June Salute

A phalanx of TD’s were among the cars in our parade on the occasion of June Wilson’s 99th birthday. Drivers and other admirers can be seen in the background congratulating June.

June Wilson, that is. Two years ago, Jim & Debbie Wilson organized a Father’s Day drive that included an intermediate drive-by of Jim’s mother (June)’s house to salute her on her 97th birthday. It was an enjoyable event that, regrettably, had to be skipped last year due to the pandemic. But, with June’s cooperation again this year, we saluted her on the occasion of her 99th birthday! For this June 25 event, the SBCC was joined by our partnering club, the AACA.

June’s home is in the Isles of Chestnut Creek development in Venice, FL. The association’s clubhouse was secured to accommodate the large turnout of family and friends who came for the celebration. Northern club members met in a local Publix parking lot in order to caravan to the location. Members from the south lined up on the entrance boulevard for the Isles. Both groups linked up around noon and then proceeded to weave a raucous celebratory parade through June’s neighborhood. We ended at the clubhouse where personal birthday wishes were given to June along with all of the signs from the 13 cars in the parade. Leaving the family to party, members made the short drive to Snook Haven on the scenic Myakka River for lunch.

It was a great turnout for a special lady. Anticipation is already building for next year! 

Photos by Bruce Skaggs and Kathleen Cook.

And, finally: I checked Kelley Blue Book for my car’s value, and it asked how many gallons of gas were in the tank.

Drivers in Search of Breakfast

Suncoast British Car Club members discussing the salient points of routine auto maintenance over breakfast at Paul’s Kitchen in Wauchula, Florida on May 15.

Vice-President & Event Coordinator for Life, Jim Wilson, is keeping the club rolling during the dog days of summer. With the target of a restaurant serving breakfast, Jim is leading forays into the interior along myriad country roads with nice S-turns and quiet straightaways. Members may either drive their top-down LBC to experience having their bouffant buffeted by bucolic breezes, or a later model automobile with AC to feel more refreshed upon arrival. The following are just a sampling of recent trips. 

May 15. This was considered by Jim to be a catch-up event because, somehow, he must have missed a weekend or two. Bruce Skaggs reported, “(Today), our leader, ol’ lead foot Jim took us on one of his ‘world famous’ back road boogies to Paul’s Kitchen (in Wauchula, FL). Paul’s is one of our favorites since it is an old Florida dive with great food and cheap prices.” And Joe Malaney recorded the following, “Great tour today. My miles door to door were 122. Gas cost $30. I got 19 MPG which isn’t bad considering the spirited speeds we were traveling. I only got to (classified) MPH three or four times. 

May 22. The group hit the trail for a fun drive over the great backroads, this time to Wheeler’s Restaurant in Arcadia, FL. Note: Some members also attended the previous day’s monthly breakfast for exotic car owners (including LBC’s) at the Paris Bistrot on Main Street Lakewood Ranch Saturday, May 21.

June 5. A new venue & menu was picked for this Sunday’s breakfast drive – Nicholas’ Family Restaurant in Wauchula. This appeared to be a good choice because Trip Advisor rates the restaurant as #3 out of the 31 eateries in town. Bruce reported that Peter McCann and his wife’s MGB, to get technical, “gave up the ghost about midway.” Thus, it had to be flat-bedded home. Regretfully, it took AAA three hours to rescue him.

June 12. This Sunday’s tour took the intrepid group on back roads around the Myakka area for about 40 minutes ending at the Silver Star East Restaurant in Myakka City. Joe Malaney was with the group once again and reported the day’s cars included a 2005 Lotus, 1973 TR-6, 2007 Mini Cooper S and a 1999 Jaguar XK8.

If you include lunch at the Hob Nob after the May 30 Memorial Day Parade (see previous story) and the May 21 event, that’s six different restaurants in five weeks. Phew! Burp.

Thanks to Bruce Skaggs and Joe Malaney for report input. Joe also sent the photos.

Memorial Day Parade

The Mayor of Sarasota and City Commissioners opted to walk the parade route, perhaps emboldened by the presence of an axe-wielding escort.

Members of the Suncoast British Car Club joined in honoring our nation’s fallen heroes by participating in the traditional Memorial Day Parade in downtown Sarasota. It was a beautiful sunny morning on May 30th and we again teamed up with the AACA to take part in the well-attended event. Following the drive down Main Street, we adjourned to the Hob Nob Restaurant for a lunch of old-style Florida food.

Photos by the author and Bruce Skaggs.

Devereaux-Kaiser Car Show

Suncoast British Car Club representatives joined forces with the Antique Automobile Club of America to recruit new members at the popular car show.

The 51st Devereaux-Kaiser Car Show took over the Sarasota County Fairgrounds on May 1st. The event is a Sarasota staple, dating back to 1970 when it reportedly originated in Devereaux’s front yard. Or was it Kaiser’s? In any case, through succeeding years, depending on available space, weather, or a pandemic, there have been as many as 1500 cars showing up. Which is rather extraordinary when you consider that entry is limited to vintage vehicles that are at least 25 years old. And because there is no charge to display cars, there are vehicles on this occasion that never appear in other car shows. It is currently organized by the Sunshine Region AACA, with spectator entry fees donated to the Sarasota Fire Fighters Benevolent Fund. An estimated 400 cars were present this year.

SBCC members assembled across the street from the fairgrounds and entered as a group. We had about 18 cars at the show. The gallery below begins with the SBCC contingent and then moves on to capture some other scenes from the day.

Turtle Beach Picnic & White Elephant Gift Exchange

Jeryl Schriever proudly displays her “gift”: a potty training talking pink flamingo. Amazingly, it was subsequently claimed by Bernie Evans for his one-year-old granddaughter. Jeryl was much relieved (no pun intended).

One of the club’s longest running, and most popular, events is the January 1st picnic and white elephant gift exchange, also traditionally held in the pavilion at Turtle Beach, Sarasota. Due to the pandemic, this year’s edition was deferred until April 10. Although the numbers were down a bit this year, we still had 35 members and about 15 LBCs present. The club provided pizza. 

A White Elephant Gift Exchange is a popular holiday event where people vie to walk away with the best present. The rule for our club regarding competition for the most desirable gift is: Two swaps (steals), the gift is no longer available and the current holder gets to keep it. There is no rule for the type of gift. It can be funny, which might get a good laugh, but is not always the most desirable item. It can be weird or unusual, such as artwork or gadgets. These can be highly sought after, particularly if they are car-related. It can also be a genuinely nice gift, which has the potential to fuel competition. Examples from the past include quality bottles of wine. The one quality all gifts should have, however, is that they should be interesting.

Two very popular gifts that were retired (2 swaps) this year were a MINI model car with clock and an encyclopedia of automobile manufacturers. Although not held as usual during the holiday season, this year’s event was deemed just as much fun as in previous years.

Thanks to Jim Wilson and Bruce Skaggs for additional input. Photos by the author