Before any comment about the Best in Class trophy (for Jaguar Saloons) presented to my 1962 Jaguar Mk2, it first must be noted that in 2017 the “Wheels Across the Pond” classic car show celebrated its 11th successful year. The venue was once again Carlin Park in Jupiter, Fla., with this premier event welcoming over 200 classic cars, motorcycles and several historic bicycles that were placed in groups.
Vehicles were grouped by marque and displayed over the beautiful, undulating parkland complete with a lake vista. The spring weather, combined with strong sea breezes off the Atlantic, was once again picture perfect.
Car shows always allow enthusiasts to meet and talk about a wide range of subjects that usually resolve around their specific cars. As for the Mk2 Jaguar, I tend to emphasis its history, though I cannot claim to have carried out the restoration that now invites so many compliments.
A quick summary shows the car was originally purchased directly from Jaguar by Rex Sage — for his wife Jane’s birthday — in 1962, during a vacation in England.
The original Mk1 model, fitted with a 2.4-liter, twin overcam straight six was first shown at the London motor show in 1955 and was an instant success. In 1959 the improved Mk2 was launched, with the choice of 2.4-, 3.4- and 3.8-liter powerplants offering speeds well above 100mph.
After touring the United Kingdom, this vehicle was shipped back to America and stayed with the family for around 54 years. Jane passed away in 1999 and the Jaguar was left to daughter Cyndi who, with car enthusiast husband Jack, decided to invest in a complete restoration in memory of Jane. By 2002 the car was looking great again and back on the road in Florida, christened “Lady Jane” in Mum’s memory!
I took over stewardship from the second owner in the spring of 2016 and have enjoyed “the ride” ever since. As with any old vehicle maintenance is essential, and there is always the need to prep for presentation before showing. The result is a classic automobile that is truly an elegant sports sedan that turns heads wherever driven.
FORT MYERS, Fla. — The May meeting of the BCCSWF was held at the usual location, Famous Dave’s in Fort Myers, on May 9th with 33 members attending.
Guests and the cars they own were quickly introduced. Several members mentioned they had recently acquired new vehicles. Cy Ling has purchased a 1995 Jaguar XKS convertible with 35,000 miles. John and Angela Sergeant now own a 1980 TR8. The astounding thing is they drove the TR8 from Seattle to Fort Myers! That’s a total distance of over 3,200 miles, which is a formidable feat. However, John stated, “Never again!” Bill Newman announced he would soon acquire a right-hand-drive 1972 Mini Clubman.
Rollie Welch mentioned that articles for British Marque are welcome, and encouraged members to write about the history of their British cars and how they came to own them. Rollie also announced that Shell Point Residential Living Center has asked if the BCCSWF would be willing to display members’ cars in January 2018. Many members showed interest — another “excuse” to drive their cars.
Lauren Welch summarized the Treasurer’s report. Membership now stands at 89, with more memberships yet to be renewed. Webmaster Gary Eidson announced that the members’ roster on the website has been updated. Gary also informed the club that the Palm Beach International Raceway has an offer where you can drive the car of your dreams for five laps with a cost of around $250. Gary encouraged us to look into the offer. Gary also voiced a plea that since he is currently without a British car, he is willing to drive any other member’s car to events.
The meeting paused to sing “Happy Birthday” to club members with May birthdays: Rollie Welch, Margrit Vegter, Peter Sales and Lionel Hill.
Bill Newman expressed the need for a quick commitment to the Memorial Day ceremony held at Arcadia. The event honors the British airmen who perished in World War II training accidents and are buried in Arcadia. There’s a limit of 22 people for the post-ceremony luncheon. Thanks to Terry Luck and Cecil Carter for organizing the event.
Mary Newman has agreed to be the organizer for the BCCSWF Christmas/Holiday party in December. Bill and Kenny Taylor spoke about the upcoming vintage races on the weekend of June 10-11. Bill and Kenny encouraged club members to attend as it is a good show.
