WYTHEVILLE, Va. — Classic Minis United put on the “Mini 60” event, celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Mini from Wednesday, October 9th, to Monday, the 14th.
Mary and I registered for the event in February so as not to miss out on the fun. When the time arrived to make the trip we rented a U-Haul car trailer, loaded the purple Mini and made the two-day trip to Wytheville. We arrived at our hotel early in the afternoon of October 9th, unloaded the car, and made our way to the KOA that served as the host location.
There were over 100 Minis in attendance and we met many new friends. One of the owners drove his classic Mini from Texas, another drove from Florida, blowing the head gasket and making repairs along the way.
The weather in western Virginia was perfect — low 50s in the morning going to the 70s during the day. No rain was experienced, but we had a few foggy mornings.
Thursday morning was our first cruise. We were split into three groups: a “spirited” group and two touring groups. We were in the second touring group and soon found out there was little difference in the groups. They were all fast and spirited.
The Thursday run was about 70 miles and ended for lunch at a Walmart shopping center in Wytheville. After lunch was a scavenger hunt, followed by an evening ice cream run.
Friday was a big day with a cruise of about 180 miles through Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina, and featured a run through the “Snake” in Tennessee with a lunch stop in Mountain City. After lunch we drove more twisty roads and arrived back at Wytheville about 4 p.m. We were back at the campground Friday evening for dinner with a swap meet and silent auction. Many people were dressed in ’60s attire.
Saturday’s cruise was another long one that included the “Back of the Dragon” in Virginia and many more twisty roads. I found the mountain roads to be fun. Sort of like driving a roller coaster, but after a few hundred turns they all begin to look the same. (Mary held on for dear life, saying she was definitely a “flat lander.”)
We enjoyed seeing all the Minis, which included several Mokes, a few woody Mini Travellers and other variants. Surprising to me was that there were few breakdowns. Our Mini performed great mechanically and we only experienced a few intermittent lighting issues.
Several British Car Club members attended the Car Show hosted by the Tampa Bay Austin-Healey Club on Saturday, October 26th.
The show was held on the city streets in downtown Safety Harbor. Those who attended included Ed O’Neil and his Austin-Healey 3000, Cy Ling and his Jaguar XJS, Dennis McKinley and his TR7, and Christopher Cosden and his MG TD. Bill and Mary Newman won 2nd place in class with their 1972 Mini, and Aldis Lemesis won 2nd place in class with his XKE Jaguar.
It was a good show held at a great venue. Thanks to all who helped to put it on.
Our October 8th meeting was called to order by Cecil Carter, President, at 6:30 p.m.
Recognition of guests and new members — John Fraioli, an MG enthusiast from Colorado, attended as a guest. It was his second visit. New member David Konz, an MG TD owner, was also recognized.
Minutes — September meeting minutes were made available for review and will be published in the next British Marque.
Financial report — This was presented by Tom Brewsaugh, Club Treasurer.
September 28 — Saturday Breakfast at the House of Omelets, Cape Coral, 10 attendees, outstanding food.
Future events (as of the meeting date)
October 12 — Suncoast Jaguar Club Concours, St. Armands Circle, Sarasota, Fla.
October 26 — Tampa Bay Austin-Healey Club All-British Car Show, Safety Harbor, Fla., also Jaguar Club of Southwest Florida Concours, Punta Gorda, Fla.
October 26 — BCCSWF Saturday Breakfast, Muscle Car City, Punta Gorda, Fla.
November 2 — Welcome Back BCCSWF Snowbirds Party, 1 to 5 p.m., home of members Larry and Marcia McCartt, Cape Coral, Fla.
November 16 — BCCSWF Lunch with Gold Coast British Sports Car Club, 11:30 a.m., Joanie’s Blue Crab Café, Ochopee, Fla.
November 17 — Naples Corvette Club Show.
November 30 — BCCSWF November Saturday Breakfast.
December 10 — BCCSWF Christmas Party, Crowne Plaza, Fort Myers, Fla.
January 19, 2020 — Land-Yachts Commodore Cup Classic & Sports Car Show, Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club, Port Charlotte, Fla. Entries due by December 1st.
January 25 — Fort Myers Celtic Festival, Centennial Park, Fort Myers.
February 8 — Cars on Fifth, Naples, Fla. Space limited — register early.
February 16 — Gold Coast British Sports Car Club Annual Show, Palm Beach, Fla.
March 1 — British, Italian, German (BIG) Car Show, Jaycee Park, Cape Coral, Fla. Volunteers needed.
April 11 — Wheels Across the Pond, Jupiter, Fla.
Other discussion/good of the order
Not all members are receiving the Marque. President Cecil asked if addresses were correct and will investigate.
