Panhandle British Car Association: March 2010 Newsletter

PBCA masthead from British Marque




March 2010

Contributing Editor: Tom Schmitz
President: Tom Keyser

Panhandle British Car Association Hosts “Slow Race Rally”

By Richard Lewis

Overcast skies with the prospect of rain, a stiff wind, and a quick drop in temperature threatened to cancel the first “Slow Race Rally” organized by PBCA on January 23, 2010. However, the eight entries soldiered on for what, with clearing skies, became a successful and pleasurable event.

Rules for the event were simple: Each car had a driver and navigator, and the maximum speed, which could be traveled, was 45 mph. All speed limits had to be obeyed, and any violations of either rule were monitored and reported to the judges by the navigator. Each violation added one minute to the drivers overall time, and winners were decided on the basis of time over ground, plus violations.

It is a testament to the honesty of wives, which in every case served as navigators, that all except one driver had violations reported to the judges.

The twenty-two mile course, over country roads, was distinctive for its twisty roads and multiple changes in speed limits, with the rural Chumukla area adding its own distinctive beauty to the event.

Participants in the event included President Tom and Mary Keyser in their Mini Cooper S, Marion and Don Warneke in their SUV, while their MGA rested at home, Curt and Midge Derby in their yellow MGTD, Bob and Risa Manske in their MGTF 1500, Jeannie and Tom Schmitz in their MGB GT, Bob and Margaret Henson in their Jaguar XJS, Rich and Darla Willows, driving a remarkable Chevy pickup, which substituted for an ailing Austin Healey 100-6, and Dianne and Gordon Levi, driving a Jaguar XJ8.

Judges and event hosts Mickey McNair and Richard Lewis were adamant in declaring all decisions of the judges as final, declaring, “There is no crying in sports car racing.”

Despite Tom and Jeannie Schmitz’s breakdown of the MGB GT and Rick and Darla Willows’ rescue, which kept both cars from finishing, feelings were high as Gordon and Dianne Levi came in first, Tom and Mary Keyser second, and Bob and Risa Manske third. Bob and Margaret Henson were awarded fourth place for managing to enjoy the scenery of the drive for the longest period of time after missing a critical turn onto a misnamed road. Several others missed that turn but caught the error within a few hundred yards and backtracked to get back on course.

Following the events the participants gathered at a local restaurant for a pleasant lunch and a recap of the highlights of the rally. The Willows and Schmitz’s made it to the lunch stuffed into the cab of the pickup. Afterward they got Tom home to get his trailer to go back out to Chumuckla to retrieve the B before dark. The breakdown was caused by the hot wire on the electronic ignition being pinched and shorted between the distributor base and cap.

As a tech note, pinching the wires is an easy mistake to make when installing an electronic ignition or new points. Take care to get all the wires inside the distributor cap before latching it down. This is a good reason to carry an extra set of points that can easily be replaced roadside. It saves leaving the car on the side of a country road in the far boonies.

Participants look forward to the event being repeated, perhaps with some additional features.

Annual Road Rally to Atmore

The Annual Road Rally sponsored by the Pensacola Austin Healey Club and the Panhandle Cruisers turned out to be a nice run to Atmore , AL , February 13th. The anticipated snow on the route did not materialize and there was a good turn out on a sunny but rather cold day.

PBCA members participating were rally organizers Bill and Monnie Moseley. Rich and Darla drove their Healey 100-6, Vince and Pat Cooke had their E-Type Jag, Dale and Jan Dugan brought their Jag XJS Coupe, Tom and Mary Keyser led the PBCA group with their ’05 Mini Cooper. Two MGBs from the Mardi Gras MG Club were also there.

There are further details in Bill Moseley’s article in the Pensacola Austin Healey Club’s British Marque article.

Brits On The Bay

Our 18th Annual Pensacola British Car Show “Brits on the Bay” is April 16 and 17. The show is less than a month and a half away. If you have not done so already, it is time to get your Show Sponsors lined up and their check submitted. Details and Sponsor Forms are available on the website:

The Show site is the same as the last 3 years at the Pensacola Bay Front on the grassy, oak tree shaded park setting. There will be 26 plus classes and Valve Cover Races.

Registration Forms, Show Details, hotel information, Friday Welcome Party information, times, and maps are on the PBCA website.

Register early and save. Contact Pensacola Beach Days Inn Resort for reservations and show rates of $109 land side and $129 Gulf Front.

Phone Days Inn at 800 934-3301. Professional parking lot security both Friday and Saturday nights.

Calendar of Events:

  • March 13 – Panama City British Car Show and High and Highland Games. Friday evening they will be having a low country boil at Bob Moore's museum downtown that is open to all registrants.

    This year the show is going to be a bit different. It starts at 10:00 at Grace Presbyterian Church like always, but around 11:00 the ladies will be going for an English tea. We'll still have the cans and do the people's choice. At 1:00 we're going to start a fun rally through historic St. Andrews and Panama City that will end at the Panama City Marina. Cars will depart the grounds at 15 minute intervals. Following the rally everyone that wants will cruise to a local restaurant in Panama City for an early dinner.

    For further information contact: Ken Waringa

  • March 13 – Amelia Island Car Show.
  • March 19 – PBCA Regular Monthly Meeting. Sonny’s Bar-B-Que, Navy Blvd 6:00/7:00 pm. Third in the series of Programs. 50/50 and door prizes.
  • March 19 & 20 – 20th Annual New Orleans British Car Show. Delgado College , New Orleans. Watch for details by email.
  • March 20 - Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival Fairhope, AL We usually have a caravan going from Pensacola . Best parking at the Festival. Hosted by the Mardi Gras MG Club. Watch for details by email.
  • April 3 – Camellia Classic Car Show. Bellingrath Gardens , Theodore, AL
  • April 12 – PBCA Regular Monthly Meeting. The April Meeting is one week early to do the annual “Goody Bag” stuffing for our “Brits on the Bay” British Car Show April 16 & 17. Be sure to attend and help prepare for the show.


    PBCA Slow Rally: Richard Lewis and Mickey McNair hold drivers meeting for the Rally while Bob and Margaret a Henson and Curt Derby look on. They had to break out the heavy jackets for a rare cold but sunny day on the Gulf Coast .

    Atmore Road Rally: This is PBCA’s first sighting of Dale and Jan Dugan’s ’93 Jag XJS. Here they are arriving at the Catfish House at the end of the February 13 Rally. Dale and Jan are part time residents of Gulf Shores , AL , and PBCA members.