On January 20th, Florida Gulf Coast University held their annual car show on the main Ft. Myers campus. Five members of the BCCSWF attended this event, arriving at car lot #5 to find around 400 or more cars, trucks and exotics filling every available space, reflecting superb support for the chosen American Heart Association charity.
Unlike typical classic car shows where the average age of owners is 60 or older, it was totally refreshing to be surrounded by young guys moving around the show in great excitement admiring cars of virtually every marque, which had been heavily modified for unique looks and, in many cases, amazing engine/transmission upgrades! These transformations clearly require incredible skills, determination, hard-earned money and patience while (hopefully?) concentrating on meeting curriculum grades.
The exotics were located in a special area and wowed everyone with the frequent sound of engines being revved to moderate levels. Talking about sound — no ’60s rock-and-roll here, more current sounds with a heavy bass!
It felt good to realize that many of these guys could well be searching out and restoring these cars in 30-40 years’ time, probably to demonstrate how exciting transport was before autonomous vehicles!
A total of 20 trophies were presented, with four going to our BCCSWF group including one Best of Show (1962 Jaguar E-type Roadster).
The City of Ft. Myers, Fla., always holds the Caloosahatchee Celtic Festival on the fourth Saturday in January, with live performances of the best Celtic national and international touring artists. There are many vendors selling Irish and Scottish items, lots of good food, and of course the Guinness beer is flowing. The City invites the British Car Club of Southwest Florida each year to display our cars, and provides trophies for the best cars of each decade as voted by the Festival attendees.
On January 27th of this year our club had 22 participants with a variety of cars covering the 1950s through the 2000s. We all assembled at a spot near the Festival entrance and lined up by vehicle age. Rich Olson in his MG TD led the way into the gate about 9 a.m., but had to get out to move tables and other obstacles so that the rest of the group could get into position along the Caloosahatchee (thanks, Rich, for your efforts).
The weather was perfect for this time of year in Florida and the crowd seemed to enjoy the cars. Voting lasted until 2 p.m. and trophies were awarded on the music stage at about 2:30.
Results are as follows:
1950s and earlier: Rich Olson, 1952 MG TD.
1960s: Clayton Rizor, 1966 Jaguar XKE.
1970s: Carl Steinberg, 1970 Mini Panel Van.
1980s and later: John Welch, 2007 Jaguar XK.
I thank all of our members who attended this event and hope to see all of you again next year. —Bill Newman
FT. MYERS, Fla. — The meeting was called to order by President Bill Newman at 6:30 p.m. Guests and new members were recognized — Kurt and Kimberley Hasterman, who have a Jaguar XKR, and Rick Fitzgerald, who has a 1980 Triumph Spitfire.
Bill also recognized George Krause and displayed the article in the Grandeur magazine regarding his ’53 TR3, and acknowledged the death of past member Tom Bruno, who passed away in January.
Mary Newman gave the Secretary’s report and stated the minutes were on the website. Also she stated she will be sending e-mails about upcoming events, but club members should also look at the website and attend meetings.
Jackie Hill gave the Treasurer’s report and stated we had 73 members. Cy Ling passed around pictures from the Shell Point Car Display in which several club members participated.
Past event reports included:
January 20 — FGCU Car Show. Four members took trophies, including Al Lemesis with Best in Show.
January 27 — Celtic Festival. Good weather, and four trophies were awarded: Rich Olson, 1952 MG TD Clayton Rizor, 1966 Jaguar XKE Carl Steinberg, 1970 Mini Panel Van and John Welch, 2007 Jaguar XK.
January 27 — Jackie and Lionel Hill along with Peter and Pam Sales went to the Highlands Festival in Sarasota, Fla. Lionel and Jackie placed 2nd.
February 10 — Cars on Fifth I, Naples, Fla. Weather was good, and 30 British cars attended — and numerous Ferraris and Corvettes.
February 10 — Race in Sebring. Club members Bill Newman and Ken Taylor competed and Tom Brewsaugh worked corners and flagging.
Upcoming events (as of the meeting date) included:
February 17 — Charity Car Show, Jaycee Park, Cape Coral, Fla.
February 18 — Gold Coast Car Show, Boca Raton, Fla.
March 4 — BIG Show, Jayce Park, Cape Coral, FL.
March 31 — British Car Club Picnic moved to March 31st due to over booking at Franklin Locks Picnic Pavilion.
March 31 — Wheels Across the Pond, Jupiter, Fla.
April 7 — All-Brit Show, Winter Park, Fla.