Upcoming election of officers — President Cecil encouraged interested members to step forward for nominations. A webmaster is especially needed.
October birthday recognition — Dennis McKinley.
50/50 — Angela Sergeant was the winner and donated her winnings back to the club.
The meeting adjourned at 7:30 p.m. --Isabel Munoz
According to an old adage of management, “Proper prior planning precludes poor performance.” This is certainly true when planning a vacation that is centered on classic car activities.
Having experienced a wonderful week at Monterey 2019, I realized that much of the experience was a result of the planning that took place. Here I share my thoughts and suggestions about the process in hopes that others will benefit from my experience.
First, plan early. This is especially important for major events such as Monterey Car Week and the Pebble Beach Concours. Knowing that I would finally be able to experience Monterey in 2019 and not be constrained by the beginning of an academic year, I started out almost two years ahead of time.
Get your accommodations first. I knew the dates of the 2019 event and one of the shared rental sites allowed me to make reservations two years prior to the time we intended to be on the Monterey Peninsula. This gave me sufficient time to research extensively and to find the perfect accommodations considering type, location, and price.
Make your travel arrangements as early as possible. For us, cross-country air travel was the best option. I never have been great at finding the best airfares, so I settled for what I believed was reasonable. This meant flying out of Fort Lauderdale, on the other side of the state, to catch an early morning direct flight to San Francisco. We chose to drive over the afternoon before the flight and stay in an airport hotel at a rate that included shuttle service and parking for our car. We used the same hotel and its services upon returning.
Having a son in San Francisco has advantages. Normally I would rent an automobile for a trip of this type. Although I searched several websites and envisioned driving along 17-Mile Drive in a convertible, his no-cost Nissan Sentra was a blessing. It saved us some significant dollars. It pays, though, to explore the many options when researching car rentals and choose the one that works best for you.
Get a feel for the activities of the event or events. There are several events that occur during Monterey Car Week, culminating with the Pebble Beach Concours. Numerous resources, such as websites and magazines, are available to help one know about all that is taking place. I suggest studying present and past coverage of these events and choose those of greatest interest. If one starts planning early, there is sufficient time to do this in a relaxed atmosphere and almost become an “expert.” There will be no unpleasant surprises when the day arrives.
Make your itinerary. I used the calendars on my smartphone and iPad to do this. There were too many events for us to cover during the week. The Pebble Beach Concours and the Motorsports Reunion at Laguna Seca were non-negotiables. Other events were selectively added to the calendar based on interest. Do not overlook events that have no costs. They are plentiful and can be most enjoyable. Several events that caught my eye were attractive, but beyond the budget of a retired schoolteacher. Several fellow enthusiasts expressed similar sentiments in my conversations with them.
Finally, allow some time in the schedule to enjoy the local community and for some rest. In our case, the Monterey Peninsula had much to offer, plus I’m not as young as I used to be.
With accommodations, travel arrangements, and itinerary in place it’s time to pack! Two words come to mind: weather and appropriate. Know the climate of the area and the forecast for the period of time for the visit. There are several excellent resources available such as The Weather Channel and AccuWeather. The local newspaper can also be an excellent resource. Appropriate clothing should be governed by comfort and by the nature of the event. More on this topic in the next installment.
The meeting was called to order by President Cecil Carter at 6:30 p.m. Dave Konz was recognized as a guest. He has a 1951 MG TD.
The Treasurer, Tom Brewsaugh, gave his report.
Ken Taylor stated that the September Labor Day SCCA Race was canceled due to the pending hurricane.
President Cecil gave his report on his trip to the Monterey Historics in August. He and Isabel stayed at a central location. He attended many of the events including the Concours de Lemons and the Concours d’Elegance. In the course of his travels he saw Jay Leno and Donald Osborne from Jay’s show. Bentley was the Featured Marque at the Pebble Beach show since it was the marque’s 100th Anniversary.
A discussion ensued about the Preservation Class in car shows. Several different opinions were put forth by various members.
Marcia and Larry McCartt want to hold a Welcome Back Pool Party on November 2nd.
Future events (as of the meeting date, September 10th) were reviewed:
October 9-13 — Classic Mini United’s Mini 60 Celebration at Wytheville, Va.
October 12 — Jaguar Concours at St. Armands Circle, presented by the Suncoast Jaguar Club.
October 26-33 — Annual TBAHC All-British Field Meet & Autojumble, presented by the Tampa Bay Austin-Healey Club.
October 26 — 4th Annual Concours d’Elegance at Charlotte Harbor Event Center, Punta Gorda, presented by the Jaguar Club of Southwest Florida.
November 16 — Luncheon run with the Gold Coast British Sports Car Club to Joanie’s Blue Crab Café, Ochopee.
