Panhandle British Car Association: March/April 2002 Newsletter




March/April 2002

As published in the March/April 2002 edition of the "British Marque" newspaper.
President: Ron Newman
Contributing Editor: Tom Schmitz (251)961-7171

PBCA Invitation to Pensacola Beach Show

The Panhandle British Car Association extends an invitation to the 10th Annual Pensacola Beach British Car Show April 19/20, 2002. We are expecting in excess of 100 British Cars and will be awarding trophies in approximately 21 classes and various Sprcial Awards. There will also be Briotish Valve Cover Racing. Just a few sandy feet from the beautiful waters of the Gulf of Mexico, this is a great place to spend a Spring weekend and enjoy the day with fellow LBC owners and lovers. For further information, contact Tom Schmitz, 251 961-7171, or Ron Newman, 850 492-9791,

Show Preparation Meeting

The April PBCA meeting, April 15th, at the Seafood Shanty will be the last meeting before the Pensacola Beach British Car Show, April 20th. We will finalize preparations and stuff the "Goody Bags". Please make the meeting and lend a hand. Also, be sure to have your sponsor forms and checks with you if you haven't turned them in already. The contest for sponsors is still wide open. If you have not registered you own car for the show, please get that done now or make the meeting and do so. It makes it so much easier for the parking committee to set up the field if we have a large number of the cars preregistered.

"Red Beans and Rice" Party

Make your plans to be at the "Red Beans and Rice" Welcome Party at the Pensacola Beach Best Western Friday evening, April 19th, at 6:00 pm. This is our opportunity to meet and greet and thank the show attendees who make it to the Beach each year for our Show. Be sure to get around and make these folks welcome and let them know how much we appreciate their coming. Bring whatever beverage you prefer and bring an extra six pack for our guests.

PBCA at Panama City

The annual PBCA trek to the Panama City British Car Show turned out both good and bad....mostly good! We started out from Gulf Breeze shortly after 8am with 7 LBCs plus Mike Japp bringing up the rear as sweep. It was a good thing Mike was there as he brought Bill and Monnie Moseley on to Panama City after clutch problems on Tom Schmitz's TR8, which they were driving, side lined the car at a Citgo station about 2/3rds of the way to PC. Bill was test driving the TR8 in anticipation of buying it....needless to say Tom's face was a bit red.

After a delay to sort out leaving the TR8, we got back on the road and made it the rest of the way without incident. Upon arrival we were very pleased to find 28 other British cars already there. The past 4 shows we have attended consisted of 12 to 15 cars, but with the creation last year of their new club, Bay British Cars, they got a very nice turnout of 34 cars for their first official show. We enjoyed meeting with old friends from as far away as Atlanta and kicked off the show season for PBCA quite nicely.

Making the trip for the fourth year were, Bill and Melissa Silhan, E-type coupe; Bob and Margaret Henson, E-type roadster; and Tom Schmitz, Mini Cooper S. Also, with us were Ron Newman, TR8; Jerry Hall, Lotus Elan; Keith Sanders, MGC. Bill and Monnie arrived with Mike Japp. Sylvia Newman and her sister came over separately to do some shopping and stopped by the show.

It was quite a day for Tom as he bought a 1971 MGB GT for his sister which was one of the reasons for the trip. He then had to wait until 9:15 pm for AAA to finally get a tow truck to him at the station to pick up the TR8. They were supposed to be there at 4:15 but really fouled up the pick up.

We were glad to see Gordon Stephens at Gulf Breeze before we left for the trip. Gordon has not been feeling well for some time but made it over to see us off and deliver the Pensacola Beach Show sponsor form and check for Robinson Automotive.

Fairhope Fog Out

The British Car display at the Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival was pretty well fogged out Saturday morning 3/16. It was so thick that the hood ornament was hard to see. Still, PBCA Pres, Ron Newman and Historian Sylvia Newman made it over to Fairhope to represent us with their TR8. Also there were Dieter and Inge Bruening and Ralph and Peggy Overly. After attending an all morning meeting, Tom Schmitz made it over with the XJS to spend a couple of hours in the afternoon with the group. It was a bit puzzling that the turnout so was low as the weather looked quite British.

You Never Stop Learning

by Keith Sanders, PBCA Member and AMGCR Member

I am writing this to you today from Ada, Michigan, home of University Motors and the infamous John Twist. Back at our January-02 meeting I talked up the University Motors schedule for seminars and suggested if you wanted to learn from the master of MGs, you might want to consider one of his schools. Well, I decided to take my own advice and signed up for his Restoration Seminar the weekend of Feb 23-25. Like many of you, I have done several so-called restorations over the past 20 years. I have done my share of repairs, made more than my share of mistakes, but have also had one heck of a good time working on, exhibiting, driving and talking about British cars. I decided it was high time I get an in depth view of how other people accomplished what I had been attempting. I also wanted to see if this old dog could be taught a few new tricks before the fingers and many other of my body parts lost their ability to function without a high degree of protest in the form of cramps and pain.
From Pensacola Florida it is almost 1100 miles to Grand Rapids, and that was a long hard drive to attend a three-day MG school. To help justify the trip, I sold and delivered a piece of printing equipment to a printer in northern Illinois and also had a new grandson I had not had to opportunity to meet in Waukesha, WI. So now with three good reasons and a few days time on my hands, I could think of nothing more reasonable to justify my desired activities. Oh, I almost forgot another reason. I have not seen much snow in Florida for a few years and unlike those of you from Yankee land, us southern boys still get a real charge out of seeing any of that white stuff on the ground past 8am the next morning if you catch my drift.
The school started out with introductions by all and I must admit I was a minority in the fact that I was still young enough to not be retired and had not been laid off due to down sizing or mergers. It was very interesting hearing how many of the 22 were hospital administrators, bankers, engineers, and salesmen. We also had about four in the class who owned or worked at repair or restoration shops. The first thing was safety, and we learned how to and how not to put out that occasional fire. But even more important, we learned how to prevent them. We then moved into tools required and their proper use. Many things decide the degree of restoration and that took some time to sort out. We had about 4 hours of welding, body repair and dent removal from Carl Heiderman who works in the trade. After that you know for sure you either want to do you own body work or just know when you're getting in over your head and leave it to the pros. Paints were also discussed in detail and of course everyone has their own opinion there. We looked into different metal finishes: chroming, plating, powder coatings and just paint.
Saturday morning found us busy installing a top, covering a seat and fitting a door. We broke into two teams and each did something different but you could go back and forth and watch what you were the weakest in. John's idea of a restoration is taking off one item at a time. You evaluate whether it can be cleaned and reused, needs to be rebuilt or must be replace it with a new one. You do this as you go, place your parts on order and put everything on the shelf until the car is as far apart as you are going with it. You do (or have done) your paint and body work and then assemble the new or like new items and the car is done, two or so years later for most of us.
One of the funniest parts of the whole school is participating in the 10-12 parade every morning and night necessary to make us work areas inside his shop. Sardines canners could learn a few tips from John on this subject. I couldn't begin to cover everything we did, but as you can see, we got very in depth with the restoration process and I feel assured everyone attending left with a high degree of confidence in their abilities. I'm sure John would welcome any of you who would like to attend next year's classes and it would be a good investment in time at a very nominal expense.

(Ed Note: This is second in a series of PBCA member contest articles. Look for Mike Japp and the Sprifire Experience next month and get your article in to qualify for the contest.)

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