The Gold Coast British Sports Car Club celebrated our last event of 2022 with a Club Picnic on Sunday, November 20th, at C. B. Smith Park in Pembroke Pines, Fla.
C. B. Smith Park’s amenities include a sprawling water park, a family golfing center, a tennis complex and walking and biking trails, none of which we were able to use. Our South Florida weather for the preceding week was beautiful — however, when Sunday came along, the forecast was rain and strong winds. The food was already bought, the park shelter fee was paid and our Board members were ready for a picnic, but it did rain, at times pretty hard.
Much to our amazement, our members braved the rain and showed up, and we were fortunate to take advantage of the large covered shelter.
Everyone came hungry and ready for a great barbecue lunch! Our chefs, Bill Gearhart, Scott Armstrong and Ed Morat, started grilling. The club provided the barbecue items as well as condiments and soft drinks, and our members brought delicious appetizers, salads and desserts to complete our meal. During lunch, Allan Tavss, our Regalia Chairman, was very busy selling our old stock of logo-imprinted clothing at great discounts.
Our Board of Directors conducted a very short membership meeting. Since we will be holding our annual elections for the Board, we asked for volunteers, and Del Fruit offered to share the Vice Presidency of Miami Dade County by covering southern Miami Dade. Jerry Goldberger asked for help with his position as Vice President Palm Beach County, and Michael Cohen said he would be happy to stand in for him for whatever time was needed.
As it stands now, our Secretary position is still vacant, and the Board would welcome any member who expresses interest in this position.
Next on the agenda was the presentation of membership pins. Traditionally, we have given members pins in increments of every five years of membership in the club. However, due to COVID, we did not have the opportunity to gather in a larger crowd, as we did that day, and pins were not given out for a few years.
At the Club Picnic, we awarded the following pins to our members in attendance. Five-year pins went to Michael Cohen, Bob Godin, Andrew Haber and Christopher Karentz 10-year pins to Tony Flamino, Jeff Seltzer and David Zeitz 15-year pins to Scott Armstrong, Bill Gearhart, Nannette Hornberger, George Martin and John Morris and 20-year pins to Del Fruit, Ed Morat and Keith Parker. For other members who qualify for pins, Dave Reeve, our Membership Chairman, will be mailing them out.
We’re pleased to announce that we had to add an additional category, 25-year pins, which will be mailed to those members who have been in the club 25 years or more, including our founding members.
We thank all of our members for their support of the Gold Coast British Sports Car Club. We couldn’t have a club without you! Our mutual love of British cars and the friendships we make are priceless!
We also welcome all of our new members who have recently joined our club, one of whom came to the Club Picnic — Paul Karofsky, who joined in September. He brought a friend with him as well as his 2023 F-type Jaguar convertible. Paul has loved Jaguars since he and his dad attended an auto show after Paul had just received his driver’s license. His dad had asked him what was the best-looking car there and without hesitation he replied, a Jaguar 3.8 Mark II in pitch black — and according to Paul, “drop-dead gorgeous”! From then on he was convinced that someday he would be a Jaguar owner, and for over 50 years he has done just that, with a few other British cars as well.
Paul’s first Jag was a 1976 XJ12L, but he says it was his E-type Series 3 V12 that gave him the least problems. Whether a saloon or a sports car, he has enjoyed them all. He now owns a 1995 XJS as well as the 2023 F-type, which he says drives like silk and handles wonderfully. Paul says Jags are his passion, a wonderful form of recreation. They are meant to be driven, as witnessed by the fact that he drove the F-type to the Picnic in pouring rain and wind. Thanks, Paul, for bringing her for all to enjoy!
We also had two more Jaguars attend with their owners, Bob Godin and Chris Karentz, while Tony and Cheryl Flamino drove their MGB. Forty members and guests came out to the Picnic and it was great to get together again. We hardly noticed the bad weather. Our spirits were sunny and everyone had a wonderful time. Thank you to John Morris for taking photos and to those who helped prepare, set up and clean up, and to all of our members who made us happy with delicious food. The Board will be planning our next Club Picnic in the spring, at a location most likely in Palm Beach County.
