SAFETY HARBOR, Fla., Oct. 20 — It was a lovely, warm morning for traveling to Safety Harbor for the 31st Annual All-British Field Meet & Autojumble organized by the Tampa Bay Austin-Healey Club. (The actual show would be held the following day on the 21st.)
The first leg of the journey required driving north from Ft. Myers on busy I-75 in a caravan of British cars. Several ex-members of the BCCSWF now live in the Sarasota, which meant a quick stop to rendezvous with them.
None of the vehicles experienced car problems, and we arrived in plenty of time to book into our various hotels. We all joined up for the Meet & Greet, held this year at the Paradise Restaurant on Main Street in Safety Harbor. Each year for the show, Main Street gets blocked on Friday and Saturday for vendor booths on Friday and the entire show on Saturday.
After eating our fill and meeting other club members we strolled up and down the vendors perusing all the goodies for sale until we decided it was time to get back to the hotel and have a good night’s sleep.
Last year we had a disaster when we unknowingly parked our MGA near a ground-level water sprinkler. When the water came on overnight, our poor MGA looked as though it had the measles! Learning from our mistake, this year we left our car at our hotel, parked in a safe spot away from those evil lawn sprinklers. We didn’t want to repeat the nearly two hours of hard work to remove those hard water spots.
The next morning began with a decent breakfast and we proceeded back to Main Street, which was already filling up with early-arriving British cars. By 10 a.m. all cars were in their allotted spaces and many spectators were straining their necks to check out the beautiful vehicles on display.
There were quite a few marques represented, highlighted by a large selection of Austin-Healey, MGA and MGB, Triumph, Jaguar and Mini vehicles. For once my husband Lionel and I agreed on our favorite, which was a fabulous claret red Triumph 1800 complete with dicky seat. What a super car.
The featured marque this year was the Land Rover, which was well represented with all ages of vehicles. Unfortunately, there was only one British motorbike on display, a Vincent Rapide. Hopefully word will get out to other British bike owners for next year’s show.
Throughout the day a fundraiser 50/50 raffle was held for the Special Olympics of Florida. At the award ceremony it was announced that the sum of $1,000 was to be donated to the fund. Well done, TBAHC, for raising that great amount and for once more putting on an excellent, well-organized show!
Six present members and one ex-member of BCCSWF participated in the event, with five cars taking awards. A pretty good percentage I would say!
They were Dennis McKinley, 1st place, Preservation Award, Triumph TR7 Lionel Hill, 1st place, MGA Bill and Mary Newman, 1st place, MINI New Generation John Liversedge, 3rd place, British Modified, MGB and Bruce Skaggs, ex-BCCSWF, 2nd place, Triumph TR7.
FT. MYERS, Fla., Nov. 14 — The November meeting of the BCCSWF was held at the usual location, Famous Dave’s in Ft. Myers, with 43 members attending.
Club President Bill Newman called the meeting to order at the earlier time of 6:30 p.m., following dinner. Bill made a point to welcome back many snowbirds who have returned to Southwest Florida for the winter months. A new guest was introduced who has recently upgraded from an S-type Jaguar to an XKR, which is one of 125 units of that type.
Rollie Welch again mentioned that the club always welcomes any articles to be presented to British Marque. Rollie also stated that the club minutes appear in British Marque each month.
There was a reminder about the display car show scheduled for Shell Point on Saturday, January 6, 2018. An e-mail roster of the cars and owners who agreed to take part in the display will soon be sent out to members.
The club received notice that our last-Saturday-of-the-month breakfast destination has re-opened after hurricane damage. Thus, there would be a breakfast gathering on Saturday, November 25th, at Mimi’s Café.
Mary Newman mentioned that plans for the annual Christmas/Holiday Party are going well. Club members were encouraged to sign up before November 22nd. There will be door prizes and “other little things going on” at the event. The cash bar will be open at 6 p.m. with dinner starting at 7 p.m. Members may combine payment of 2018 dues and Christmas Party registration.
As Webmaster, Mary also reinforced the need for photos if a member is selling a car or just wants to display a British vehicle. Cars for sale should include basic information such as price, contact info, style and make, year of car, etc.
