtual cars and coffee event. Eight BCCSWF members gathered through Zoom to commiserate over coffee about our British cars and the current state of affairs.
I shared a video with the group about two young Californians and their British cars, a Mini Cooper and an MGA. The members agreed that the video represented the essence of the British car hobby and the camaraderie among its enthusiasts.
After additional commiserating, the meeting ended with members wishing each other good health and returning to social distancing. —Cecil Carter
ARCADIA, Fla. — The annual BCCSWF Memorial Day Drive to Arcadia to participate in the ceremonies honoring British World War II pilots was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Inasmuch as club members have participated in this activity annually since 1995, this was especially heartbreaking. The Rotary Club of Arcadia hopes to resume the event in 2021.
On a recent visit to South Africa, my husband John and I, together with our local hosts, Odin and Liana Knutsen of Somerset West, were fortunate to join a South African Bentley Drivers’ Club event in the Cape.
The venue, La Petite Dauphine, is a wine estate nestled in South Africa’s Franschoek Valley, overlooked by the majestic Franschoek Mountains.
This area, renowned for its wine farms and fine restaurants, was first settled in the 1680s when 176 French Protestants were forced to leave France to avoid religious persecution. They settled in the Valley and established farms along the Berg River — many of the estates still have French names, a reminder of the contribution that these French Huguenots made to the wine industry.
As the Bentleys began to arrive, we were warmly welcomed by John White and Stuart Maxwell, the organizers, and after cooling glasses of superb South African wine, we enjoyed a fine luncheon. We both opted for the Ostrich Filet for our main course! Good company and brief speeches completed the program.
Our thanks to the South African chapter of BDC for including us in this fun event.
Vic Darkwood (2012), in The Gentleman’s Guide to Motoring, observed, “Once you have mastered the various controls and abstruse mechanical widgets associated with driving a car, and then purchased a vehicle that you aren’t ashamed to be seen dead in (always a sensible precaution), it is time to pose possibly one of the most crucial questions that the fledgling gentleman motorist is ever likely to have to ask himself:
‘What in heaven’s name is one supposed to wear?’”
The answer to this important question is complex. Appropriate clothing should be governed by comfort and by the nature of the event. One might also take into consideration the perceptions desired of others regarding one’s appearance.
One’s attire varies whether the event is a shakedown drive, a “Cars & Coffee” event, a cruise-in, a local or regional car show, a road rally, a concours d’elegance, or a leisurely drive. As A. B. Filson Young (1904) in The Complete Motorist stated, “The kind of clothes one wears when motoring is important.”
I first became aware of this question shortly after returning my E-type to roadworthiness. The pressing question for me was, “What hat should I wear?”
This is especially important when driving top-down in Florida. According to Darkwood (2012), “[A] gent should don a cap of a peculiarly jaunty nature.” Over time, I have collected an array of baseball caps, drivers’ caps, bucket-style hats, and a few Panama hats. All of these have found their places in my driving experiences.
The baseball caps and bucket hats tend to be suitable for less formal events such as shakedown drives and “exercise” drives. The drivers’ caps seem to be most suitable for participating in experiences with others, such as car shows and road trips.
My stylish Panama hats are reserved for the most important events. Unfortunately, inasmuch as I cannot wear them while driving top down (the brims flutter in the wind and the wind blows them off), I resort to wearing a driver’s cap or a baseball cap while driving and donning the Panama after arriving.
I never considered wearing gloves while driving until a chance visit to a local Coach store. Pairs of leather driving gloves caught my eye and I thought how cool it would be to try them. Little did I know at the time that this was expected of drivers of British sports cars.
Several pairs of driving gloves are now in my wardrobe. My favorites are two pairs of string-backed gloves that I think are especially fashionable in the E-type. Darkwood (2012) stated, “The string-backed sporting glove is best suited to later-model cars such as the Triumph Vitesse or a 1960s MG and lends a man an air of devil-may-care jauntiness.” I often seek “devil-may-care jauntiness.” The leather gloves tend to be used more in the Mk2.
Driving gloves are not only fashionable, but they also provide a special feel when gripping the large, skinny steering wheels of both cars.
Outerwear options are limited in Southwest Florida because of its climate. Sad to say, opportunities to wear tweed sports jackets with elbow patches are few and far between — although on one occasion, I drove the Mk2 to the club Christmas Party while wearing my Gieves and Hawkes suit. Otherwise, the attire is generally car-themed T-shirts or polo shirts.
T-shirts are reserved for the less formal activities including shakedown drives, exercise drives, most cruise-ins and Cars & Coffee. Polo shirts are appropriate for the more formal car shows and drives. Motoring jackets are also worn early morning during the winter months, January and February. I have a few of those in my wardrobe as well.
Finally, there is the question of footwear. The British car driver needs footwear that is comfortable, stylish, and enhances the driving experience.