Toys for Tots rally
Although not a club event, a few members represented the GCBSCC at the 17th Annual South Florida Toy Rally to benefit Toys for Tots, which was held on Saturday, December 17th. The car rally went from the FLA Live Arena to a pit stop at sponsor Ferrari/Maserati of Fort Lauderdale, and continued to the Jetscape FBO. The 350 cars that attended had full police escort as the highways and city streets were closed to traffic during the fun and fast-paced ride to our destination.
Toys for Tots is administered by the U.S. Marine Corps and is a 100% charity event that raises monetary donations and gathers lots of toys. It brings together fellow enthusiasts for one of the largest gatherings and parades of exotic cars and helps make Christmas wishes come true for so many children and families in need.
Then, to ring in 2023, British-car style, the GCBSCC held our Annual Hangover Run, with breakfast at the Dune Deck Café in Lantana, Fla. The early morning weather brought a lot of fog, but by the time we arrived at the restaurant it was clearing nicely. Club member John Morris organized this event, and as in past years, we were joined by members of the South Florida Jaguar Club and the South Florida Miata Club.
The Dune Deck Café is located on A1A, directly overlooking the Atlantic Ocean with a fantastic view and great food. Our crowd this year numbered more than 60 members and friends and about 30 beautiful cars. It was great to see all of the British cars and enjoy the camaraderie of old friends as well as new ones. Most of us lingered in the parking lot, not quite ready to leave but anxiously awaiting another event! Despite the morning fog, the rest of the day was beautifully sunny and many of us chose to return home by scenic A1A. Thanks to John Morris for organizing this event and all the great photos.
Upcoming events and club news
Our annual All-British Car Show will be held on Sunday, February 19th, at Tradewinds Park, Coconut Creek, Fla. Our featured marques will be Austin-Healey and Aston Martin, but all British car owners are invited to attend. It’s not too late to register — just go to the events page of our website, www.goldcoastbritcar.com. If you don’t own a British car, come as a spectator!
We invite members and friends to visit www.goldcoastbritcar.com for news of upcoming events and information about the club. You can also visit our Facebook page. Inquiries can be directed to our e-mail, email@example.com.
You can now order clothing-related regalia from our new supplier, Wagner Apparel. We think you will enjoy shopping for our logo-branded clothing in colors and styles to suit your own personal tastes.
Our Board of Directors welcomes members to join us at our Board Meetings, and suggestions and comments are always welcome.
On behalf of the Board members of the Gold Coast British Sports Car Club, we extend our wishes for peace in 2023 and a very happy and healthy year!
The Gold Coast British Sports Car Club is sad to announce the recent passing of a long-time member (23 years), Jim Archer.
Jim had just turned 80 in June and was married to his wife Martha for 49 years. He leaves behind two children, his son Jamie and his daughter Emily, and two grandchildren ages 12 and 16.
Jim became interested in British cars during his teenage years, when he was allowed to drive a relative’s TR6. Jim’s college years were spent at the University of Miami, where he became a proud member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. He continued his love of British cars with a Triumph Renown town car that he drove during college.
Jim was in the Navy from 1966 through 1968. He joined the Gold Coast British Sports Car Club in 1999 after he purchased a 1961 Bugeye Sprite, which he restored. Then he moved on to his beautiful 1974 Jensen Interceptor Mark III Convertible. Jim also restored this car, which Martha now owns. It is a grand touring car, hand built near Birmingham, England, with a Chrysler 440 V8 engine, frame, power steering and automatic transmission — a fast British muscle car! Only 375 of these rare cars were imported to the United States from the U.K. between 1974 and 1976.
Jim loved his British cars and the Gold Coast British Sports Car Club. For many years, he was our Regalia Chairman, a position that he took very seriously. His professional background in sales and management certainly helped with his regalia position, but it was his joyful personality that endeared him to our members. You could find him having a great time at our annual car shows, picnics and other events selling regalia and telling jokes to everyone.
Jim also took on the role of an English bobby during many of our annual car shows. He would be there complete with his uniform and nightstick, ready to give us all a hard time!
Jim’s other hobbies included hunting, fishing and boating. He spent many good times with his family on his boats, and it was his wish that his ashes be scattered off Ormond Beach, where Martha and the immediate family will hold a private ceremony in his honor.
