On March 3, thirteen cars from the club caravanned down to Cape Coral, FL for the Seventh Annual B.I.G. (British, Italian & German) European Sports and Collector Car Show sponsored by the Triumphs of Southwest Florida Club. This car show is open to all B.I.G. European sports and collector cars, vintage and modern. It’s a nice, picnic-style event in a park on the river, with vendor tables and food and drink provided by a local boy scout troop. Though a 70 mile trek one-way, this has become a favorite car show for our members. We made a really good showing garnering 9 first place trophies! Winners were: Gene McOmber – 1990 Morgan Plus 8; Jack Knuese – 1969 Lotus Elan; John Magine – MGA; Mike Bohardt – 1969 TR3A; Ron George – MGB; Bob Faria – Austin; Mike Browne – 1972 Mini Cooper; Bruce Skaggs – Jaguar and Larry Eslinger – 1977 MG Midget.
On February 24, interested club members met in Sarasota for a lunch destination driving tour to Snook Haven. Located on the Myakka River, just east of Venice, this site was historically known as a fish camp. Now a county park, it is popular for its riverfront restaurant, with live entertainment and old Florida charm. We scheduled the drive to arrive just before noon in order to beat the Sunday crowd. In fact, not shortly after our arrival, all tables, booths and outdoor picnic tables rapidly filled up. It was a beautiful day weather-wise for enjoying a leisurely a meal of seafood-focused Southern fare while listening to the live band under the trees.
This is a popular destination for the club and we once again had a large turnout with 22 cars and 40 members and guests.
The 25th annual Sarasota Highland Games & Celtic Festival was held on Saturday, January 26, at the Sarasota County Fairgrounds. The day started out chilly with a brisk wind and remained partly cloudy the rest of the day. As in previous years there was much to see and do but the weather forecast for rain showers throughout the weekend likely put a dent in the overall attendance. That might also have held down the number of vendors that usually participate. As it happened, there was only a brief sprinkle in the early afternoon. Those who ventured out had an enjoyable day! The club participation included 16 cars representing a wide variety of marques.
The Highland Games judges made the following awards: Blue ribbon: Bob Faria – 1929 Austin 7 Chummy Red ribbon: Peter Magnusson – 1952 Bentley MKVI White ribbon: Fred Cook – 1957 TR3
On Jan. 20, the club caravanned to the Venice Rotary Art Festival on grounds adjacent to the Venice Airport. We’ve participated in this annual event for many years and this time they had us display our cars up front near the entrance gate, which provided great visibility. We had 16 cars in place by the 9:30 am start time.
Historically, the weather at this time of year for this event has proven to be variable. Regular attendees can attest to both extremes: being burnt by the sun in the open, treeless field or “frostbitten” from a strong, chilling wind rolling off the Gulf. The latter was certainly the case this year with the wind so strong that all but one festival vender packed up their tent and left. The result was that instead of an Art and Crafts Show with a bonus of some old cars, we were elevated to the star attraction.
But even that ended prematurely when we decided to move our lunch reservations at the British Open Pub up two hours, thus leaving the Festival at 11 am. The festival organizers were obviously disappointed that the club also pulled out of the event early. But, as one member wryly observed, “The attendees come to the show to see the arts and crafts venders, not the assortment of British cars present. We are typically the frosting on the cake. No cake, no show!” Twenty members enjoyed lunch at the pub.
Input for this report came from Joe Malaney, Bruce Skaggs and Anita Woods. Joe also provided the photos.
On January 14, the club welcomed all newcomers (those who joined during the past year) to an SBCC-hosted luncheon at The Jacaranda Trace in Venice, Florida. The meal was preceded by a car show for the enjoyment of the residents of this elegant retirement home. We had 17 cars, the oldest being Bob Faria’s 1930’s era Austin 7, with a few Jag XK’s as the newest. Several rare cars included two Morgans, a Rover, a Healey 100, and a Lotus. There were 34 members in attendance.
As in previous years, a wonderful lunch was served in the Magnolia Room of the Barclay Manor. The meal was accompanied by the usual great service, and everybody had a pleasant, relaxing afternoon. Our newest members, Douglas and Trudy Kniff, were present. Doug is from Michigan and has several British cars, but unfortunately no room yet for any of them here in Florida. Of note, Marie Mainberger and Cindy Douglas took off from work to attend the luncheon. Cindy works for a Sarasota logo company and is helping with producing our new club hats and shirts. The club offers a special thanks to Tom and Shirley Gooding, residents of Jacaranda Trace, for helping organize this event. And finally, thanks to all those who attended and made this a great club occasion.
Jim Wilson authored this report. I also included some info from Bruce Skaggs and Anita Wood. Jack Knuese and Joe Malaney provided the photos.