At the “Wheels Across the Pond” event in April, Peter Sales’ Jaguar Saloon took a 1st place. John Sergeant took a 3rd place with his British car.
Lionel and Jackie Hill drove their MGA to a first-time car show event on the Sanibel Causeway Islands sponsored by the SanCap Motor Club. It was a great location with the Gulf of Mexico as a backdrop but what stunned Lionel and Jackie was they met a former neighbor of years ago that lived nearby in New Hampshire! It’s a small world. Their former neighbor now owns two AC Bristols.
Bill Newman will be selling a 1960 Bugeye Sprite. Terry Luck mentioned that autocross is a great event and encouraged members to take part. Kenny Taylor, who normally races his TR7, raced a Miata in Daytona and experienced all sorts of weather — cold on Saturday and warm on Sunday — but a good weekend of racing.
Cecil Carter won the 50-50 raffle of $41. John Welch donated a $25 coupon for an auto parts store, and Angela Sergeant won that gift.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday, June 13th. Check the BCCSWF.com site for more information. —Rollie Welch
Sunday is always a beautiful day for a car lovers’ picnic and March 19th was just perfect! Members of the British Car Club of Southwest Florida gathered in the parking lot in Fort Myers early that morning to line up and caravan to the Franklin Locks Recreation Area, situated on the banks of the Caloosahatchee River in Alva, Fla.
We had about 14 cars from our club proudly driving through the byways towards our Annual Picnic. Those of us lucky enough to have convertibles had our tops down and were enjoying the best weather Florida has to offer. Crisp warm breezes were ruffling our hair that morning, with everyone watching from the sidelines wishing they had a little British car just like us!
Once we reached the Locks we were greeted by our best mates cooking up a storm for lunch. Doesn’t everything taste so much better alfresco? Really, it couldn’t have been better! We had a spread fit for the Queen. If she could have fit it in her schedule, she would have been with us I am sure! It was a lovely affair as tried-and-true grill masters Lionel Hill and Larry Gleeson cooked up burgers, hot dogs and chicken and deftly used spatulas to keep plates filled. The club gives thanks to Alan Shakman for generously providing the abundance of meat for the grill. They all really put their hearts into their work.
To work off the comfort food, lawn games of horseshoe pitching and cornhole toss were organized. Many club members took their turns with varying levels of success. Under the watchful eyes of judges Jackie Hill and Bunnie Gleeson, each attempt was measured. At times the audience heckling could be quite biting in sarcasm but was all in good fun. However, the completion, although intended to be casual, had an underlying spirit of competition. Winners of the horseshoe pitching were Gary Eidson for the men and Janet Lemesis for the ladies. The cornhole toss was won by Rich Lesinski for the guys, and, in a triple overtime of extended tosses, Margrit Vegter won for the ladies.
After a quick cleanup it was a tough sell to get our members to leave but we did convince them to get back in their great little cars and hit the road home.
Another great season is in the rear view but we have a great year to look forward to. Thank you everyone who made this Picnic and made the year a great one for our club. Same time next year?
FORT MYERS, Fla. — The April meeting of the BCCSWF was held at the usual location of Famous Dave’s in Fort Myers, Fla., on April 11th with 39 members attending. New members were introduced: Janet and Aldis Lemesis, owners of a 1962 Jaguar E-type, Rich and Judy Fifield, who own a TR250, and John and Angela Sergeant, who own an MGB, but have also rebuilt a TR3 and a TR4. Also introduced were guests Jack and Francis Breece, who own a 1980 MGB. Jack told the group he has owned in the past two MGAs and ten MGBs.
President Bill Newman mentioned several e-mails he received from outside people. One person has a 1961 Morgan for sale another needs help starting his car that has been sitting for some time, and another is interested in exchanging MG T Series info. Club members should contact Bill Newman if any of these queries sound intriguing.