Jim always had a smile and he was very dedicated to our club. He made many friends that he considered “his family,” and he will surely be missed.
MGs on the Rocks
Some club members continued to travel out of our area for great car shows during the fall months. John Morris, club member, former Board member and former MG owner, attended the 43rd “MGs on the Rocks” British Car Show & Parts Market held on September 24th at the Rocks State Park in Hartford County, Maryland. John reported that it was a beautiful, cool fall day.
The venue is in a beautiful rural setting that is accessed by winding roads and a quaint one-lane bridge. John began attending this car show many years ago when he lived in Long Island, and he really enjoys getting together with old friends.
The MGs of Baltimore, Ltd., sponsors the car show. This year, they had a great turnout of about 180 British cars. Among the many MGs, other British marques included Triumph, Jaguar, Austin-Healey and Lotus, and a 1952 Daimler that won Best of Show. There was music, great food, experts offering technical advice, a 50/50 raffle, a selection of cars for sale and vendors. Their awards ceremony is unique because awards are presented to the winners directly on the field beside their cars.
John reported a wonderful day highlighting everything British. Thank you, John, and thanks for sharing some photos with us!
TBAHC’s Safety Harbor All-Brit
Another popular all-British car show was located in Safety Harbor, Fla., the 35th All-British Field Meet & Autojumble held on October 21st and 22nd.
Safety Harbor is a small, quaint city on the west shore of Tampa Bay. The weekend began on Friday evening with a Meet and Greet at the Coastal Cantina & Grill, with complimentary snacks and the opportunity to meet fellow British car enthusiasts. As an added attraction, but not part of the car show activities, was the 3rd Friday Street Celebration, held in downtown Safety Harbor. Much of Main Street was closed to car traffic, with vendors, entertainment and great food lining the street and sidewalks.
However, the main focus of the weekend was on Saturday, where Main Street was closed for a great all-British car show. The GCBSCC was represented by Grace Sullivan and her 1971 MGB, a/k/a Mr. B, and David and Fran Zeitz with their 2017 Lotus Evora 400.
Hayes and Charlotte Harris were gold sponsors for wirewheel.com. Located in Vero Beach, Fla., they sell classic sports and race cars, and they drove a Lotus to Safety Harbor.
The Tampa Bay Austin-Healey Club presents this car show every year, and it is open to all British marques (and there were many). The day offered lots to see and do. Safety Harbor’s unique downtown has many local shops and restaurants lining Main Street. Vendors were selling car parts, memorabilia and British car-related items.
Special Olympics Florida was the chosen charity and the athletes were on hand to sell 50/50 raffle tickets. They collected a very nice donation and made a lucky winner very happy. We had beautiful weather and enjoyed the day with great friends and classic cars!
Help us start the New Year at our Annual Hangover Run, January 1, 2023, at 8 a.m. for breakfast at the Dune Deck Café in Lantana, Fla. Bring your British car and enjoy a relaxing breakfast overlooking the Atlantic Ocean on scenic A1A.
Be sure to mark your calendars for our Annual All-British Car Show, to be held on February 19, 2023, at Tradewinds Park, Coconut Creek, Fla. We are looking for sponsors and advertisers. If you are interested or know someone who may be, please let us know. Our featured marques will be Austin-Healey and Aston Martin.
We invite members and friends to visit our website, www.goldcoastbritcar.com for news and upcoming events and information about the club. You can also visit our Facebook page. Inquiries can be directed to our e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org. You can now order clothing-related regalia from our new supplier, Wagner Apparel. We think you will enjoy shopping for our logo brand clothing in your choice of colors and styles to suit your own personal tastes.
Our Board of Directors welcomes members to join them at their Board meetings, and suggestions and comments are always welcome.
On behalf of the Board members of the Gold Coast British Sports Car Club, I want to wish you and your families a very happy and safe Holiday Season!
We at the Gold Coast British Sports Car Club are saddened to see all of the devastation caused by Hurricane Ian. To all of our friends and neighbors on Florida’s west coast, we hope that you are safe and your losses, if any, are minimal.