Lauren Welch presented the Treasurer’s report. Following the Treasurer’s report, the group sang “Happy Birthday” to three members who have birthdays in November: Bill Newman, Jim Woodall and Cecil Carter.
Kiki outlined the plan for a poker run to benefit the Cape Coral Art League. The event will be Sunday, February 25th, and should last around two hours. All vehicles are welcome, but we would like a strong British car presence with at least two people per vehicle. The cost will be $20 per car with only the first 50 cars accepted, as the end-of-run restaurant can only hold 100 people. The poker hand will be seven to a hand with an eighth wild card to break ties. The cost will be $5 per poker hand. The event will be offered to several car clubs and T-shirts plus door prizes along with a 50-50 raffle will be included. More details will be forthcoming.
Bill mentioned several upcoming events: the car show at FGCU on Sunday, January 21st the Caloosahatchee Celtic Festival, Saturday, January 27th Cars on Fifth, Saturday, February 10th the car show at Cape Coral Jaycee Park, Sunday, February 18th Triumphs of Southwest Florida’s B.I.G. (British, Italian, German) Show, Sunday, March 4th the BCCSWF Club Picnic in March on the long course at Sebring, details to be announced and vintage racing in February, dates to be announced.
Changes in the club by-laws were outlined by Bill Newman. Two major changes were the elimination of the Activities Coordinator position along with a system for writing checks via the Treasurer. A motion was made to accept the changes and was seconded.
Club officers for 2018 are Bill Newman, President Kenny Taylor, Vice President Mary Newman, Secretary and Jackie Hill, Treasurer.
Racing update -- On October 14th, Kenny Taylor and Bill Newman raced at Sebring with Kenny taking a 1st in the first race and then Bill besting Kenny in the second. The weather then turned poor, which ended the racing. Bill described a serious wreck between a Lotus Elan and a BMW, which broke the doors off the Elan. The driver broke a few ribs and suffered a concussion but was back racing at Daytona soon after the accident.
Tom Brewsaugh talked about his corner work at the Daytona race for SCCA where six classes rotated time on the track for 24 hours. Tom mentioned there were Porsches, BMWs, Corvettes, Jaguars and many other types of cars, from the 1950s to the present. Again there was a serious accident, where a Nissan went over the top of an Aston Martin on the first turn. Thus, the last race was a three-lap affair.
Car show recaps -- John Dent talked about the fabulous Lakeland Auto Show and Lake Mirror Concours on October 21st, where between 500 and 600 cars were presented. Club member Gary Dworkin represented BCCSWF with his Jaguar named Winston.
Peter Sales attended the Jaguar 32nd Concours d’Elegance at St. Armand’s Circle in Sarasota on October 14th. Peter was impressed with the over 50 vintage cars on display in this great venue.
Jackie Hill and Bill Newman mentioned the club’s representation at the Safety Harbor show sponsored by the Tampa Bay Austin-Healey Club on October 21st. Jackie wrote a full-length article about the show to be included in the December British Marque (see accompanying article). Jackie and her husband Lionel were awarded a 1st place in the MGA class for their blue MGA named Spiffy.
John Welch took part in the Autoberfest at Naples on November 5th. Although many cars were there, only three of them were British.
Peter Sales won the 50/50 raffle of $51. There will not be a December meeting but instead the Christmas/Holiday Party will be held on December 12th. The next club meeting at Famous Dave’s will be on Tuesday, January 9th. --Rollie Welch
FT. MYERS, Fla., Oct. 10 — The October meeting of the BCCSWF was held at the usual location of Famous Dave’s in Ft. Myers, with 27 members attending. This was the first post-Hurricane Irma meeting and everyone seemed to have fared well following the storm.
Club President Bill Newman called the meeting to order at the earlier time of 6:30, following dinner.
Rollie Welch again mentioned that the club always welcomes any articles to be presented to the British Marque. Rollie also stated that the club minutes are submitted to the British Marque each month. Rollie recognized Peter Sales for sending “mystery photos” of vintage British cars as he visited car shows throughout England during the summer. Club members had great fun guessing the marque from the cropped photos. Among the mystery cars were a 1934 Lagonda Rapier and a 1933 Riley.