November 30 — “A Holiday Happening” Car Show, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Muscle Car City, 10175 Tamiami Tr., Punta Gorda.
December 10 — BCCSWF Christmas Party. More details to follow.
January 11, 2020 — Land Yachts Commodore Cup, 4400 Lister St., Port Charlotte. The show is open to American and foreign classic cars 1886-1990 and all sports cars (two-door coupes and convertibles). Contact Hermann at (941) 564-5638.
January 25 — Ft. Myers Celtic Festival. Club members will be displaying their British cars.
The next Breakfast would be held at the House of Omelets on Pine Island Road on September 28th.
Cy Ling revealed he has a lot of automobile memorabilia including a lot of magazines and brochures he has collected from his attendance at car shows for 25 years. He also has a 1967 Rover for sale.
The meeting then adjourned. —Mary Newman, Secretary
Monterey Classic Car Week has long been an item on my bucket list. Almost two years ago, with retirement in the near future, I decided to travel to Monterey at the first opportunity. So, I reserved a cottage through one of the home rental sites and started planning. Next came the airline tickets for Isabel and me, and finally the tickets for Pebble Beach.
We flew out of Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco on Friday morning, spent two days in San Francisco with our son, and after commandeering his car, drove down to Pacific Grove on Sunday. The first order of business after arriving was to drive along 17 Mile Drive. It was absolutely spectacular!
I did my homework before traveling and had almost every activity planned. Our cottage was within a half-block walk to all of the activities on Pacific Grove’s Lighthouse Avenue and a short driving distance to everything else.
The Week had so many activities for car enthusiasts it was impossible to do them all. Isabel and I started with Automobilia Monterey on Day One. There was a very good display of posters, artwork, apparel, books, and other memorabilia. Of course I had to splurge on a book and a necktie.
Tuesday marked the start of the real action. We drove to Carmel for the Carmel-by-the-Sea Concours on the Avenue. The show’s ambience reminded me very much of Naples’ Cars on Fifth, with an impressive mix of well-prepared automobiles representing multiple marques. Unlike Naples’ 5th Avenue, Carmel’s Ocean Avenue is wide with a median running down the middle. There were fewer cars at Carmel and they were not as closely parked. I took advantage of an opportunity to shake hands with Donald Osborne.
The city of Carmel added its own charm to the event however, we needed to get back to Pacific Grove in early afternoon for the Classic Motorsports Kick-off Car Show & Cruise. That show, along Lighthouse Avenue, also provided an impressive display of cars of all marques and conditions. The headquarters for the show was the local British pub that had excellent fish and chips and Boddington’s.
Wednesday’s agenda included the Little Car Show, which was also on Lighthouse Avenue. I expected to see primarily microcars, and there were a few, but there were also others such as Minis, Bugeye Sprites, and Morris Minors. I guess they too qualified as “Little.”
After viewing this excellent show, Isabel and I decided we needed a little rest and chose to forgo the other shows that day. By the way, we did spend some time along Cannery Row as tourists. My energy level, though, is not what it was.
It was back to Carmel on Thursday. We decided the best way to view the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance was in Carmel rather than at the start of the Tour or along the route. The 70-mile Tour consisted of cars that were slated to be on display on Sunday at the Concours d’Elegance. As the cars drove onto Ocean Avenue, they simply parked straight ahead along the street. The crowd then circulated among them in close proximity. No one seemed to be worried about getting a scratch on their priceless cars. I was very careful with my backpack.
We left Carmel with plans to visit the Pebble Beach Retroauto, another automobilia show, at the Inn at Spanish Bay. However, I missed a turn along 17 Mile Drive, became tired and grumpy, and decided I had already splurged enough on automobilia. We continued back to our cottage at Pacific Grove for more rest.
Laguna Seca was an absolute must on my bucket list, so Friday was set aside for the pilgrimage to the Rolex Monterey Motorsport Reunion. Our first order of business was to see the racetrack’s Corkscrew. We found a comfortable spot under the trees and watched several practice and qualifying runs from that vantage point.
It was all I expected it to be. At the beginning of one of the runs, the track announcer announced a driver from Naples, Florida. Of course that caught my attention and I cheered for him as he came through the Corkscrew in a 1964 Alfa Romeo GTZ.
Later, while passing through the garage area, I saw the Revs Institute (Naples) banner and stopped to let the crew know that some hometown fans were cheering for them. Miles Collier was “supervising” the work on the Alfa Romeo and a 1965 Ferrari 250 LM Berlinetta GT. We chatted briefly and he seemed to appreciate our stopping by.