Rollie Welch once again mentioned that articles for British Marque are welcome even if bullet points of an event are provided. An article can always be formed around them. Rollie also reminded members that jpeg is the preferred form of photos for articles. Lin Dworkin was mentioned as the author of an upcoming article detailing the Annual Club Picnic. Lauren Welch summarized the Treasurer’s report. Membership now stands at 82 with many more memberships yet to be renewed.
Webmaster Gary Eidson reiterated the process to post photos of members’ cars for sale on the website. A jpeg is needed along with specific information about the car (year, model, price, any flaws or recent improvements). Gary also is involved with tweaking the B.I.G. show next March to make it an even more attractive venue along the banks of the Caloosahatchee River. Since 60% of the automobile entries come from BCCSWF members, Gary feels better signage and a more favorable parking layout for showing cars are needed.
The meeting paused to sing “Happy Birthday” to three club members with April birthdays: Richard Bartlett, Aldis Lemesis and Steve Ruppert. Bill Newman introduced the possible change in location for the last-Saturday-each-month breakfast run. The current location of Mimi’s has been up and down in service and several members have voiced their displeasure. Gary Dworkin has discovered The Garden Café in Bonita Springs, which is a possible destination. Much discussion ensued about central location, service, parking and ease of access. No decision was made, as this was the opening discussion of a possible change in location.
Bill Newman mentioned the many upcoming events through April and reminded members to check the webpage for details. Several members spoke about the good times at the Annual Picnic, including the thrilling competition of horseshoes and cornhole. Thanks went to cooks Lionel Hill and Larry Gleeson, along with Alan Shakman who provided the food.
New member Margrit Vegter won the 50-50 raffle (for the second month in a row) of $48.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday, May 9th. Check the BCCSWF.com site for more information. —Rollie Welch
FORT MYERS, Fla. — The March meeting of the BCCSWF was held at the usual location of Famous Dave’s in Fort Myers, with 42 members attending.
New members were introduced: Margrit Vegter, a new owner of a 1972 MGB, Jim Woodall, who is bringing back to life a 1961 TR3 that has been in a garage for 20 years, and Bill Keister, who recently purchased a 1967 MGB. A guest also sat in on the meeting, Alex Gellwielier, who is in the market to purchase a TR6.
Rollie Welch mentioned that articles for the British Marque are welcome even if bullet points of an event are provided. An article can always be formed around them. Rollie also reminded members that JPEG is the preferred form of photos for articles.
Lauren Welch gave the Treasurer’s report. Membership now stands at 78, with many more memberships yet to be renewed.
Bill Newman encouraged the membership to step up and volunteer for the official positions of Treasurer and Secretary after this year. Replacements are needed as officers have been in place for three years, which is longer than the usual two-year service.
Webmaster Gary Eidson has looked into having a discussion forum added to the club’s webpage, but decided the cost and upkeep would be too much of a burden. Gary also asked the membership for anyone to step forward who wants to take over the webmaster duties and be trained in how the webpage works.
Speaking of web services, Bill Newman mentioned that his Spitfire rollover on the track at Sebring in December has a place on YouTube as the driver behind him filmed it all with a Go-Pro. Ah, fame.
Gary Dworkin brought forth an announcement for the Jaguar Concours d’Elegance event at Sanford on April 7th. Gary also reminded members of the club’s Annual Picnic on March 19th. Jackie Hill outlined details of the event, which were relayed via e-mail to club members.
Gary congratulated Dennis McKinley on the great effort to put on the B.I.G. (British, Italian, German) Show. The event is unique among car shows and has put Southwest Florida on the classic/sports car map. This is the fifth year of the Show and registrants have grown from 24 the first year to 133 this year. About 60% of registered cars were of British make.
Thanks were given to Bunnie Gleeson and Pam Sales for roving through the crowd to sell 50-50 raffle tickets.
The meeting paused to sing “Happy Birthday” to three club members: Lionel Hill, George Krause and Barb Henry.
