BRITS IN THE WET 2012
by Tom Schmitz
The 20th Annual "Brits on the Bay", April 21, 2012, has been renamed "Brits in the Wet" and for once and for all proved the fortitude and dedication of British car enthusiasts. Of the 113 cars registered for the show, 100 took the field and braved a day of rain showers and drizzle. For once the weather forecasts were correct, if not desirable, and for the first time in 20 years, the rains actually came. This show will be remembered as the Year of the Monsoon along with 2007, the last of the Pensacola Beach shows, dubbed the Year of the Sandstorm.
This year's event was kicked off on Friday with guided tours of Pensacola, the eclectic collections of Henry Hensel, the Naval Aviation Museum and Fort Barrancas. On Friday evening many PBCA members welcomed guests from all over the southeast at the annual "Red Beans and Rice" Welcome Party at the Days Inn Resort on Pensacola Beach, the host hotel for the show.
Other than the need for umbrellas and ponchos, Saturday's activities went off pretty much as planned other than the necessary cancellation of the Beatles Tribute Band performance due to the vulnerability of the equipment to wet weather. Musical entertainment was provided by the bagpipers arranged by Walt Schumann. The Joe Stephen's Swap Meet sales with assistance of Tom Matsoukas were successful, Mickey and Kay Kay T-shirts sales were close to normal, Darla Willow once again did an excellent job with the Raffle ticket sales which resulted in happy winners of great prizes donated by Jeff Olive, lighthouse wood sculpture, Rich Willows, lighthouse water color, Curt Derby, antique truck painting, Don Hambrick, PBCA grill badge and United Bank of Lillian silver necklace. John Mahone won the free Registration #1 for the 2013 Show. Therese Hennert and Melissa Pocta did a fine job with the 50/50 and sold Dick Maddux the winning 50/50 ticket. Jeff Olive and Melissa Pocta manned the Raffle booth in the afternoon.
Many PBCA members worked both before show day and during the show to make the event a success.. Many were responsible for signing up the eighty-four show sponsors which included Overall Show Sponsor, Mini of Pensacola, Best of Show and Peoples Choice Sponsor, B and M Starter and Alternator Service and all Jaguar Classes Sponsor, Jaguar of the Gulf Coast. A large "Thank You" goes to the Moulton family who provides the beautiful oak shaded site on the Pensacola bay front each year. (See the June issue of the "British Marque" for winners of the Sponsor Contest and the list of Sponsors).
Mickey Kay was responsible for starting early in the year to bring in many of the door prizes given out to attendees during the day. The T-shirt design and all the show graphics was again artfully done by Curt Derby. Keith Sanders manned the PA and music system all day. Keith and Gail were in town from their B&B lodge in Virginia to handle announcing and also provided their motorhome for registration where Jeanne Schmitz and Midge Derby handled all of the registration chores, not an easy task which they handle so very well each year.
There were many PBCA members working both before the show and during the day. A few of the notable workers were Bill Weeks who handled all of the site arrangements and preparations, greeters Al DeWeese, Rich Willows, Steve Gundrum and their greeting and parking crew getting the entrants on to the show field after they were photographed by Mike Japp and his photo crew in front of the McGuires double decker bus. Mike has all attendees photos posted at www.pbca1.com.
Many thanks for the success of the show go to the Show Committee members led by Committee Chairman Tom Schmitz. They are Bob Manske, Curt Derby, Rich Willows, Bill Weeks, Al DeWeese, Keith and Gail Sanders, Joe Stephens, Tom Pocta, Bob Henson, Mickey Kay, Richard Lewis, Ralph and Peggy Overly and Mike Japp. Among other PBCA members, not listed elsewhere, who contributed to the success were: Henry Hensel, Mitzi Maddux, Dick Maddux, Risa Manske, John Mahone, Donna Weeks, Marc Cherry, Franz Bachmann, Paul Salm, Michael Bamford, Chuck and Charlene Byrne, Richard Cunningham, Gerald Davis, Gus Fell, Lloyd and Julie Patterson. Apologies and sincere thanks to those members and family members and friends who help and are not on this list.
Best of Show Judges Mike Darby, SABCC and PBCA, Bill Gillson and Larry Norton, Peachtree MG Registery, again lent their expert assistance in picking the Best of Show winner, Bill Silhan's 1960 AC ACE and Diamond in the Rough winner, Charlie Moshell's 1967 Austin Healey. Bill's recently restored AC ACE was a highlight of the show and was bravely shown open to the elements and probably took some time to dry out after the show. Charlies Moshell's Austin Healey gained fame several years ago showing up at the show sporting a fan blade protruding through the bonnet. The fan blade is gone now and Charlie continues the provide the TLC to keep the car on the road and returning to Pensacola.
Capturing the Trophy for Peoples' Choice Award was Michael Bamford's blue 1961 Daimler SP250. Another beautifully done car that showed up dry and went home wet.
The 2nd Annual Rolling Sculpture Award, presented by Bill and Melissa Silhan, was won this year by Mike Darby's pristine 1959 MGA 1600. Mike pretty much ignored the bad weather in bringing this beautiful car as he does in frequently driving the car to many events. No trailer queen here.
Another hearty driver was Longest Distance Award winner Rik Holeman and his 1979 MG Midget.
The 21st Annual Brits on the Bay Show is already being planned for April 19 and 20, 2013. Hopefully the weather man will be more kindly but even if he isnít, true LBC lovers with be in Pensacola with their enthusiasm, resilience and good humor!
Upcoming PBCA Events:
Mark your calendars and watch for details by e-mail of the following events:
* June 6-10 - NAMGBR Annual MG Convention, Dillard, GA.
* June 18 - PBCA Monthly meeting, Sonny's Bar-B-Que, Navy Blvd, Pensacola, FL.
* June 26 - Sweet Home Farm Cheese Shop and lunch tour.
* July 16 - PBCA Monthly meeting, Sonny's Bar-B-Que, Navy Blvd, Pensacola, FL.
* July 22 - 17th Annual All-British car clubs Pig Roast, Schmitz home, Lillian, AL.