FT. MYERS, Fla. — To start the 2019 holiday season, the British Car Club of Southwest Florida held its annual Christmas Party on Tuesday, December 10th. The venue for the party was the tastefully decorated Crown Plaza Hotel in Ft. Myers.
Forty-seven club members and guests enjoyed an evening of fine dining, entertainment and games. Dinner was preceded with inspiring words from Cynthia Mahoney, followed by our traditional opening of the Christmas crackers. Lorena Vargas, a local recording artist, serenaded the club members with beautiful renditions of several popular Christmas carols throughout the evening. Awards and gifts were the order of the evening.
The award for outstanding participation went to Larry and Marcia McCartt, who amassed the most club participation points during the year. Outgoing Secretary Mary Newman was presented with a special gift in appreciation of her continuous commitment and dedication to the club. Mary Jane Cogsden was the winner of the special President’s two-drink drawing.
All club members received gifts through the drawings. The club Spirit Award, which is presented annually at this event, was overlooked by President Cecil. Perhaps his brain became foggy as the evening wore on. This award would be presented instead at the January 2020 meeting.
Club officers for 2020 were presented. Serving are Cecil Carter, President Ken Taylor, Vice President Tom Brewsaugh, Treasurer and, Isabel Munoz, Secretary.
A special thanks was given to the organizers of the party: Cynthia Mahoney, Marcia McCartt, and Isabel Munoz. The annual Christmas party was a perfect culminating activity for 2019.
ARCADIA, Fla. — Remembrance Day is observed every year on the nearest Sunday of the anniversary of the end of World War I, November 11, 1918. Britons worldwide dedicate this day to the remembrance of their war dead. This year members of the BCCSWF were invited by members of the Royal Air Force temporarily stationed in Jacksonville, Fla., and the British American Club of Englewood, Fla., to participate in the observance.
November 10th was a perfect day to motor to the Oak Ridge Cemetery in Arcadia. One might recognize that this is the site of the club’s annual pilgrimage on Memorial Day to pay tribute to the twenty-three British pilots who died while training during World War II. These pilots were again given their proper recognition.
Twelve club members caravanned to Arcadia in six beautiful and well-prepared British cars. There were no incidents or love bugs to damper enthusiasm. The cars were prominently displayed at the site and well-received by those in attendance.
The impressive ceremony was led by RAF members. The ceremony included several readings, an Act of Remembrance, and the laying of wreaths and roll call. A bugler played “Reveille” and the participants sang “Amazing Grace” with the accompaniment of a bagpiper. After the program, club members stayed around for a few minutes to interact with other guests and to show off the British cars.
Of course, no road trip is complete without a meal. The venue of choice was the Celtic Ray in Punta Gorda, where we enjoyed a satisfying lunch in an authentic Irish pub setting.
The drive home was uneventful, which was gratifying. The first signs of fall in Southwest Florida brought a significant event and perfect driving weather. —Cecil Carter
The meeting was called to order by Cecil Carter at 6:30 p.m. New member Mark Eger was present. He is the owner of a 1953 MG TD. Also present were Jim Wagner, who has 1960 Bugeye, and Ed McMann, who has an MGA 1600 and a TR4A.
Secretary Mary Newman reported that meeting minutes were on the website and in British Marque. She also stated the club is always looking for members to write articles for the Marque.
Treasurer Tom Brewsaugh then gave his report.
The Saturday breakfast at Muscle City Car Museum had 12 people in attendance.
Twelve members also attended the “Welcome Back Pool Party” hosted by Larry and Marcia McCartt and all had a good time. We thank them for hosting the party at their home.
Bill Newman reported on the Safety Harbor show hosted by the Tampa Bay Austin-Healey Club on October 26th. There were about 215 cars in attendance, including Cy Ling and his Jaguar XJS, Dennis McKinley and his TR7, and Chris and Mary Jane Cosden and their MG TD. Aldis Lemesis and his 1962 Jaguar XKE won 2nd place, and Bill and Mary Newman won 2nd place with their 1972 Mini Clubman.
Twelve members attended the Remembrance Service in Arcadia for the fallen British pilots in the Pine Ridge Cemetery in Arcadia. The ceremony was hosted by the Royal Air Force. There was also a flyover by vintage aircraft.
Bill and Mary Newman attended the 60th Mini anniversary celebration in Wytheville, Va. There were over 200 Minis in attendance, and the Newmans’ 1972 Clubman performed very well. The event was put on by Classic Minis United. It was staged over several days and included many spirited runs on roads that were very twisty and mountainous.
Future events (as of the meeting date) included:
November 16 — Luncheon Run with the Gold Coast British Sports Car Club to Joanie’s Blue Crab Café in Ochopee, Fla.
December 10 — BCCSWF Christmas Party at the Crown Plaza, Ft. Myers.
January 20 — Punta Gorda car show.
Cecil opened the floor for nominations for officers for 2020. They were Cecil Carter, President Ken Taylor, Vice President Tom Brewsaugh, Treasurer and Isabel Munoz, Secretary. A motion was made by Mary Newman to accept the slate of officers and seconded by Hermann Schaller. The motion carried.
The meeting then adjourned. —Mary Newman
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