The featured theme of the Reunion was a celebration of the 50th Anniversary of IMSA. Lunchtime also brought a unique experience. After negotiating with Isabel and our son over a place to sit, I was told to take the only seat that was left at the nearby table. Upon sitting down, I looked up and recognized IMSA drivers Ricky Taylor and Wayne Taylor sitting directly in front of me. A cordial conversation ensued after I complimented them on their accomplishments and we established that we were Florida residents. Spending the day at the Reunion, with almost 500 vintage race cars, was exhausting and rewarding.
The antithesis of the Concours d’Elegance is the Concours d’Lemons. The brainchild of Alan Galbraith, this event includes everything from “somewhat preserved” to “absolute junkers.” They all run! My Mark 2 would have been perfect for this event.
Several vehicles were outlandishly modified for special purposes, such as space exploration. Unlike Pebble Beach, most of the cars were not historically significant. One exception was the station wagon used in several episodes of The Donna Reed Show of the 1950s.
Several British marques were on display in the Concours d’Lemons. I had a long conversation with the owner of an MGB about the virtues of Marvel Mystery Oil. Perhaps the most profound lesson for the show, however, was that the Yugo is the “ultimate chick magnet.”
Sunday brought the most anticipated event of the week, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. It was all I expected and more. The Featured Marque was Bentley, in celebration of its 100th anniversary, and several well-preserved and significant Bentleys were on display. Best in Show was awarded to the 1934 Bentley 8 Litre Gurney Nutting Sports Tourer presented by The Honorable Sir Michael Kadoorie of Hong Kong. British cars ruled!
I think my biggest take-away from the event is its focus on significance, elegance, and charitable causes. Almost all of the cars featured had some well-documented historical significance. While all were in a very pre-sentable condition, not all had undergone restorations. Many were preserved and some were in “very original” condition. But they were all significant.
Not only were the cars elegant at Pebble Beach, but the spectators were as well. Promoters encouraged “polished casual attire” and a special hat for the day. My seersucker suit (no tie) and Panama hat fit the bill. Isabel was bewitching in her fancy attire and Panama hat, too. We were well prepared for car and star gazing and our picnic along the 18th fairway.
Proceeds from the event go to several charitable causes. Jay Leno and Donald Osborne encouraged 40 people to donate $3,000 each for the local Boys and Girls Club. I had to hold Isabel’s hand down to prevent her from making a pledge.
The rewards of the week at Monterey cannot be captured fully in one sitting. There is much more to tell, which I intend to do in several follow-up pieces. Suffice it to say, the Monterey Classic Car Week should be on every car enthusiast bucket list. It’s well worth it.
FT. MYERS, Fla. — The meeting was called to order by Treasurer Tom Brewsaugh due to the absence of the President and Vice President.
Three new members were recognized. Bob and Susan Engelhart and Jim Collins were present. Guests Steve and Glyva Rentz were also recognized.
The Secretary, Mary Newman, read the minutes from the July meeting. Tom gave the Treasurer’s Report.
A club breakfast was held at Mel’s Diner in Ft. Myers on July 27th. A total of six members attended. Marcia McCartt reported that the food and service were both good.
Tom reported on the July race at Sebring Raceway. Ken Taylor ran his Triumph TR7. Tom worked Turn 6. He has been a faithful worker with Sports Car Club of America and is currently the Lt. Governor for District 8 of the Central Florida Division. The next race (as of the date of this meeting) will be August 31st and the 1st of September.
Future events (as of this meeting)
October 9-13 — “Mini 60” Celebration at Wytheville, Va., presented by Classic Minis United.
October 12 — Jaguar Concours at St Armands Circle, presented by the Suncoast Jaguar Club.
October 26 — 33rd Annual TBAHC All-British Field Meet & Autojumble, presented by the Tampa Bay Austin-Healey Club.
October 26 — 4th Annual Concours d’Elegance at Charlotte Harbor Event Center, Punta Gorda, Fla., presented by the Jaguar Club of Southwest Florida.
November 16 — Luncheon run with the Gold Coast British Sports Car Club at Jo Ann’s Blue Crab Café, Ochopee, Fla.
November 30 — “A Holiday Happening” Car Show, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Muscle Car City, 10175 Tamiami Trail, Punta Gorda, Fla.
December 10 — BCCSWF Christmas Party.
January 11, 2020 — Land Yachts Commodore Cup, 4400 Lister St., Port Charlotte, Fla. The show is open to American and foreign classic cars 1886-1990 and all sports cars (two-door coupes and convertibles). Contact Hermann at (941) 564-5638.
January 25 — Ft. Myers Celtic Festival. Club members will be displaying their British cars.
Tom Brewsaugh told the club that Steve Cleveland was having a tool sale at his shop on the weekend of August 16th.
The August Club Breakfast will be at the House of Omelets in Cape Coral.
The meeting adjourned. —Mary Newman, Secretary