BCCSWF at the Peace River show
After seven months of planning and preparation, 130 vintage, classic, exotic and sports cars arrived at the Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Gardens in Punta Gorda on January 15th.
These cars had applied for an invitation to participate in the car show there and were selected to represent their specific model. The Show Committee would only allow one car per model and tried to get as many different characteristic models of each brand as possible to show the development of the manufacturer’s design over time.
As a result, the 50 brands represented from seven countries featured all different cars. The most complete model history came together with the line-up of Chevrolet Corvettes, where cars from all eight series were invited.
But not only decades of car model development were presented. There was a one-off Lotus prototype brought by BCCSWF member Peter Blackford, as well as other extremely rare cars.
Some special-built vehicles completed the exhibition. A 1967 VW Beetle took the highest production crown and won in the Volkswagen class.
While the cars invited from the U.S. brands would have made up the largest group by country, some no-shows moved this record to the cars from the U.K.
The oldest car was a 1909 Buick 16, which won the hearts of the audience for the People’s Choice Best in Show. It may have helped that the owners, Randy and Marge Hall, were dressed in period-correct clothes.
The exotic and sports cars from the 2010s made it the strongest-represented decade, followed by cars from the 1960s, ’70s and ’50s.
Over 500 people came to see the cars in the Gardens, which made it the largest one-day event at this venue.
BCCSWF members brought 43 cars, including eight non-British, and won 28 of the 78 trophies — including the Overall Best in Show, which went to the 1962 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II DHC by H. J. Mulliner presented by Peter Bokos.
Another British car, not from the BCCSWF, caught the eye of the President of the Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Gardens. Without knowing what the owner went through to bring a small 1960 Triumph Herald Coupe on its own wheels from Atlanta to Punta Gorda, he selected this cute little car for the President’s Cup.
Overall, it was a great show, and one which will become an annual event. —HS
Herrmann’s Lipizzaner Stallions in Myakka City
On January 28th, three Austin-Healeys, a supercharged MGB, two BMWs and a Camaro (where the driver wore an Austin-Healey jacket) — most of whom BCCSWF members — assembled at the 7/11 on Kings Hwy. in Port Charlotte, close to the I-75 exit. From there we drove north and northwest on some slightly curved roads to Myakka City and Herrmann’s Lipizzaner.
(And no — I have not started a four-legged horsepower business. They use Herrmann, with a double “r,” as their last name.)
Once there, we were welcomed and pointed towards the premium display parking. They offered a group discount for the show, as well as hot coffee, donuts and other small food.
The show was very different from their Vienna counterpart, but very well explained and presented. We learned a lot about this special horse breed and the circumstances that brought them to Florida.
Afterwards, most of us drove back to Punta Gorda for lunch at the Celtic Ray, where we enjoyed Irish food and drinks.
With this event, our club showed that we do so many things that we even have competing events on the same day! Another group of BCCSWF members met for breakfast in South Fort Myers (see report below). Since both events had good participation, I guess this is a good problem to have. Our members can choose the kind of events they prefer. —HS
Haney’s Breakfast Run
While some diehard roadster drivers faced the cold and drove to Myakka City on January 28th to see some horses, a larger group went to Haney’s Café in South Fort Myers for breakfast and to look at the British cars in the parking lot.
A total of 28 club members and guests gathered at Haney’s Cafe for breakfast, and six British cars were admired in the parking lot before and after.
During the event, John Orr discussed a number of upcoming car shows and events. —IM
BCCSWF at “Cars on 5th” in Naples
February 4th was another very cold morning in Florida but 21 British cars got together to drive as a group to Naples’ 5th Avenue, where Southwest Florida’s most prestigious annual car show once more hosted lots of supercars as well as some classic automobiles.
The line of British cars caught much attention from the very large audience.
As happens every year, the organizers inspect the cars and hand out a Best in Show to the most deserving car in its category. BCCSWF member Alex Manzo won the Best in Show/British Car award for his 1959 Triumph TR3A. —CC
BCCSWF takes the ice with the Everblades
Large parts of the U.S. experience winter weather, with icy roads creating challenges for the drivers. While we don’t miss the ice under the tires of our British cars, a group of 20 BCCSWF members went to watch a game played on ice — the hockey game at the Hertz Arena in Estero, Fla., on February 8th.
Our local team, the Florida Everblades, beat the visiting Jacksonville Icemen in the third period, with just 27 seconds left in the game. It definitely finished the game with much excitement, and proved once again it’s not over, until it’s over! Club member Mark Shlien made all the arrangements on our behalf with the group ticket office. Thank you, Mark!
Though the event wasn’t car-related, our group enjoyed the evening out. —JB
FORT MYERS, Fla. — On December 17th, 56 members and guests gathered to celebrate the season. Due to Hurricane Ian, a last-minute change of venue was required. Thanks to the quick actions of President Hermann Schaller, the Party gathered at Hideaway Country Club for good cheer and a fun end to the year!
The evening included a “Best Decorated British Car” contest. It was won by Stephen Emmerman, who decorated his 1999 Rolls-Royce Seraph for Hanukkah and Christmas.
