Panhandle British Car Association: August 2023 Newsletter

PBCA masthead from British Marque




August 2023

Website editor: Mike Japp


by Paul Salm

We celebrate the honor bestowed on Franz and Monica Bachmann by the Triumph Registry of America (TRA).

Through the years, the TRA, focusing on repairing, restoring, and driving Triumphs, has presented an award for the Longest Distance Traveled in a TR to the National Meet. Those who knew him will recall that Franz drove his 1960 TR3 to the annual National Meet as well as to nearly all corners of this country, lovingly and fearlessly.

In recognition of his dedication and support to fellow TR3 owners, the TRA has renamed this award as “The Franz and Monica Bachmann Longest Distance Traveled in a TR Award”. Congratulations!

Now back to boats, etc.

So it happened, and although it didn’t go as planned, it was still an enjoyable outing and an overall success.

The PLAN: On 24 June, seven cars and 13 members met in Lillian, Alabama to caravan to Ft. Morgan, take the ferry across Mobile Bay to Dauphin Island, lunch at Pirate’s Bar and Grill, and then return via whatever route and/or attraction desired. This would possibly include a visit to the beautiful and famous Bellingrath Gardens.

I don’t need to remind anyone in this area that a backup plan is always prudent, and as the standard 30% forecast is usually the safe bet (at least for weather-guessers), the weather, having a mind of its own can wreak havoc on the winds and tides, making the crossing over the Bay a challenge. However, despite the week’s ‘unpromising’ weather events, the morning turned into a perfect “go”.

The backup plan for inclement weather: was quite simple: head to Foley for lunch at the Fish River Grill and then head to the Foley Railroad Museum.

So, who or what was the culprit? You could toss a coin but, in any case, it was a combination of the Ferry’s boarding ramp system and the minimum 5" of clearance required which is sadly lacking by most LBCs, putting them in jeopardy of damage during the loading process.

So it went, not as planned, but nevertheless a totally (or mostly) enjoyable outing on a beautiful Saturday in June.

Which brings us to July, and those Dog Days of Summer. I mention this as we 'struggle' to find suitable events for members during these days.

I should clarify that not all members have issues, only those with real (before air conditioning) cars that are authentically old. The idea of sitting in the midday heat, traffic at a crawl because everyone wants to go to the same venue, is extremely unappealing.

As member Paul Reese explains, the Dog Days are officially from 3 July to 11 August of each year, referring to the period when Sirius, the dog star, appears in the sky just before sunrise. The Greeks blamed this star for the scorching heat associated with this time of the year. How and why this 'official' explanation remains, I have no explanation, as it seems that we go from winter, skip spring, and are teleported directly to 'Them Days'.

Note that dogs have their day at Goodwood in May at ‘Goodwoof' Festival held for the first time in May 2022 as part of the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed. Be sure to note the photo of Paul’s pair in his MGA. Enough about the weather. Suffice it to say that finding suitable events this time of year can be a challenge. Thus, although he does not have four wheels, he is a classic and I am happy to report, ahead of the event, a surprise Birthday Party for Eddie Toenes. He celebrates his 70th this Saturday, the 15th, and I am sure it will be well attended and enjoyed by all his friends. Consider this a future, current, and past event, all reported in one neat little package. Happy Birthday Eddie!

Moving along as usual and respectfully obliging the wishes of an oft-celebrated, or at least oft-mentioned member, we can finally report the safe and welcome completion of some projects that have been languishing in that member’s garage for some time.

  • Monica Bachmann’s rubber bumper MGB, it is now running, thanks to repair of a faulty ground in the distributor and replacement of the choke cable
  • Judith Gallegos’ 1971 MGB GT is up and about with a new 3- vice 5- wire alternator, carb and vacuum advance adjustments
  • Cathy Saxton’s MGB has been completed.
  • Myriad other tweaks and repairs of varying degrees of complexity thanks to the capable efforts of Fred V., George Bruno, Paul Reese, and others either too numerous to mention or not in my sights as I pen this.
  • Again, all courtesy of Bob Manske’s generosity. (There, I let the cat out of the bag!)

    Looking down the road, we will have had a tour of the Velocity Restorations Company facility in Cantonment, Tom Schmitz Annual Pig Roast, and I’m sure many tech days to report on.

    While pondering these and other worldly events, remember to mark your calendars for the Hadji Shriners Annual Show and Fundraiser, 9 September, at the Temple on Nine Mile Road, Pensacola, the Brits on the Bluff in Natchez, MS., mid-September, and the VTR Nationals in Dillard, GA., late September.

    Our own local events, of course, include our next General Meeting, 21 August, at The Hangar in Milton, and the Dog Daze Rallye Fundraiser in the fall. Of course, we continue to have tech days, open to all members. Date/time specifics to be provided as they are available.

    Before closing, PBCA welcomes new members Noel and Donna Eagleson, long time members of the SABCC. They really need no introduction, as both are well known for their love, respect, and support of the NW Florida/SE Alabama LBC community.

    Lastly, as usual, we remind all of the ‘Dog Days’: it’s summer and it’s hot, so be mindful of the weather, hot or rainy, and protect yourself from heat exhaustion and associated challenges. Keep our friends and acquaintances in mind as we all deal with life’s, and Mother Nature’s, ‘conspiracies’. Be well, be safe, and as always, Happy Motoring!