The Treasurer’s report was presented by Lauren Welch, who mentioned that the club membership now stands at an even 100. Following the Treasurer’s report, the group sang “Happy Birthday” to six members who have birthdays in either September or October: John Welch, Lauren Welch, Louise Krause, Barbara Liversedge, Ken Oehler, and Steve Ruppert.
Car shows are popping up now that the hot summer is waning. Several members were planning to make the trek to Safety Harbor for the British car show sponsored by the Tampa Bay Austin-Healey Club. The show would be Saturday, October 21st, but members were planning to make a weekend of it.
Club members were reminded about the need for attention when registration opens for “Cars on Fifth.” The BCCSWF is allotted a limited number of spots and they fill up quickly. Club members will be notified of a Cars on Fifth website password, and that password must be typed in to begin the registration process. Again, it fills up fast, so be alert! The registration will begin in mid-November. The date of the Cars on Fifth show will be Saturday, February 10, 2018.
Bill Newman spoke about the need for updating the club’s by-laws. The by-laws will be distributed to members via e-mail and open for discussion at the November meeting, which will be held on November 14th.
Lauren Welch spoke to the point that the club should vote on single expenses over $500. It seems a hack came through our President’s e-mail via the website asking the Treasurer to write a check for $1,700. Lauren, in her wisdom, did not act upon the rude request.
Bill and Mary Newman outlined plans for the Christmas/Holiday Party to be held at the Hilton Garden Inn on Tuesday night, December 12th. The cost will be $35 a ticket or $70 per couple. The cut-off date for reservations is November 22nd.
The club is seeking officers for year 2018. Bill asked Cecil Carter and Rollie Welch to take part on a nominating committee. Of course, volunteers for Secretary and Vice President are welcome. Tom Shaw has volunteered to be next year’s Treasurer. Bill would like members to step up and volunteer as organizers of different events such as a road rally, a tech session or a picnic. Speaking of the picnic, Lionel Hill has begged off being the grill cook and asked for anyone to take over the duties of hot dog and hamburger cooking.
Finally, George Krause mentioned that his son has written a book that is currently available to purchase on Amazon. The author is G. William Krause and the title is The Illustrated History of Triumph Sports and Racing Cars. The book was published on September 8, 2017, and sells for around $21.
Barbara Liversedge won the 50-50 raffle of $32. The next meeting will be on Tuesday, November 14th. —Rollie Welch
This summer while in England, I attended quite a few British car shows and thought it would be of interest to experience a bit of how car shows are presented in Great Britain.
The most recent event was called the Rye Summer Fair and held in the picturesque village of Micklesham. There were around 180 cars of all marques on display, but also folks were treated to many events including dog shows with obedience testing, a gun dog display, a contest for the best “amusing match of dogs’ looks to owner”, a falconry exhibit, an amateur horse gymkhana, a fox hunt group and all sorts of specialist stalls, a Pimm’s tent and various country style bric-a-brac outlets. All money collected from entry fees were passed on to worthy local charities.
Rye is two miles away from Micklesham and a “must see” historic town located on the south coast of East Sussex, with cobbled streets and many original medieval buildings including a 12th century church and the world famous Mermaid Inn built in 1420. Known as a Cinque Port, Rye and the surrounding area was prepared with heavy defense measures in the 14th century to protect Britain from invasion and strengthened in 1801 in preparations to fight Napoleon.
My wife Pam and I enjoyed the day with a typical English picnic, especially as we were able to spend time with ex-BCCSWF member Ted Fleet, who attended with his 1955 MG TF 1500, which he bought in Florida during one of his visits a few years back.
When I decided to send my Le Mans Austin-Healey back to England in 2016, one of the reasons was that I longed to drive the back roads around the county of Sussex, where we live during summer months. The first summer was blighted with various problems with the Healey, however, and finally I replaced the gas tank and fuel line and had the carburetors totally rebuilt, plus did a few other maintenance actions. I’m pleased to report the car now seems to be quite reliable and running great!
We’ve attended several local car shows this year and met some very nice car guys who introduced me to a variety of events. This resulted in joining a group who get together as “the Austin A35 Club.” Various marques are represented and we all meet at a pre-arranged spot. Once there we’re given a route guidance sheet and off we drive.