Outgoing officers were recognized for their most recent positions of service in the club — Cecil Carter, the outgoing Vice President and Larry McCartt, outgoing Treasurer. Both have been exceptional club members and stewards of British car heritage for many years.
The Party was completed by a white elephant gift exchange. Items ranged from car stuff to wine to humorous.
We wish everyone a Happy New Year!
NAPLES, Fla. — On the third Sunday of every month the Porsche Paradise Region Gruppe Naples organizes “Cars and Coffee 239,” a community event not limited to Porsches. All makes are welcome. BCCSWF member Peter Blackford arranged for our club to get invited as the featured club for their November 20th event.
That meant for some of us to get up very early and drive the up to 65 miles to the southern end of our territory. Arriving there shortly after 7 a.m., we saw the Porsche club members already busy preparing the Mercato shopping mall’s streets for the attack of the car enthusiasts. Several hundreds of interesting cars participate every month and bring a lot of life to the area.
The BCCSWF placed nine cars from eight brands at the highly desirable “VIP Circle.” In alphabetical order by car brand and year, they were Jim and Vicki Grant’s 2009 Aston Martin DB9 Volante Jay Huffaker’s 1961 Austin-Healey 3000 MkI Frank and Chris Palulis’ 1966 Austin-Healey BJ8 Barb and Neil Henry’s 1999 Bentley Arnage Bob and Mia Simpson’s 1966 Jaguar E-type roadster Dennis Labbe’s 1971 Lotus Elan Sprint Chris and Mary Jane Cosden’s 1957 MGA Peter Bokos’ 1962 Rolls-Royce Drophead Coupe (Peter is not a BCCSWF member... yet) and Jan Lindberg’s 1970 Triumph TR6 PI.
Despite the unusual wet weather for Florida’s dry season (no sunshine in the Sunshine State!) many people showed interest in the British cars and ignored the Lamborghini and Ferrari driving by. Over 20 British cars showed up.
As we were so busy telling people about our cars, we had brunch afterwards. Again, Peter Blackford came through, having arranged a separate room for 16 of us at Seasons 52, where we enjoyed good food and talked cars for most of the time, before taking the long drive home in partly rainy conditions.
None of our members experienced any technical problems. While it may not have been very comfortable driving in a less-than-water-tight car, our cars demonstrated that they can run in these very British conditions. —Hermann Schaller
After a hurricane-related delay, the British Car Club of Southwest Florida finally visited the Naples Botanical Gardens on December 3rd. Dan Tiedge organized the guided tour for 16 BCCSWF members, who met him at the entrance between 10 and 10:30 a.m.
Our group was expected by the Gardens staff. The tour guide distributed earphones, which enabled us to fully understand his information, no matter if we were hanging a little back or wandered off the guided path to see more of the beautiful plants.
We were amazed that a wicker structure we saw survived the outer bands of Hurricane Ian, as well as the sculptures placed in the Mexican part of the park for the month of November.
After the tour we had lunch at the Gardens’ Café and visited the obligatory gift shop. From there some members drove over to Bill Longley’s car condo to spend time looking at his car collection and automotive memorabilia. His neighbors in the storage complex opened their doors and revealed even more interesting cars. It was the perfect finish to a car club’s social event. —Hermann Schaller
President Hermann Schaller called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. with 37 attendees.
Membership — Eighty-nine accounts were reported with 171 members. Renewals and recruitment continue. Information will be posted to the BCCSWF web page. We had one potential member attending the meeting.
Treasurer — The Treasurer’s report was presented. Dues and party fees were discussed.
November 20 — British Invasion at Mercato (Naples, Fla.), part of a Porsche club monthly event. In November, BCCSWF was the featured club. Twenty member vehicles attended. Sixteen members and guests attended a brunch immediately after at Seasons 52.
December 3 — The club visited the Naples Botanical Garden. Dan Tiedge coordinated an enjoyable event for 16 attendees.
December 10 — Ed O’Neal organized a lunch run to the Gator Shack in Babcock Ranch. Ten cars participated.
Upcoming events (as of the meeting date)
December 17 — Holiday Party, Hideaway Country Club, Fort Myers.
January 10, 2023 — Monthly member meeting, Olive Garden, Fort Myers.
January 15 — Invitational International Classic, Exotic & Sports Car Show, Peace River Botanical Gardens, Punta Gorda.
January 28 — BCCSWF Breakfast, Haney’s Cafe, Fort Myers.
February 4 — Cars on 5th, Naples.
February 5 — Everblades hockey game, Estero.
John Baum was elected as Vice President for a two-year term and Vinnie DiPaola was elected as Treasurer for a two-year term.
We created “Member at Large” positions to support the elected Board: Cecil Carter as Member at Large, Dan Tiedge as Board Point Member for the South, and John Orr as Board Point Member for Car Shows.
Board meetings will be held bimonthly and are open to any member.
Calendars featuring club member vehicles are available for sale. The price is $20. Name tags are also available for purchase.
We discussed vehicles for sale or trade and the Gold Coast British Sports Car Club cruise to the Bahamas.