April TBD — Cruise to Celtic Ray Pub in Punta Gorda, Fla., for lunch.
December 8 — Luncheon with the Gold Coast British Sports Car Club.
Meeting adjourned.--Mary Newman, Secretary
LAKELAND, Fla. — Saturday, October 21st, presented a dilemma for members of the British Car Club of Southwest Florida. The 31st All-British Car Show at Safety Harbor sponsored by the Tampa Bay Austin-Healey Club was scheduled on October 21st, as was the Lake Mirror Concours, which is the featured event of the Lakeland Auto Show weekend. Having two outstanding car shows scheduled for that same day forced us to make the decision which to attend. While a number of us once again attended the Safety Harbor show, a few of us entered our cars in the Lake Mirror Concours.
The Lake Mirror Concours promotes high standards in the classic automobiles it selects. A selection committee carefully reviews all applicants. Due to these high standards, additional information is requested for registration. The criteria listing informs attendees that although a former national show winner will certainly command attention, the selection committee is equally interested in original, unrestored, rare and unusual cars.
Which brings us to yours truly, Aldis and Janet Lemesis. We proudly represented the BCCSWF by entering our 1962 E-type.
A great time was had by all at the pre-show reception and on Saturday, the 21st, when the competition began. To make a long story short, our E-type was awarded a runner-up in Foreign Division Group 1, which covers cars produced up to 1972.
Club member Gary Dworkin also entered his 1953 XK120 Jaguar but ended up just short in the judging. Club member John Dent also attended the event.
[Congratulations to Aldis and Janet for their strong showing at the nationally-known Lake Mirror event!]
A new year of enjoying our British cars is upon us. I want to thank our outgoing officers, VP Gary Dworkin, Secretary Rollie Welch, and Treasurer Lauren Welch. All served above and beyond my requirements during the past year of my Presidency. I will continue to serve as President this year with the help of VP Ken Taylor, Secretary Mary Newman, and Treasurer Jackie Hill.
By the time you read this issue our members will have participated in car shows at Shell Point Village, Florida Gulf Coast University and the Ft. Myers Celtic Festival. During February and March, the club will be participants in the Naples “Cars on Fifth” Show, Vintage Racing at Sebring, a Poker Run, the British, Italian and German Show put on by the Triumph Club, and our Annual Picnic on March 24th. We hope to have articles on these events in upcoming issues of the Marque.
I am looking to our membership to chair some luncheon/breakfast runs throughout the coming months, as well as any other events that may be of interest. Please join us at our meetings and bring up your ideas.--Bill Newman
FT. MYERS, Fla., Jan. 9 — President Bill Newman called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. Bill introduced guest Joan Maupin, who had brought pictures of her Morgan that she has for sale. He also introduced Herman Schuller, who spoke about the various British cars he had along with the Lagonda that he currently has.
Rollie Welch gave a report on the Shellpoint Retirement Community car display that we participated in on January 6th. We had a good group that attended and the residents were happy to see the cars and were very interested about the various marques.
Mary Newman, the new Secretary, gave a report on the Christmas Party that was held on December 12th at the Hilton Garden Inn in Ft. Myers. Everyone seemed to enjoy the British-themed party and the Christmas crackers. Jackie and Lionel Hill were given the Outstanding Achievement Award and Lauren and Rollie Welch were recognized for their service as club officers.
Jackie Hill, the new Treasurer, gave a report on the membership and the need to pay your dues to continue receiving British Marque. She also stated that members need to send their changes of address to the Marque in order to make sure that they can get the paper to the correct address.
Bill announced birthdays for December and January, and the members that were present received a special treat.
Bill discussed upcoming events, including a rally with the Alfa Club and an upcoming car show at Florida Gulf Coast University on January 20th. The British Car Club also participates in the Celtic Festival in Ft. Myers on January 27th, which we have for a number of years.
Other upcoming events included:
February 10 — Vintage and Regional SCCA Races on the Long Course, Sebring, Fla.
February 13 — Regular club meeting, Famous Dave’s, Ft. Myers, Fla.
February 18 — Gold Coast British Sports Car Club All-British Classic at Boca Raton, Fla.
March 4 — Triumphs of Southwest Florida’s B.I.G. Show, Jaycee Park, Cape Coral, Fla.
March 13 — Regular club meeting, Famous Dave’s, Ft. Myers, Fla.
March 24 – Annual Club Picnic, Franklin Locks Park, 11 a.m.
A 50/50 raffle was held, and the meeting adjourned at 7:30 p.m. --Mary Newman, Secretary
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