For a long time sneakers satisfied these requirements for me. On occasion, I wear my vintage Jack Purcells when driving the E-type. They are lightweight, supportive, and enable me to operate the car’s pedals without difficulty. In recent years, I have started wearing moccasin-style driving shoes. I have amassed a collection of leather and suede shoes in several colors. These too fit the bill. I especially like the narrow build of the shoes and how they relate to operating the pedals.
Although I have an interest in racing shoes, inasmuch as I do not race I have not tried them. I have noticed, though, that they are becoming more stylish and perhaps one day I will give them a try.
That’s it — head to foot! Answers to the question “What do I wear?” are almost infinite. Drawing from quantum physics, “It depends.” The British car driver is best served by considering the above elements and deciding which combinations of these elements best satisfies the criteria of comfort, appropriateness, and style.—Cecil Carter
With the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, most club activities are on hold. The April 14th meeting was a virtual one, held after the submission deadline. A report of that meeting will be in the next edition of the Marque.
At this point, the next club activity scheduled is the Memorial Day drive to Arcadia. We will continue to monitor our situation, keep members apprised, and plan appropriately. In the meantime, members are encouraged to stay safe.
CAPE CORAL, Fla. — For the fourth time over 100 British, Italian and German (B.I.G.) cars graced the grass of scenic Jaycee Park in Cape Coral. On March 1st, 111 well-polished cars, some rare, in the shade under majestic oaks on the bank of the Caloosahatchee River.
The owners compared, kibitzed and voted on their favorite car in each class, while their passengers and the public spectators oohed and ahhed. Participants and spectators showered the show’s organizers with compliments.
This year this annual event, first established in 2013 by the Triumphs of Southwest Florida, was hosted and organized by the Southwest Florida Alfa Romeo Owners Club. The Park was divided by winding trails and trees into three sections, one each for each nationality.
Just north of the British cars in the show was a permanent pavilion where Boy Scouts cooked and served hot dogs and hamburgers. At the southern end of the Park between the British and Italian cars was a large gazebo where the awards were presented.
There is still room for more cars in the Park, but as the show grows each year, a limit will take effect when the participating cars reach 200.
Half of the cars on display were British — maybe because the British sports car invasion of the 1950s brought so many of them across the Atlantic first and because there were many more British marques. The British cars were divided into 11 classes, which all were awarded trophies. Their vintage range was from 1952 to 2015.
There were 20 Italian cars, of which 14 were Alfas — which is exemplary considering Alfa Romeo did not import Alfas for 20 years, 1995-2015. The Italian cars were divided into five classes that were awarded trophies. The 35 German cars, from BMW, Mercedes and Porsche, were divided into eight classes. Their vintage range was from a1959 BMW 600 to a 2019 Porsche 718.
Janet Wood, a BCSWF member, received the prestigious President’s Award (i.e., Best in Show) with her 1956 Jaguar XK140.
Other BCCSWF award winners were Ed Major, 1973 Triumph TR6, 2nd in Class Tom Lambert, 1953 MG TD Mark II, 1st in Class Janet Wood, 1956 Jaguar XK140, 1st in Class and the aforementioned President’s Award Bill Newman, 1972 Mini 1275GT, 2nd in Class and Hermann Schaller, 1954 Lagonda 3-Litre Mk1 DHC, 1st in Class.
Congratulations to the winners!
Fifteen members of the BCCSWF gathered Saturday, February 29th, to have breakfast at the Café Restaurant in Cape Coral. (Several members, who drove their British cars, will receive additional points for doing so.)
Participants enjoyed delicious meals, enhanced with impeccable service. Conversation was also lively as several members were anticipating the B.I.G. Show to be held the next day (see accompanying article). Of course, there was some crying in our coffee as members commiserated about the joys of owning a British car. —Cecil Carter
The meeting was called to order at 6:30 p.m. by President Cecil Carter.
Guests and new members were recognized by the President, including two visitors from New York were recognized. There were no new members present.
It was reported that the minutes of the January meeting are on the club website and in the British Marque. Tom Brewsaugh, Club Treasurer, presented his report, which was accepted as presented.
Events that occurred since the last meeting were discussed. The Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club Show was an overwhelming success. The BCCSWF received the Outstanding Club Participation trophy for having 19 members registered and participating. (The trophy was proudly on display during the meeting.)
The event also received excellent coverage in the local newspaper. Hermann Schaller, Event Chair, thanked members of the club for their participation and support. He also presented Angela Sergeant with the event’s Commodore’s Trophy.
Bill Newman reported about the January 25th Celtic Festival held in downtown Ft. Myers. The weather was perfect for the event, which featured 12 beautiful British cars. Kudos were given to Bill and Mary for promoting the event by appearing at 5:30 a.m. with their two Minis for an early morning television interview.
President Cecil reported on “Cars on Fifth,” held February 8th in Naples. The event attracted approximately 600 cars. Fifteen British cars were among those displayed. Hermann Schaller’s 1954 Lagonda was awarded Best in Show for the British car contingent.