Pre-Hurricane Ian, some members of the GCBSCC ventured out-of-state for some great car events.
Lotus Owners Gathering (LOG) 41, was held September 9-11, in Canaan Valley, West Virginia. Every year, the LOG is hosted by a different chapter of Lotus Limited, the North American Lotus car club, and this year the Washington, D.C. Chapter hosted LOG 41.
Canaan Valley is the highest valley east of the Mississippi River, at an average elevation of 3,200 feet, and is located in the Appalachian Mountains. Driving there was perfect for any Lotus car — lots of curves, steep downgrades, beautiful scenery and planned scenic drives!
LOG 41 was very well-attended, with over 350 Lotus members, guests, sponsors and vendors. Five GCBSCC members attended: Mike and Betty Kennedy with their 1962 Lotus 20B Formula Junior, David and I with our 2017 Lotus Evora 400, and Hayes Harris and Wire Wheel, who was a LOG sponsor.
There were many great activities on the schedule. On Friday, there were laps at Summit Point Raceway at Summit Point, W.V. On-site throughout the weekend, there were tech sessions, arts and crafts contests, many vendors selling Lotus-inspired merchandise, great food at the Lodge, and representatives from Lotus in Hethel, England, on hand to answer questions.
One of the highlights was the Concours, which was held nearby at Bear Mountain Lodge. We were parked in groups pretty much by car models with about 150 Lotus cars on the field — from antique to new, race cars to everyday drivers.
Also on the field was the newest Lotus to be brought to the States, the Lotus Emira. This will be the last Lotus with an internal combustion engine, as Lotus is preparing to go all-electric. As the successor to the Evora GT, the Emira is more practical and offers more safety equipment. It’s a mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive, two-passenger, two-door coupe with a 6-speed manual transmission that will do 0-60 mph in 4 to 4.2 seconds and a top speed of 180mph. Of course, other options will become available. Many LOG participants were very happy because test drives were available during the weekend!
In addition to the Concours and the preview of the Emira, one of our evening speakers was John Davis, creator and host of MotorWeek for 41 years. He spoke about how he and his team conduct intensive road tests on new cars to determine their performance, practicality and value. They have tested several Lotus cars and have been very impressed with their performance. John has also become a trusted source in the automotive industry, involved with emissions regulations, alternative fuel sources and aggressive driving, and in 1983, MotorWeek launched their Drivers’ Choice Awards, among the auto industry’s most prestigious honors.
LOG 41 was a great time to re-connect with old friends and make new ones, sharing Lotus adventures with each other. Everyone is now eager for LOG 42 in 2023!
SE British Car Festival
Less than one week later, another car event attracted MG enthusiasts as well as other British car owners. Dillard, Georgia, was the site of the Southeast British Car Festival held September 15-18, and hosted by the Peachtree MG Registry.
Dillard is a small town located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains in northern Georgia. Like Canaan Valley, it is wonderfully scenic and rural, and another great location to drive British cars. The GCBSCC was represented by Grace “Sparkie” Sullivan and her 1971 MGB, which she fondly named Mr. B, and David and I and our Lotus Evora. There were several other participants from Florida as well.
On a personal note, this was an attraction for us for two reasons. It was on our way home from Canaan Valley, and we really enjoyed the change of scenery from Florida’s flatlands and the great driving experiences. In fact, before the car show started, we took an adventurous drive with our Lotus to the Tail of the Dragon, located in Deals Gap, a mountain pass along the North Carolina and Tennessee state line that borders the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is known as “America’s #1 motorcycle and sports car road” and it has 381 turns in 11 miles — including sharp turns, switchbacks and steep grades. It was an Evora’s dream ride, not to mention one for the passengers!
And, to make the afternoon more interesting, we also drove Thunder Road or Wayah Road on the way to the Tail, and Moonshiner 28 on the way back. In total, we drove over 1,500 turns, twists, sweepers and switchbacks with significant changes in elevation throughout the very scenic route. We stopped for a great lunch at historic Tapoco Lodge in Robbinsville, N.C., in the mountain region of the Nantahala National Forest. It was a wonderful day!
(Sparkie and Mr. B also had an adventure. See the accompanying article.)
