Silverhill Show to Shine
by Richard Lewis
This is the best advice you will get today—Mark your calendar for the Silverhill, Alabama Car Show, scheduled for May 26. Located in the charming town of Silverhill, this show, sponsored by Mardi Gras MG and Panhandle British Car Association, has been, and promises again to be, one of the best events of the season. With judging in the British class, it has evoked enthusiasm from club members from not only Alabama and nearby Florida, but draws folks willing to drive considerable distances in order to be part of a very well organized and enjoyable event. You want to be part of this one. A full listing of upcoming events is listed below, but first, a bit about what has been happening.
You’ll also want to mark your calendar for the May 20 Seaside, Florida, Road Trip and Lunch, starting at Pensacola Beach and continuing to Seaside, all driving along the Gulf, with lunch to follow. Details below.
Panhandle British Car Club has been an ant bed of activity as your loyal correspondent labored over his battered 1946 Underwood, trying mightily to capture the spirit of both enthusiasm and panic that always dominates any event of this magnitude. Members scurried about on every imaginable task, from finding enough tents to fine-tuning the audio system, to rounding up just one more sponsor, to… well, you know, on and on, ad infinitum, ad nauseum. Of course, the event that caused a major spike in local Tums sales was the April 20-21“Brits on the Bay” event, sponsored by PBCA every year for the last two decades, and especially important this year, as it marked the twentieth anniversary that PBCA has hosted one of the stellar events of the automotive season on the Gulf Coast. By the time you read this, you will be congratulating yourself for your wisdom as one of the cognoscenti for your having attended this wonderful bay-front extravaganza, or weeping profusely into your beer for having failed to seize the day and show up for what has for years in car circles been the talked-about event of the year. Beginning on Friday, the day started with the guided and unguided tours of Downtown Pensacola, next a trip to the fabled Naval Museum on Pensacola Naval Air Station grounds, then on to a tour of historic Fort Barrancas, and continued with a tour of Henry Hensel’s eclectic collection of not only cars but all kinds of Americana. It then segued into the renowned Beans and Rice party in the evening at the Days Inn Resort on Pensacola Beach. That full day was followed by a Saturday packed with an array of great British cars, a swap meet, great food, and the rocking “Not Quite Fab” wailings of talented ersatz Beatles. The day promised, and was, as fabulous as were the authentic Beatles. Congratulations for having attended or condolences for your misfortune and better luck next year.
March 23-24- The Mustang Show at the Pensacola Fairgrounds was a great success despite the best efforts of the weather to kill us with a torrential downpour and windstorm that caused a temporary closing of the show on Friday as we waited for the rain and wind to abate sufficiently enough for us to again venture out of doors. While your loyal correspondent waited for an opportunity to set up the PBCA presence at the show, he toured the beautiful Mustangs housed in one of the Fairs display buildings-and what a treat that was! Mustangs dating from the birth of the marque to the latest iteration were on display, causing only those with naulgahyde hearts not to weep over lost opportunities. “Back then, I could have bought that car for…..” was a constant regret that came to mind over and over. The purchase of a raffle ticket for a gorgeous, 1967 ground up restoration, which the lovely hawker of ticket assured him was sure to be a winner, was the best he could do. Additional displays of Falcons, Pontiacs, Chargers, and others, with a sprinkling of European cars, as well as a car corral for those for sale, added to the show’s appeal. Several PBCA members were wise enough to show up, including Rich and Darla Willows in their AH 100 6, Joe Hajcak, driving his 53 MGTD, Midge and Curt Derby, also driving a 53 MGTD, Richard Lewis in a 91 Jaguar XJS, and Joe Stevens on his motorcycle, as his car was suffering from a bad cold. Congratulation to Lamar Seaver and all his friends for a job well done.
That same March 24 Saturday was the date for the New Orleans Car Show, sponsored by Mardi Gras MG, which always draws a number of loyal PBCA veterans. Several members drove down on Friday for the Welcoming Party, which was splendid, according to all reports. The next day’s show saw PBCA members covered with glory, as Mike Japp walked away with a 3rd for his 77 Spitfire, Keith Sanders a 2nd for his 68 MGC, and Tom and Jeannie Schmidt, with a 11 Mini Clubman, Bob and Risa Manske, with their MGTF, and Bill and Melissa Silhan, with their 60 AC Ace, all garnered a 1st. Bill and Melissa’s Ace also gained the big prize, the People’s Choice award. A good day for everyone.
The meeting of the PBCA, Monday, April 16 was devoted mainly to getting ready for the April 20-21“Brits on the Bay” gala, with bag stuffings, admonitions from show chair Tom Schmitz, and the assignment of last-minute tasks to all present. This was of course a vital meeting and most members were in attendance, helping make the event the success it has always been.
Recognizing the indefatigable nature of PBCA members, that next week after “Brits on the Bay”, Sunday, April 29, was the date of the Progressive Dinner, which began at the Tom and Lisa Potca home, then on to the Betty and Richard Lewis digs, next on to Risa and Bob Manske’s estate, and ended at the home of Keith Sanders. Fatigue is not in the PBCA dictionary.
Saturday, May 5 was the 2121 All-European Car Meet, held on the grounds of the Naval Museum at the Pensacola Naval Air Station, with registration beginning at 8:00 a. m. The $5.00 registration helped support kids camps and other activities devoted to children. Attendees had not only have a great opportunity to look at wonderful examples of Fiats, Audis, Volvos, Mercedes, Trabants, Jaguars, Ferraris, and Porches, to name a few, but could also go inside for a little cool air as well as one of the best displays of naval aircraft in the nation. It was a show that begged, nay, commanded your attention.
The Sunday, May 20 Seaside, Florida, Road Trip and Lunch, beginning at Pensacola Beach, will invite members to drive their LBC’s on the Gulf shore route to the planned community of Seaside, and end with a lunch at a location still to be chosen. Tours like this one have always been a favorite for club members, and this one promises the same degree of fun. Details to follow via email.
Then it’s back to work and merriment at the Monday May 21 PBCA meeting, to begin at 6:00 p.m. at Sonny’s on Navy Boulevard. It will have been a busy, but rewarding, couple of months for all club members.
The aforementioned Silverhill, Alabama Car Show, May 26, follows, for a full month of car fun.
Even if your clutch fails, may your brakes function flawlessly until we meet again.