A Sigh of Relief
by Richard Lewis
By the time you read this, the 2018 Panhandle British Car Club’s “Brits on the Bay” show will be a matter of remarkable history — and what a show it was, with an extraordinary array of spectacular cars from around the US, some of which were so extraordinary that you would have traded that upside-down-airplane air mail stamp your family been hording since 1920, which is worth only a million, for one of them.
Next month will see a full review of the show, since all the facts are not yet in, and you will be dazzled.
While you are waiting to be dazzled, many members of PBCA are lying supine, whimpering and panting softly, so glad that it is over, despite all the fun they had and the satisfaction they now feel for having done another show that deserves the laurel crown.
However, some are muttering softly to no one in particular, “Never again! I just can’t do it again, never again, I say!” But they will soon recover after a few drafts of an elixir, the recipe for which is a deeply guarded secret known only to a few, such as a mysterious scientist named Budweiser, who is reported to live in a cave guarded day and night by two venomous pixies named Ginger and Mitzy who work continuously to trap interlopers.
Those of you who have put on a big car show know exactly how they feel. They will soon be on their feet, grinning and ready to saddle up for the 2019 Brits on the Bay show, which will, rest assured, shine.
Most of us go to a few shows each year, and even leave with a trophy occasionally, in which we can take great pride. Even Your Loyal Correspondent (YLC) has done so, but not with such frequency that it would tax any trophy companies’ inventory, and the trophies are well on the lower scale of prestige. However, lots of PBCA members like to go to lots of car shows and they take with them some beautiful and beautifully maintained cars, many of a signature marque. We have several who search diligently for these shows, attending and often walking away with numerous trophies.
Tim and Liz Maynard are the proud owners of a simply lovely 1962 MGA, one of the most sensuous cars ever designed, and they have done quite well in the trophy business (see photos). The rusted but intact car took several years to achieve its present beautiful state, and it has racked up a prestigious record of wins. Congratulations to them both.
Another on that list is Taber Tompkins, who takes his beautiful 2007 Caterham 7-SV to numerous shows and almost always drives away with a shiny memento in a range of categories. Queries reveal how well he has done with this car in just recent years. He has won seven 1sts, three 2nds, two 3rds, and five “Top Import,” “Top 20”, etc., awards, for a total of 17. Quite a record.
Certainly the champ trophy magnet is Tom Schmitz, who has over about 25 years attended far more car shows than he can remember, or even count, and has aggregated over 350 trophies — an amazing number — since 1989. His champion winner is his 1955 MG TF 1500, a stunning car that has earned about 125 trophies, most of them in the 1st place category. His other cars have shone in every category, with more 1sts than he can count. What a record! Good work, Tom.
There are many other PBCA members who have done extremely well in the trophy area, too, including Franz Bachman, Bill Silhan, Keith Sanders and Bob Manske, just to name a few. All can take pride in having done so, not so much for aggregating statuary, but for having such tenacity, maintenance skills, endurance, and love of the sport that they excel. They all deserve kudos.
What else is going on?
Recent past events include:
March 23-24 — The New Orleans car show drew two PBCA members, Taber Tompkins and Bill Silhan, both of whom brought home 1st place in their categories.
March 30 — Fancy Friday on the Town at Bonefish. About 16 spiffy diners enjoyed the good food and fine atmosphere at Bonefish. This event remains one of the events many members enjoy.
Upcoming events are:
May 2 — Breakfast at the Grand. All are welcome for good food and unscripted conversations.
May 12 — Panhandle Cruisers Show at 5 Flags Speedway, details via e-mail.
May 16 — PBCA Executive Board meeting at the Grand to continue to plan the club’s activities.
May 19 — Pensacola Historical Tour, details via e-mail.
May 21 — PBCA monthly meeting at Sonny’s on Navy Boulevard, 7 p.m.
Until next time: “Will there be a next time?” The eternal existential question.
Liz and Tim Maynard’s MGA before restoration. Ugly, ain’t it? But what did it become?
Much better, right?
Liz and Tim’s trophy wall.
Taber Tompkins in his 2007 Caterham 7-SV, a beauty.
Taber’s trophy wall. How ’bout them apples?
Another gala night on the town — our March dinner at Bonefish in Pensacola. Photo by Mike Japp