Intimidating members a year in advance into serving on committees, hectoring vendors to become sponsors, hustling favors for goody bags, laboriously stuffing goody bags with stuff some people will immediately toss in the trash can, going through old equipment, dusting it off, and checking to see if the sound equipment will still squawk, lining up the portajohns, printing posters and categories placards, arranging for trophies, then showing up before sunrise to lay out the field while operating on just one cup of coffee, rigging tents, hammering in stakes, preparing registration packets, and on and on and on.
Why would any sane person who isn’t an indentured servant volunteer for such an onerous and exhausting series of chores?
Because, despite the late printing and still squawky sound system, growing fatigue and growling stomachs, Saturday arrives. It arrives in the garb of a gorgeous April in Florida morning with chamber-of-commerce perfect weather, a delightful breeze and just a touch of dry, crisp snap in the air. Someone has brought donuts and coffee to sooth the inner beast—and the first car arrives. The driver of a beautiful maroon MG pulls onto the site, insanely proud of his car and ready to show it to the world. He smiles broadly as he pulls his car forward out of the line of waiting cars, and everything is suddenly worth it. Another glorious Brits on the Bay Car Show begins.
And what a day. Not only did hurricane-prone Pensacola deliver up delicious weather, but sponsors were generous in their support, club members showed up in masse to help with arrangements, the McGuire’s double-decker bus had a new coat of paint, the smell of good gumbo permeated the air, and we had the largest turnout of cars in our history.
And what an array of cars. We had the usual gorgeous display of Jaguars, MG’s, Triumphs, Austin Healeys, Morgans, and Sunbeams, as well as some less-often-seen cars, like a Morris Minor Traveler, a pair of Daimlers, an antique racing MG, and several Lotuses, both new and vintage.
Your loyal correspondent, diligently positioning cars for picture taking in front of the McGuire’s’ double-decker with all the grace of a Nureyev, was bedazzled by the beauty of the passing cornucopia of cars and not a little eaten-with envy at the good fortune of their owners. He also watched with keen interest as Bobby-in-training Bill Weeks directed traffic and cautioned over-zealous enthusiasts (all in fun).
Winners abounded, with the Best Of Show going to Larry and Maureen McCain, with their afore-mentioned 1960 Morris Minor Traveler, while People’s Choice went to PBCA President Bob Manske (see what I mean? Is there any justice in the world?) and his wife, Risa, who brought their 1955 MG TF, perhaps the most original around.
Mike Darby’s 1967 Jaguar 240 won the Moulton Properties Award, while Charles and Perky Long won the Longest Distance Award, with a trip from New Orleans to Pensacola via Key West. Wow!
A new and welcome prize, the Rolling Sculpture Award was developed and present by Bill Silhan to Rich Huber in a stunning white and blue Austin-Healey 3000.
(Your loyal correspondent’s Triumph TR 6, shining like a jewel in the translucent sunshine, failed to win any prize at all. Clearly, corruption has risen in our ranks even to the level of denying the worthiest among us of their just deserts. Ah, the way of the world.)
A full listing of winners in all categories, and it is lengthy, can be found by going to www.pbca1.com.
All things considered, it was a glorious day when everything meshed beautifully, with people enjoying both the weather and the beautiful cars right up to closing time, when many participants retired to McGuires’ Irish Pub for a libation, good food, and hearty companionship.
It was worth all the sweat and toil necessary to put on such a sterling event and if you couldn’t be with us in 2011, circle your calendar for 2012. Look for a repeat performance.
|Pic 1-XKE's bow gracefully to the crowd.|
|Pic 2-Bobby Bill Weeks directs traffic.|
|Pic 3-The McGuire's Double Decker serves as a backdrop for all participants' pictures.|
|Pic 4 Bill Silhan and Mike Darby struggle with reluctant Morgan.|
|Pic 5 Beautiful Sprites require loving attention.|
|Pic 6 A full array of MG's.|
Recently, PBCA took a leading role in the Euro Show, held at the Naval Museum on Pensacola Naval Air Station, where a bright array of Porsches, Renaults, and Alfa-Romeos joined Blighty-built cars for one of the most interesting shows of the season. This May 7 event was a treat for all lucky enough to attend.
PBCA also joined cars of all nations at the May 14 Pensacola Car Show, held in downtown Pensacola. There was a car to suit all tastes at this very well attended event.
The May 16 monthly meeting of PBCA was held, with the business meeting followed by Henry Hensel’s presentation, “Life in the Jaguar Racing Pit,” which captured everyone’s interest.