The meeting adjourned at 7:14 p.m. —Isabel Mack
Three weeks after surging floodwaters covered Naples’ famous 5th Avenue, members of the British Car Club of Southwest Florida came to a social meeting at Brambles English Tea Room, parking their cars in the cleaned-up spots along this fashion-and-entertainment street.
The High Tea event was planned before the hurricane and became the first gathering after so much devastation occurred in the three counties that make up the territory of the BCCSWF.
But what is High Tea?
In the 1600s in Britain, the drinking of tea not only became a social event for the upper classes, it altered the time and manner in which they took tea. Afternoon Tea became the bridge between meals because many would not eat their evening meal until, maybe, 8 p.m. As such, Afternoon Tea became a “mini meal” in itself.
This was all well and good for the upper classes, but the working classes ran to a different schedule and a different budget. Tea was still quite expensive at the time and the working classes could not afford to waste it on anything other than necessities. Thus, in the industrial areas of the U.K. (northern England and southern Scotland), the working classes’ evening meal evolved into the English High Tea, which usually involved a mug of tea, bread, vegetables, cheese and occasionally meat. Variations on High Tea could include the addition of pies, potatoes and crackers.
So, while Afternoon Tea was largely a social event for their upper class counterparts, High Tea was a necessary meal in the 18th and 19th centuries. This traditional High Tea still exists for some parts of the north and Scotland.
A possible explanation why this type of meal was called High Tea is the fact that it was eaten at a table. In comparison, Afternoon Tea was taken whilst seating in low, comfortable chairs or sofas. Of course, soon after, the upper classes developed their own variation and also called it High Tea. It was a meal that could be eaten when their servants were away or not available, as it was so easy to prepare. The upper class High Tea involved the amalgamation of Afternoon Tea and the workers’ High Tea, with the addition of pigeon, veal, salmon and fruit.
It is important to add that the Afternoon Tea menu served in the U.K. today is often referred to as High Tea in many other parts of the world. Because of this some hotels, such as The Ritz in London, use the term “High Tea in London” to advertise their Afternoon Tea because a large proportion of their customers are from overseas.
All this introduction is needed, because while the BCCSWF called it the High Tea event, Brambles calls it Afternoon Tea. They served finger sandwiches (Brambles’ chicken salad, English egg salad, cucumber with dill and parsley cream cheese, and honey spiral ham) traditional English scones with golden raisins served with clotted cream and strawberry preserves assorted tea pastries and, of course, several pots of tea.
Due to the aftermath of the hurricane several BCCSWF members could not make it to the event. Still, 16 members and one guest filled two long tables in the Tea Room.
Our organizer of the event, Mark Shlien, had encouraged the participants to dress up for the occasion. A variety of hats were displayed. Our VP, Cecil Carter, exhibited a Jaguar E-type bow tie, while yours truly featured a Panama hat bought just 10 days earlier in Ecuador. Together with a black tie over a black shirt and some sunglasses, your President could have been mistaken for a member of the Mafia. Of course, it would not be Florida without somebody (not to be named) coming in shorts to the High (Society) Tea.
As advertised, the Board members present got together to select the person who responded most lavishly to the call for dressing up and rewarded her with a free Afternoon Tea. This honor fell on Jacqui Engel.
“High Tea” or “Afternoon Tea,” this was a great way to show that a hurricane can’t break the spirit of the BCCSWF.
The meeting was called to order at 6:30 by President Hermann Schaller.
As of November 8th, there were 93 paid membership accounts with 179 voting members.
October 19 — High Tea at Brambles Tea Room in Naples (see accompanying article).
Upcoming events (as of the meeting date)
November 20 — British Car Invasion, 9 to 11 a.m., Mercato Cars & Coffee, Mercato Shopping & Dining Complex, 9132 Strada Pl., Ste. 1110, Naples, Fla.
December 13 — Membership meeting. Dinner at 5:30 p.m., business part at 6:30.
December 3 — Naples Botanical Garden Tour, 4820 Bayshore Dr., Naples, 10 a.m.
December 17 — Christmas Holiday Party, 5:30 p.m., Hideaway Country Club, 5670 Tradewinds Dr., Fort Myers. Additional information by separate e-mails.
January 10, 2023 — Membership meeting. Dinner at 5:30 p.m., business part at 6:30.
January 15 — Car & Art Invitational International Classic, Exotic & Sports Car Show, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Gardens, 5800 Riverside Dr., Punta Gorda, Fla.
January 27 — Everblades Hockey Game, 7 p.m., Estero Hertz Arena.
Possible meeting locations were discussed to manage larger participation. Beside a call for candidates for Vice President and Treasurer, the creation of the position “Member at Large” was announced, with Cecil Carter being the first to fill it starting January 2023.
For sale are a 1977 MGB for $3,000, contact Larry McCartt, a 1954 Lagonda DB 3 Litre Drophead Coupe, contact Hermann Schaller, and a 1995 Jaguar XJS V12 for $8,500, contact Bill Longley, (404) 307-2076.
Meeting adjourned at 7:43 p.m.