Sparkling Like the Aurora Borealis, the Event of the Car Season Approaches
There have indeed been many extraordinary events during the few brief months of this car season—to mention some, think of the Crab Boil, the Fairhope show, the Concourse d’Elegance in far-off Amelia Island, the Bagdad St Patrick’s Day car display, , all of which were fun and enjoyed by many (more about them, and others later.)
However, the event none of you will forgive yourselves if you neglect is on the horizon. That is, of course, the Panhandle British Car Club’s “Brits on the Bay” show, coming to you very soon on Saturday, April 21, with preliminary events on Friday, the 20th.Let us run through just the highlights awaiting you. On Friday, April 20, there will be a number of activities available to those fortunate enough to be able to join us. The Show site is so close to downtown Historic Pensacola or just a short drive for those staying on the beach, that strollers can visit the art galleries, museums, restaurants and shops within easy walking distance. Rich Willows has also arranged a few structured events, such as a self-guided tour of Historic Pensacola, a driving and guided tour of historic Fort Barrancas, a guided visit to the Naval Air Museum on Pensacola Naval Air Station, the Lighthouse, and, for those attracted to not only classic cars but Americana, from old neon signs to antique barber chairs, and everything in between, a guided visit to Henry Hensel’s home/museum. Everyone who has visited simply shakes his/her head in disbelief at the vast array Henry has collected over the years. You must see this.
Saturday, the 20th, is of course the day of the Show, which will include, not only a vast array of beautiful British cars and motorcycles, but a swap meet, food, vendors, new car models displays, and, in the afternoon, the “Not Quite Fab” group, performing the music of the Beatles. Beautiful weather is guaranteed by the No Rain God, and the day promises to be dazzling.
Now, a wee bit about recent and upcoming events.
About 30 PBCA members and friends showed up at Bear Lake in Munson, Florida for the Annual Shrimp Boil, organized by Mickey and Kay Kay. Everyone brought something to add to the wonderful shrimp provide by PBCA, and after a great meal, adjourned to the sunshine to try their hand at racing radio controlled cars, arranged by Bill Weeks. Despite batteries running low (not the drivers, but the cars), Jeff Olive proved again his overall superiority by outclassing everyone.
The tale of the March 9-11 Amelia Island Concourse de Elegance is a story that would bring wine-colored tears dripping down from Mount Olympus from even the eyes of that fun-loving god of revelry, Bacchus, did he know the details. Your loyal correspondent had made multiple plans to attend, coordinating with his lovely daughter and her car-obsessed husband so that we could meet and drive down together. Alas, that low villain, the notorious flu bug, struck me just as the date approached. Did the girl I sent to Emory University at great expense, while her mother and I lived off ramen noodles, cancel her plans and rush to her sick father’s bedside, to provide comfort and succor as I lay on my bed of pain? (I think I set a new record for agony, albeit gallantly and without a whimper. At least, the judges awarded me a 9.8, a 9.5 and a perfect 10.0 in the Free-Style Abject Suffering .competition.) No, needless to say, she did not. She blithely waved “good-by”, with a cavalier “Hope you feel better” and drove away to fun and merriment.
Not only that, but my good friend and role-model, Bob Manske, (in whom I hold the highest regard) offered to pick me up the next morning, if I improved, and ride down with him. However, when fellow PBCA member Curt Derby offered to go with him, he left me behind without another thought. (OK, so I did call the next morning and told him I thought I was dead, but was that any reason to leave me alone to suffer?)
Abandoned by family and friends, I vowed to hold no grudges, but I find myself weakening.
Reports are that it was a magnificent show and, and along with Gus and Ann Fell, attendees proclaimed the weather perfect and the cars magnificent.
Maybe next year.
The March 17 Fairhope, Alabama Show, sponsored by the South Alabama British Car Club, again proved to be just what everyone has come to expect, a grand show in a lovely setting, surrounded by vendors selling art, crafts, food, and other delights. Several PBCA members, including Tom Schmitz, attended and consistently praised the show and the venue.
The March 17 Bagdad, Florida, St. Patrick’s Day Arts and Antiques Faire drew several PBCA members, including Rich and Darla Willows, in their TR 3, Curt and Midge Derby, in their now-functioning MGTD, Bob and Risa Manske , with their MGTF, and 2010 Jaguar convertible, as well as a handsome Triumph motorcycle, and daughter Theresa Hemmert, in a stunning 2008 Bentley coupe, Mike Mindley, with his handsome 1973 TR 6, and Richard Lewis, with his 1977 Triumph TR 7, 1974 TR 6, and 1991 Jaguar XJS. Surrounding these British cars were cars from the Mustang Club, the Steel-Bodied Club, the Panhandle Cruisers, and several stunning Ford Model A’s and T’s. Cars were set among the antique and arts vendors and food vendors, of which members made good use.
A wonderful show in the very near future is the Pensacola-based Gulf Coast Mustang Club Show on March 23-24, at the Pensacola Fair Grounds. Sponsored by the Mustang Club, there will be a competitive show for Mustangs only, with other marques, including Trans Ams, European cars, Mopar cars, Hot Rods,and Falcons, all displaying their beautiful cars. PBCA will also be in attendance, helping support our best friends, such as Lamar Seaver, in the Mustang Club. There will also be a Car Corral, where folks can place cars they would like to sell for all to inspect. Free admission is a special invitation to all.
Also on the March 24 date is the New Orleans British Car Show, which always attracts a number of PBCA members. This show, held on the campus of Delgado Community College,has always been a highlight of the season and is anxiously awaited by many. Go to www.bmcno.org for more details.
The April 16 PBCA meeting will be mainly devoted to last-minute preparations for the gala event, the April 20-21 “Brits on the Bay, “and will include goody bag stuffing and review of upcoming tasks. All members are asked to turn out to help.
The last event of the month is the April 28 Progressive Dinner, to be held in the Milton area. More details on that are forthcoming.
Until next time, keep your plugs and points dry.