The Southeast British Car Festival car show was held on Saturday, September 17th, on the grounds of the Dillard House in a beautiful and tranquil mountain setting. There were approximately 150 cars on site, and while most were MGs, there was a good showing of other British marques as well. In the evening, we enjoyed a true Southern culinary event!
Our fall Club Picnic will be held on Sunday, November 20th, at C. B. Smith Park in Pembroke Pines, Fla. As is our tradition, the club will supply the barbecue foods, condiments and soft drinks. Participants are asked to bring an appetizer, side dish or dessert to share. Watch for more information on our website and in your e-mails.
Be sure to mark your calendars for our annual All- British Car Show, which will be held on Sunday, February 19th (2023), at Tradewinds Park, Coconut Creek, Fla.
We are looking for sponsors and advertisers for the All-British show. If you are interested or know someone who may be, please let us know. Our featured marques will be Austin-Healey and Aston Martin.
We will also be holding our annual election of officers for next year. All Board positions are available, and these include President, Vice Presidents of Broward County, Palm Beach County, and Miami-Dade County, Treasurer, Secretary, Membership Chairman, Regalia Chairman, Events Coordinator and Editor. Please think about taking one of these positions. Watch for more information.
We invite members and friends to visit our website, www.goldcoastbritcar.com, for news, upcoming events and information about the club. You can also visit our Facebook page. Inquiries can be directed to our e-mail, email@example.com. We hope to see you soon!
Sparkie and Mr. B showed up for the all-British car meet in Dillard, Ga., after hearing about it at the GOF at Howey-in-the-Hills in April from Zach and Libby Merrill. (Incidentally, the winners of Best in Show with their Morris Traveller, plus a 1st in class!)
Mr. B loves car events with several side drives, and he was particularly interested when he heard about a wine tour via back roads and the historic Rose Distillery that was on the grounds of the hotel. The cinnamon whiskey and the peanut butter whiskey sound strange but sure were an eye opener and a lip smacker.
Some folks arrived at the Dillard House early and were able to do some of the side drives. Mr. B arrived later than anticipated, after being delayed because he missed his turn while navigating the 20-plus-year traffic mess on I-75 called Macon. So Mr. B was raring to go on Friday when we lined up for the wine tour and lunch after a promised challenging back-road ride to the winery.
Mr. B was to be the sixth Car to depart, but Sparkie was fiddling with the GPS, installing the final destination in case we got separated from the group. This actually caused them to get separated from the group right out of the gate! With no navigator to read aloud the directions, Sparkie turned left instead of right since the powder blue MGA we were to follow was nowhere in sight. A U-turn got us back in line, except we were now the last car before Larry Norton’s MGF, which was bringing up the stragglers.
But this position turned out to be much better for Mr. B. It allowed him to stretch out the 3-4 car length following distance, since Mr. B prefers to use the gearbox, not his brakes, to bleed off speed. It’s possible we had some very slow cars or very timid drivers, because “old lead foot” kept overtaking the MGA in front — especially on some of the severe twists and turns and curves on the very innocent-sounding Persimmon Creek Road, Blue Ridge Gap Road, or Adair Mill Road.
Sparkie and Mr. B were held up once at one of our left turns when Tom Nadelhoffer, in the lead car, stopped for a cavalcade of motorcycles making a right turn on the same road. But they smiled and waved to the homeowner on the left who came out to film the line of odd-looking vehicles.
A pit stop was made at the Old Sautee Store in Nacoochee, Ga., followed by a slow drive through Helen, Ga. Again, the caravan smiled and waved at the picture-takers along the picturesque main street.
After a 56.9-mile drive everyone arrived at Kaya Vineyard & Winery. Being the designated (only) driver, Sparkie opted out of tasting the 6-8 different wines and settled for a single glass of Vigonier, which paired nicely with the chicken salad on a croissant. Both were excellent. Mr. B had a quart of oil for lunch and several squirts of oil in the tranny as a chaser.
As “flatlanders” Mr. B and Sparkie just love any car show outside Florida and definitely look forward to the next Peachtree MG Registry of Georgia event. Many thanks to Tom and Larry for a great ride in the “boonies” and a great event overall!