Upcoming events (as of the meeting) were discussed. They included the following:
February 15 — Jaycee Park Charity Show, Cape Coral.
February 16 — Gold Coast British Sports Car Club show, Palm Beach (new date: March 29th).
March 1 — British, Italian, German (BIG) Show, Cape Coral. Event chair Dennis McKinley provided details. President Cecil solicited help with parking.
March 21 — BCCSWF Picnic/Potluck, Alva, Franklin Locks.
March 28 — Classic Car Cruise to Nassau, Nassau, Bahamas.
April 11 — Wheels Across the Pond, Jupiter.
April 17-19 — MG Gathering of the Faithful, Howey-in-the-Hills.
October 28-November 1 — International Jaguar Festival, Ft. Myers (Sanibel Harbor).
The Café Restaurant, Coralwood Mall, Cape Coral, was selected as the site for the monthly breakfast gathering.
Chris Cosden received the traditional BCCSWF birthday wishes. The 50/50 was awarded to Mary Jane Cosden. Cecil is still seeking help with the club website.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned, next meeting March 10th. —Isabel Munoz
The meeting was called to order at 6:30 p.m. by President Cecil Carter (with assistance from Jeri Schaller, who lent him her eyeglasses!).
Guests Maureen Larkin and Leonard Lewis and new member John Orr were recognized and welcomed by the members.
Minutes of the February meeting will be on the club website and in the British Marque. Cecil had a hardcopy of the minutes available for review. Cecil also stated that minutes would be e-mailed to members in the future.
Tom Brewsaugh, Club Treasurer, presented his report. The report was accepted as presented.
Events that occurred since the last meeting were discussed:
The monthly Saturday morning Breakfast Gathering was held at the Café Restaurant in Cape Coral. Fifteen members were present and enjoyed the activity. The food and the service were excellent. Cecil learned that the owner of the restaurant has an MG. He is now trying to recruit him to the club.
The March Breakfast Gathering will be March 28th at Muscle Car City in Punta Gorda.
Cynthia Mahoney reported on the British, Italian, German (B.I.G.) Show, held March 1st in Cape Coral. There were 111 cars registered, 54 British cars. Several BCCSWF members won awards, including Janet Wood, whose 1956 Jaguar XK140 received the President’s Award for Best in Show. Cynthia received applause from the membership for her work, and that of Dennis McKinley and others, in putting together a great show.
Peter Blackford reported on his attendance at the Amelia Island Concours, March 6-8. As expected, the show was “world class.” Best in Show awards went to a Duesenberg limo and a Porsche 917. A brief discussion ensued about the feasibility of club members going to Amelia to participate in Cars & Coffee sometime in the future. Peter also gave a brief report about his trip to Goodwood in September 2019.
Upcoming events were discussed. They included the following:
March 14 — Lotus Show, Naples Motorsport, Naples.
March 15 — St. Petersburg Grand Prix, St. Petersburg. Cecil and Isabel to represent BCCSWF, compliments of Bill and Mary.
March 21 — BCCSWF Picnic/Potluck, Alva, Franklin Locks.
March 28 — Classic Car Cruise to Nassau, Nassau, Bahamas.
March 29 — Gold Coast British Sports Car Club show, Palm Beach.
April 11 — Wheels Across the Pond, Jupiter.
April 17-19 — MG Gathering of the Faithful, Howey-in-the-Hills.
October 28-November 1 — International Jaguar Festival, Ft. Myers (Sanibel Harbor).
Clayton Rizor, Mary Newman and Marcia Ling received the traditional BCCSWF birthday wishes. The 50/50 was awarded to Mary Newman.
Cecil is still seeking help with the club website. He also reviewed the point system and encouraged members to participate actively. Mary Newman supported active participation especially by submitting brief articles for the Marque.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned. —Isabel Munoz
[Because of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Gold Coast British Sports Car Club show and MG Gathering of the Faithful were cancelled subsequent to our March meeting, and Wheels Across the Pond was moved to October 31st.]
NAPLES, Fla. — Fifteen British cars participated in “Cars-on-Fifth” in Naples, on Saturday, February 8th.
Cars-on-Fifth is one of the premier car events held in Southwest Florida. 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. Matthew’s House, an agency that provides services to indigent individuals in the area.
The day started out with frigid temperatures, but temperatures rose later in the day to make it perfect for displaying the cars. Temperatures were in the mid-70s 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 8:00 all cars were in place.
There was a good mix of British marques that included Aston Martin, Jaguar, MG, Triumph and Lotus. This year a 2020 McLaren, one of the British supercars, joined our delegation.
BCCSWF member Hermann Schaller received one of the Best in Show awards for his beautiful and rare 1954 Lagonda.
By 10:00 a.m. Fifth Avenue was crowded with spectators who appreciated all of the cars, especially the British cars. A local band and a DJ, 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, enabling all to admire the uniqueness of British cars.