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

37th Annual All British Car Show

Cars benefitting from placement under one of the many shady live oaks at the location of the show in Sanford, Florida.

On April 2, the Central Florida British Car Club hosted this show in Sanford, Florida. A number of SBCC members had planned to make the 155-mile trek to participate but the weather forecast for that Saturday was threatening. However, Bruce and Carolyn Skaggs along with Jim and Debbie Wilson decided to brave the conditions. The gamble paid off because both couples brought home some show hardware, and the rains conveniently came AFTER the show. Bruce reported that their 2006 Jaguar XK8 garnered a 2nd in class while the Wilsons placed third in the TR6 class. Bruce further noted that it was a nice event .

Bruce provided the photos of the SBCC cars; the others are courtesy of the Central Florida club’s website.

Car Show for The Gator Wilderness Camp School

By a vote of the student-campers of The Gator Wilderness Camp, Jay Royce was awarded the trophy for Most Popular Car, his 2015 Jaguar F-Type.

On March 27, the club was joined by the staff and student-campers of the Gator Wilderness Camp for a car show and picnic lunch, just off Fruitville Road in Sarasota. This event is a legacy of Duane and Ellen Magnuson who began hosting it annually 10 to 12 years ago on the grounds of their Sarasota home. It was one of the more popular events on the club’s calendar until suspended due to the pandemic, coinciding with the couple’s untimely passing. Thus, it was great to see such an enthusiastic turnout upon its return. Our 29 vehicles were joined by some members of the local Antique Automobile Club (AACA), bringing the total count to 35 cars and 50 plus members. The school cadre brought their entire population of 30 boys, plus all the fixings for a grilled lunch!

The Gator Wilderness Camp in a faith-based year around camping program for boys 11-15. According to their website, “This group of boys is significantly struggling to interpret a myriad of issues in their families, schools and communities.” Translation: Some come from a difficult home life and some have run afoul of the law. The camp school is located on 250 acres in Charlotte County, really in the “middle of nowhere” in southwest Florida. It’s seen as an alternative to placement in a government social services program, to include the juvenile detention system. The boys must apply to be accepted. The costs are covered by the church and donations from the public. There is no cost to the Florida taxpayer. 

Back to March 27. Part of the day’s activities consist of the lads going from to car to car and sitting in the driver’s seat where they can start and rev up the engine. Then, they vote for the car they like best. This year’s winner of the club trophy was Jay Royce and his 2015 Jaguar F Type. While this was going on, the camp counselors grilled burgers and hot dogs. After lunch, the boys were challenged to design their own car. Judges selected the winning drawings and the club awarded trophies to the designers. It’s likely this may have been the first time some of these boys have ever won anything and the joy on the faces of those holding the trophies was priceless. Note to car owners for next year: A large number of the boys’ designs depicted flames coming out of the rear of the car. While this is probably best avoided real-life in a picnic setting, a raucous exhaust is clearly a plus in the running for the most popular car trophy.

Credits: Bruce Skaggs for report input. Photos from Pat Kelly, and also Bruce.