SBCC 1st Annual Car Show

The parking lot at Rattan, Wicker and Cane in Venice, Florida is awash with a variety of British automotive marques and plenty of spectators at the club’s own car show.

February 20, 2022, will be forever remembered (for those of us on Prevagen) as the date of the first Annual Suncoast British Car Club Car Show. Graciously hosted by Woody and Diane Schaub in the parking lot of their fine furniture and furnishings store in Venice, the show featured an impressive turnout of 35 members’ cars. Thanks to the work of show organizers Bruce and Carolyn Skaggs, this initiative was a huge success. The weather was perfect and it was a great opportunity to catch up with long time members as well as getting to know five new members.

There were three classes for judging. The oldest class had the largest number of entries and awards were made as follows:

First, Bob Faria’s ’34 Austin 7 Nippy. (File Photo)
Second, Bill Isenstein’s 1973 TR6
Third Place was Jerry Jurgensen’s 1973 Lotus Europa. [Photo provided by Cathy Jurgensen. That’s their border collie, Dakota, who navigates by sense of smell.]

Awards in the other two classes were:

First, Mike Browne’s 1994 Rover MINI Cooper
And, First for Ron McLeod’s 2001 Jaguar XK8. 

Unfortunately, the specially commissioned trophies were held up by “supply chain issues” and were to be awarded later. 

About two dozen of the participants then moved on to a late lunch at the Tarpon Point Grill & Marina on the Myakka River in South Venice. All in all, a great day to be alive and out, especially if you were in your LBC with the top down.

Thanks to Bruce Skaggs and Jim Wilson for input on details, as well as Bill Isenstein and Joe Malaney for some of the photos. 

Additional photos from the day are below:

2022 Sarasota Highland Games & Celtic Festival

What would the Highland Games be without pipers in kilts?

The 27th Sarasota Highland Games & Celtic Festival was held on Saturday, February 5th, at the Sarasota County Fairgrounds. The annual event is organized by the Scottish Heritage Society of Sarasota and always offers a full day of fun entertainment for the whole community. There were tartans galore with dozens of clans represented. This year’s list of attractions included highland athletics, soccer dog and sheep herding demonstrations, competitive dancing, music, food and drink, as well as a car display by the SBCC. This was our 11th year participating in what is one of the club’s favorite events.

Attendance at this year’s festival was somewhat dampened by cloudy skies, a stiff northern wind and the continual threat of rain. The Scottish settlers who landed on Sarasota Bay in 1885 would have felt right at home. Our participation was likewise affected by the weather, although we did have 15 fine examples of British motorcars present.

For our showing, the following Highland Games rosettes were presented by Bonnie Perkins, President of the Scottish Heritage Society of Sarasota.

1st Place: John Magine’s 1966 Austin Healey 3000.
2nd Place: Pat Kelly’s 1961 Austin Healey Bugeye Sprite
3rd Place: Mike Browne’s newly acquired 1994 Rover MINI Cooper 

Photos by the author, except as noted.

Christmas Trolley Ride & Election

SBCC President-elect Bruce and First Lady Carolyn Skaggs prepare to board the trolley for the Holiday Tour of Lights.

In what is now its own holiday tradition for the club, on December 14, thirty-two members went on a trolley ride to view Christmas decorations in Sarasota. The Sarasota Trolley Company annually scopes out the best home displays and maps a tour that lasts about an hour and a half. And what a great show it has become! You just sit back, sip your BYOB, and listen to holiday music while enjoying what Sarasota’s residents have created. Our Club filled up the trolley and it was nice to have it all to ourselves.

On the Club business front, in November, 60 members were present at the Red Lobster for the election of officers for 2022. A full slate of candidates for the various positions was presented, and all were elected by acclamation. They are: President-Bruce Skaggs, Vice President and Activities Director-Jim Wilson, Secretary-Walt Mainberger and Treasurer- Debbie Wilson. The Board of Directors includes the foregoing officers, plus Jack Knuese and Woody Schaub. There were no reports of voter irregularities.

On an historical note, this was our club’s last meeting at the Red Lobster. For at least the past 15 years, this accomodating eatery has been the site of our club’s regular monthly meetings. This particular franchise has now shuttered its doors, reportedly because of a significant increase in the rent requested by the landlord, along with the negative effects of the pandemic on custom.

Thanks to Bruce Skaggs for the input and photos. RIP, Red Lobster.

Just one of dozens of the family holiday light creations seen at homes along the tour.

Veterans Day Parade 2021

Triumphs lead the way. That’s SBCC President-elect Bruce and Carolyn Skaggs in the lead TR3.

The City of Sarasota once again hosted the November 11 Veterans Day parade that was not held in 2020 because of COVID-19 pandemic concerns. The parade this year specifically recognized those Veterans who served in Afghanistan, as well as honoring those who served in all other conflicts. A few members of the Suncoast British Car Club polished their LBC’s and joined this patriotic event. There was a brief sprinkle at the start of what, otherwise, was a very pleasant morning. There was a good-sized and very enthusiastic crowd along the half-mile parade route. And from the comments shouted out, they definitely liked our cars!

The local ABC-TV station, WWSB, covered the parade and featured it that evening in their news programming. The presenter began the newscast along the lines of, “The parade on Main Street featured colonial flag bearers (rolls the tape of colonial soldiers), local high schools (shows footage of Riverview High School Junior ROTC unit), and classic cars (cue the Suncoast British Car Club).” In addition, the club vehicles served as a backdrop for a news interview by another local station (SNN) also that evening. See photos.

Photos by the author, and from The Herald Tribune (Gannet), SNN and WWSB.

Safety Harbor Car Show 2021

For thirty-four of the past 35 years, Main Street in Safety Harbor, Florida has been taken over by the display of some fine examples of classic British motor cars.

The fourth weekend of October featured two concurrent events in Safety Harbor, Florida. From October 21-24, the national Austin Healey Southeastern Classic was headquartered at the Safety Harbor Resort & Spa. Then, on Saturday, October 23, the Tampa Bay Austin Healey Club held its 34th Annual All British Field Meet and Autojumble. Anchored at one end by the Resort, it extended up eight blocks of Main Street. As SBCC member, John Magine, related, “I have never seen so many beautiful Healeys in one place.” 

John further reported: “It was a great show with over 250 cars filling both sides of Main Street. The weather was warm and sunny with hundreds of spectators, dogs and kids. The Tampa Bay club did a super job placing all the cars and coordinating the event. During the awards ceremony in the park, the counting software had a glitch so winners were notified by email later. Other than that issue, it was a great show.”

In past years, our club has had upwards of 10-12 cars entered in the All British Field Meet. Safety Harbor is a manageable hour and a quarter drive north from Sarasota. For a variety of reasons, including the continuing pandemic which forced the cancellation of the event last year, only three of our members participated this time. However, even with fewer numbers, club members were again successful bringing home (or, more accurately, receiving later in the mail) some noteworthy awards. John and Joan Magine got a Second in Class for their 1966 Austin Healy 3000 and Steve and Patti Phillips got a Third for their 1980 MGB.

Thanks to John Magine for the feedback and photos and to Bruce Skaggs for additional input.