Not being totally familiar with the area and traveling solo (my wife Pam couldn’t be on this particular joyride), I chose to fall behind a Ford twin-cam Cortina. It turned out this driver, along with his wife, was expert in the art of route navigation. For a few miles we joined the main A22 Eastbourne-to-London road before turning off into what are called B roads. In reality these are often merely a step up from ancient horse-and-cart tracks. They’re just about wide enough to take a current-model car with surfaces that, while originally smooth blacktop, are now a patchwork of finishes with an abundance of medium depth potholes. Twisting and turning of the steering wheel is needed to avoid the worst hazards, and our suspensions systems and seat designs certainly receive a workout!
The route was actually a lot of fun although I did ground my exhaust once and it was clear all drivers dreaded the possibility of cars coming in the opposite direction. Yet there were no major incidents, although on two occasions we had to rely on the courtesy of truck drivers who pulled over into field hedges to allow our classic car caravan to pass!
As can be seen from the photos the weather was very pleasant. In fact it was a little too warm, which sent the Healey temperature north of 180°F for most of the drive. At one point the Cortina suddenly pulled up and after quick map reading took a right, letting the main group proceed in the wrong direction!
Our destination turned out to be a lovely country pub where, by taking the correct route, we were the first cars to arrive. Drivers and passengers relaxed with a cool (if not cold) drink and awaited the main group, who arrived shortly after us safe and sound. We all ordered typical pub grub to enjoy before heading out in different directions and making our way home.
All in all the route covered about 50 miles and featured a very enjoyable group of classic enthusiasts — a classic British drive along classic country roads, thus resulting in an authentic classic British car day!
FORT MYERS, Fla., Aug. 8 — The August meeting of the BCCSWF took place at the usual location, Famous Dave’s in Fort Myers, with 27 members braving the oppressive evening heat.
As voted on during the July meeting, the starting time was 6:30 p.m., moved up from the prior 7 p.m. time. With President Bill Newman on vacation, Activities Coordinator Gary Dworkin conducted the meeting. Two new members/guests were introduced to the club: Dane Green, who owns a 1980 MGB that is in “so-so shape,” and Glenn Green, who owns a 2003 Jaguar S-type that is “keeping him busy.”
Kenny Taylor informed the group of the generous event sponsored by the SCCA at Sebring on Saturday and Sunday, September 2-3 (Labor Day weekend). It will be “British Car Club Weekend,” and club members are invited to drive on the track during lunch hour in a controlled lap behind a pace car. All members have to do is drive their car to Sebring and mention at the gate they are with the BCCSWF. It was a fun event last year for several members who braved the rainy weather.
Lauren Welch recapped the Treasurer’s report and mentioned that we now have 99 members in the BCCSWF. Rollie Welch once again mentioned that articles for British Marque are welcome and encouraged members to write about any topic of British car interest.
The mystery car photos submitted by Peter Sales while spending his summer in England were mentioned, and club members agreed how much fun it is to see photos of extremely rare British cars.
Rollie mentioned that the roster for the Shell Point display of members’ cars set for January 6, 2018 is up to 20 cars and 38 members.
In the area of old business, Gary Dworkin reminded members of the October 21st Safety Harbor show, which is the premier British car show in Southwest Florida. Other car shows coming up are the 32nd Concours d’Elegance at St. Armand’s Circle in Sarasota, Fla., on October 14th, and the car show at the Vanderbilt Shoppes in Naples, Fla., sponsored by the Rotary Club on November 5th. More information will follow.
Club members sang a rousing chorus of “Happy Birthday” to Kenny Taylor and Isabel Munoz.
Gary Dworkin offered his resignation as Vice President and Activities Coordinator, effective immediately. Gary has found retirement to be quite busy, and his volunteer commitments will take him out of the country for extended lengths of time. Thanks to Gary for all his organizational efforts for the club, especially corralling members and their cars for the huge “Cars on Fifth” show.
Tom Shaw won the 50-50 raffle of $31.
The next meeting will be at Famous Dave’s on Tuesday, September 12th. --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...http://www.news-press.com/story/life/style/grandeur/2015/01/03/1956-austin-healey-is-a-traffic-stopper/20430547/