Spring Roundup

Under a leaden sky, the Suncoast British Car Club and the Sarasota Antique Automobile Club of America stop for a picture session during their tour of central Florida.

The club continued to organize activities throughout the spring months, which was a boon for those of us who felt the need to get out from under the shadow of the pandemic, or maybe, just out from the gloom of the garage.

On March 21, Jim Wilson led one of his spirited drives over about 70 miles of backroads eastward around Arcadia, returning for lunch at Stottlemyer’s BBQ in Sarasota. Ten cars participated in a route that had sharp turns, sweeping curves and exhaust-clearing straightaways. It also included the narrow road pop-up hazards of an oversize citrus truck, motorcycle wolf packs and a pair of sandhill cranes, the latter of which knew they clearly had the right-of-way.

April 18 featured a leisurely drive towards Myakka City and the BellaBlue Berry Farm, which is currently oopen for a U-Pick blueberry season. Seven cars and 14 members took part in this event and it’s reported several members apparently ate more berries than they took home. More and more citrus groves are being converted to blueberry crops as the citrus greening disease continues to ravage Florida. This is BellaBlue Berry Farm’s eighth year in business. For those who still had room, the group stopped for lunch at the Silver Star East Restaurant.

Later in April, a few club members linked up with friends in the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) of Sarasota to take part in an AACA tour of central Florida. The excursion included Tommy Small’s “unbelievable collection of everything collectable” and the amazing car collection in the National Parts Depot.

On May 8, there was a drive to one of the Breakfast Drive Club’s favorite haunts, Wheeler’s Cafe in Arcadia. The group included 6 cars and 14 members. Wheeler’s is an “Old Florida-style” restaurant dating back to 1929. According to Bruce, the food’s great, service good, prices cheap and the plumbing outdoors.

May 16 featured an hour’s drive to the NAV-A-GATOR Grill for Sunday lunch. The NAV-A-GATOR is another Old Florida dive. The group had 10 cars with 18 members. The weather cooperated with a lower temperature and less humidity.

Finally, to celebrate “Drive Your British Car Week,” on May 22, a group of 10 cars went on a 50-mile run to Wauchula, Florida and breakfast at Paul’s Kitchen. Paul’s is a noteworthy “local find” off the beaten path, with great service and good food. And, unlike Wheeler’s, the restrooms are in the building!

Whew! Thanks to Bruce Skaggs, Anita Woods and Jim Wilson for input on these events.

Leave a Reply