Panhandle British Car Association: October 2016 Newsletter

PBCA masthead from British Marque




October 2016

President: Taber Tompkins,
Contributing Editor: Richard Lewis, email: bettyrichardlewis (at)

I told you so

by Richard Lewis

Would it be unkind, forward, and even gauche, for Your Loyal Correspondent (YLC) to indulge in just a little bit of “I told you so”?

The event to which he so gleefully refers was already the subject of the October 2015 Marque article in which YLC recounted, in calm, measured, and reasoned language, the debacle fellow PBCA member and friend, Bob Manske, engaged in when he purchased, from a recently widowed lady, a 1960 TR3A that had not moved from its resting spot in her garage for only she knows how many years.

Said TR3 appeared to be mainly structurally sound, with decent paint, fair interior, and an engine that hadn’t seen ignition in at least 15 years, maybe more. Still, it was, all in all, a car that showed promise, and, with a minimum of effort, could be a driver — a reliable car one could enjoy taking out for a jaunt, or to a club event, or even to a car show if one’s expectations were not too high.

To invest a minimum and receive a maximum of driving pleasure from an iconic car would indeed be a pleasure. That was the goal. That is the ambition to which Mr. Manske purported to aspire.

That is not how it unfolded. So is revealed a sordid story.

As reported earlier, after getting the car running, at least after a fashion, further careful examination revealed that certain required and necessary repairs were forthcoming — some expected, some surprising, such as those administered to carburetors, transmission, brakes and master cylinder, wiring, radiator, clutch, starter, alternator, the obvious and necessary replacement of fluids and tires, and countless other small parts and fittings. Now one had a car that could be driven, could be enjoyed. Admittedly not perfect, but serviceable.

But that is not where it stopped. Somewhere along the journey, ambition reared its ugly head. Now not only is the camel’s nose under the tent, but the whole bloomin’ camel is inside the tent. In for a penny, in for a pound.

Suddenly, what was required was near perfection. Where this desire arose from is a mystery, wrapped in a conundrum, enfolded in an enigma.

Since last reported, the TR has received even more ministrations. Where, at this point you might ask, went the original intentions of having a drivable dream? When did “drivable dream” transmogrify into “trailer queen”? Consider the additional ministrations that followed to this “drivable dream.” They include (bear with me, the list is long) a new wiring harness, starter, alternator, electronic ignition, a complete repainting, and new leather seats and door panels. But, as they say on television, wait, there’s more. A new aluminum gas tank and radiator (with an electric fan), windshield, heater core, and newly refurbished gauges, new rocker panels and other body repairs, countless bits and pieces and — well, you get the picture.

Remember how this started. Remember how it ended. But, before you join YLC in hurling jibes and insults, perhaps we all need to pause and reflect for a moment.

True, this is not how it started out. But where does it say a fellow can’t come up with a better idea along the way? It is undoubtedly true that the cost has increased — perhaps, some might say, even spiraled out of control (and best kept secret from one’s significant other. After all, there’s a limit to candor), but what is the end product?

While it is painful to admit, one must acknowledge that it is an investment in an iconic marque that, by all reports, is dramatically increasing in value. Even if that increase in worth is not the intended end game, it is also true that Bob will end up with a car that is solidly reliable, likely vastly superior in its performance and durability even to the original TR3.

And, by doing much of the work himself, or under the assistance and supervision of knowledgeable friends, he has learned so much more about this car, and all similar cars, than he could have done almost any other way. That has immeasurable value.

As much as it pains YLC to say it, Bob has made a good decision. He will have years of satisfaction from how this car looks and how it performs. Good for him.

Now let’s talk about what’s been going on and what’s planned.

Recent events

August 20 — Florida Public Archaeology Network. A large group of about 25 members showed up for a visit to the Archaeology Network in Pensacola. Florida is one of the few states to have a public archaeology facility in all six regions of Florida, whose task it is to conduct and share the archaeological history of each of those regions. Staff gave us a tour of the facilities and answered the many questions from the crowd. Our visit concluded with a visit to the nearby Fish House, a Pensacola institution, for a great lunch.

September 3 — Hadji Temple Car Show. Sponsored by the Shriners, all proceeds go towards their charitable work. All marques invited, there were awards for the Imports Class, with John Grossi with his A-H Tribute car winning a 1st and Tabor Tompkins with his Caterham Tribute winning a 3rd. Other PBCA members showed up driving other marques, with Jack and Jerry Rowles driving their Mustang, as was Tom Matsoukas. Joe Stevens showed up in a fine Model T. Fred Veenschoten brought his Morgan three-wheeler for display only. It was a fun show for a good cause!

September 6 — Breakfast at the Grand (and Show Committee to follow) saw a good turnout of diners who enjoyed the food and company, and the Show Committee continued with plans for the upcoming 25th anniversary “Brits on the Bay.”

September 10 — Emerald Coast Car Show, Mullet Festival Park, Niceville, Fla. This multi-marque show always has a good turnout of great cars. September 15-18 — Dillard, Ga., Southeast British Car Fest. This is a favorite for many PBCA members and is held in a beautiful city. Lots of fun and big crowds. September 17 — “Brits on the Bluff” Show in Natchez, Miss. This is a great, if small, show held in a beautiful city.

September 19 — PBCA monthly meeting, Sonny’s BBQ, Navy Boulevard, 7 p.m. Business, program and prizes.

September 24 — Dog Days Rally. Held to benefit the Pensacola Humane Society, its starting point, this event always draws a good crowd. Participants bring food for pets or make a contribution, and enjoy a good rally and lunch after.

September 30 — Fancy Friday on the Town. Location and details are provided via e-mail.

Upcoming events

October 1 — Derail Diner Rally and lunch. Details via e-mail.

October 1 — Euro Fest in Ridgeland, Miss. Details via e-mail.

October 4 — Breakfast at the Grand and Show Committee meeting, 10 a.m.

October 12 — PBCA Executive Board meeting at the Grand, 11 a.m.

October 15 — Montgomery, Ala., British Car Show. Details via e-mail.

October 17 — PBCA monthly meeting at Sonny’s, 7 p.m.

October 21-22 — SABCC Car Show. Welcome party and show. Details via e-mail.

October 29 — Movie Under the Stars. Details via e-mail.

October 29 — Lillian, Ala., Halloween Costume Party and Car Show. Details via e-mail.