Gary Dworkin mentioned the many upcoming events through April and reminded members to check the webpage for details. Club members were informed that the REVS Institute is seeking possible volunteers. REVS is one of the foremost automobile collections in the world and is located in Naples, Fla.
Dennis McKinley reminded club members of the Key West adventure during the last week of April. If driving a British car to Key West, members are welcome to take part in the Key West all-British parade on Thursday, April 27th. Details will be sent out via e-mail.
Cy Ling mentioned three books he has read that may be of interest to members: British Motor Cars, Triumph 2000 — Defining the Sporting Saloon, and British Leyland — Chronicle of a Car Crash. Cy also brought forth the idea of having some sort of library for club members as he has several shelves filled with British-car reading material.
In old news, Peter Sales mentioned he attended the Gold Coast British Sports Car Club event in Boca Raton on February 19th. His Jaguar took 1st in class — and Peter reports that it was a fine show, with 119 cars involved.
New member Margrit Vegter won the 50-50 raffle of $57.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday, April 11th. Check the BCCSWF.com site for more information.
NAPLES, Fla. — It’s February in Southwest Florida, and that must mean it’s time for the “Cars on Fifth” show in Naples, Fla. sponsored by the Naples Ferrari Club!
On February 11th over 600 classic vehicles gathered in downtown Naples, parking along Fifth Avenue. Although sponsored by the Ferrari Club, many other types of cars were well represented, from Corvettes, muscle cars and cool cruisers to Porsches, Alfa Romeos, and of course, British cars. Members of the British Car Club of Southwest Florida were fortunate to secure over 30 spots in the show, and 27 BCCSWF club members’ cars were part of the actual show.
Accolades go to Club Activities Coordinator Gary Dworkin for organizing the registrations. Also, hats off to Dennis Labbe, who coordinated the tough job of corralling drivers and their vehicles at 6:45 a.m. and then proceeding in a caravan to Fifth Avenue.
While over 600 cars and drivers participated in this year’s event, Cars on Fifth consistently draws spectators numbering in the tens of thousands. An eyeball estimate of this year’s show revealed over 40,000 people attended.
As the day closed and drivers began thinking of starting their engines, club member Peter Sales found himself contacted by the event organizers. Peter tells us he had no idea trophies were given out at this event. Nevertheless, he was excited when a small team from the sponsoring Ferrari club appeared next to his 1962 Jaguar 3.8 Mk2 and awarded Peter’s gorgeous vehicle Best in Show. Needless to say, the British Car Club of Southwest Florida was well represented at this outstanding event!
FORT MYERS, Fla. — What do you have by combining Irish dancers, bagpipes and men dressed in kilts in a sunny riverfront park? Oh! It must be the 14th Annual Caloosahatchee Celtic Festival in Fort Myers, held on January 28th!
Of course, a great Celtic Festival is even more complete with a British car show, and there’s where the British Car Club of Southwest Florida stepped up its game. Over 30 shiny examples of classic British cars gathered and from Fort Myers’ Centennial Park paraded to the riverfront. Triumphs, MGs, Jaguars and even a Mini Moke were parked along the break wall of the Caloosahatchee River, and the vehicles’ presence added spice to the Celtic festivities.
Of course, awards were distributed. Larry and Bunny Gleeson’s 2003 Jaguar XK8 was recognized in the After 1979 Class. Peter and Pam Sales’ gorgeous 1962 Jaguar Mark II also won its division.
Recalling that the 2016 Celtic Festival was cancelled due to nasty weather, everyone was pleased that in 2017 the Florida January weather cooperated with a nice, sunny, 70° day. And timing is everything. The very next day the temperature dropped to the mid-40s!
Club members are already looking forward to returning to the 2018 Celtic Festival. —Rollie Welch
FORT MYERS, Fla., Feb. 14 — The monthly meeting of the BCCSWF was held at the usual location, Famous Dave’s in Fort Myers, with 37 members attending. Four guests were introduced: Larry and Marsha McCartt, owners of a 1981 Rolls-Royce and a 1980 Austin Mini Cooper, and Bill and Cindy Wood, owners of a 1973 MGB. Bill informed the group that he has had a “whole bunch of British cars” including a Bugeye Sprite.
In Lauren Welch’s absence, Rollie Welch summarized the Treasurer’s report. Membership now stands at 63 with many more memberships yet to be renewed. On a sad note, it was noted that recent new club member Barry Swartz passed away on February 4th. Barry had proudly displayed his black Jaguar XKR at the Celtic Festival a week before his death.
Rollie mentioned e-mail threads about recommended oil for British engines along with chrome-plating shops. The copy-and-paste task of e-mail is a bit of a pain, but does allow direct communication on interesting topics with members. Cal Calvert graciously donated small MG pins (for hats or lapels) to any club member who wanted them. Lionel Hill was noticed trying to find one that resembled his MGA.
Rollie also mentioned that the club always welcomes any articles and photographs to be presented to British Marque.
Webmaster Gary Eidson stated that several vendors have approached him asking to display their products on our webpage. The club feels that is not the purpose of the webpage rather, it is in place to disseminate club information to our members. Bill Newman said he did not want the club to morph into a for-profit organization. Gary also mentioned that he would like someone who is computer-savvy to help out and possibly take over the Webmaster duties. This person would work closely with British Marque.
In new business, Bill Newman recapped the list of upcoming events, especially the B.I.G. (British, Italian, German) car show coming up on March 5th. Sponsored by the Southwest Florida Triumph Club and organized by Dennis McKinley, this show draws a wide range of interesting vehicles. At this time 45 cars are registered, many by BCCSWF club members.
There was much discussion about the casual rally organized by Rob Frost, which will happen on Sunday, March 26th. The rally has to be limited to 12 vehicles due to the neighborhood around the roads. Folks don’t want a fleet of British cars zooming by for hours.
Jackie Hill outlined the details of the Annual Club Picnic that will be held Sunday, March 19th. Specific details and directions will be put out to club members via email in the near future.
Bill Newman mentioned that if club members are having trouble finding 13- or 14-inch tires for their British cars, he recommends www.onlinetires.com. Through that website Federal tires can be found for around $40.
Cy Ling mentioned that August 11-13 is an event called “Roverfest” in the UK honoring the Rover V8 engine. Cy is concerned that steps need to be taken to preserve the heritage of British cars as European governments are placing driving restrictions on older cars built before 1977.
Gary Eidson and Bill Newman mentioned that SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) has taken steps in California to confront automobile restrictions for older cars. Bill and Gary suggested contacting SEMA if there’s concern about harsh vehicle laws being implemented.
Peter Sales recapped the Cars on Fifth event that happened February 11th (see accompanying article). Of the 34 cars registered for the BCCSWF, 27 of them showed up, which was a solid representation. Peter then wowed the group by displaying his Best in Show trophy for his 1962 Jaguar Mark 2. That was a big thrill for Peter. and members expressed great admiration to him.
Bill mentioned the upcoming SCCA vintage racing at Sebring, which recently had a German vehicle emphasis. Bill told us about a Jaguar E-type that had two spark plugs per cylinder, making the engine look like an electronic nightmare — but it was still very slow. Bill shook his head about a Bugeye Sprite that ran into a wall and was all but destroyed.
Tom Brewsaugh told a wild story about what happened as he was flagging Turn 7, where a Jag was racing a Porsche. The Jag broke late and ran into the door of the other car. Turns out the two drivers were father and son! They were most concerned about how they would tell the wife/mother about the damage!
Mary Newman won the 50-50 raffle of $51.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday, March 14th. Check the BCCSWF.com site for more information. —Rollie Welch
A nice story was posted on the website www.news-press.com about BCCSWF member Peter Sales and his Austin-Healey 100M. Here is the link...