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!
The Gold Coast British Sports Car Club was invited to join the Miata Club of South Florida for brunch at the historic Seminole Inn in Indiantown, Fla., on Sunday, August 21st. Most participants drove to West Palm Beach for an early meet-up and to caravan over to the Seminole Inn.
Indiantown was settled by the Seminoles in the early 19th century, a land ideal for hunting and camping. Other settlers followed in the 1890s, but it was the arrival of Baltimore banker S. Davies Warfield, who planned to make the town the southern headquarters of his Seaboard Airline Railroad, that put Indiantown on the map. Warfield constructed houses, built a school, and built the Seminole Inn. His niece, Wallis Warfield — later to become the Duchess of Windsor — was there for the Inn’s gala opening and visited the Inn several times.
We arrived at the Inn for ten o’clock brunch. The Seminole Inn is still reminiscent of the “Old South” with its grand double French doors into the lobby, original solid brass wall fixtures and bronze chandeliers, open fireplace and hardwood floors. We were seated in a separate dining room, where the elegance of dining in the past was evident in the 12-ft. cypress ceilings, massively thick walls, beautiful windows and grand furnishings.
We all enjoyed a traditional Sunday brunch featuring fresh food locally sourced, most of which is grown on their own farm. Of course, everything was delicious, with a great selection of breakfast items as well as lunch and dessert too.
The GCBSCC was represented by 12 members and friends and we joined about two dozen Miata Club members. We all made new friends very quickly because we shared the same passion, automobiles! Our British rides included a Daimler, a Jaguar, a Lotus and a Rolls-Royce.
Many of the Miata Club members chose to continue the afternoon with a cruise down the Martin Grade Scenic Highway, and several of our club members joined in.
It was a short drive from the Seminole Inn to County Road 714, the Martin Grade Scenic Highway, a beautiful road lined with palms, maples and oak trees that form a lush canopy over much of the 12-mile corridor. The Grade began as a logging trail, was used for cattle drives, then was bordered by citrus groves and cattle ranchers. Now it’s home to farmers, ranchers and those who enjoy rural life.
It was truly a perfect ending to a great day. We enjoyed a little bit of history, a lot of wonderful food, making new friends and driving great cars. Thank you to John Morris, a member of both clubs, for inviting us!
Upcoming events of the GCBSCC include our Fall Club Picnic 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, to be held on Sunday, February 19, 2023, at Tradewinds Park in 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 will also be holding our annual election of officers for next year. All Board positions are available, including President, Vice Presidents of Broward County, Palm Beach County, and Miami-Dade County, Treasurer, Secretary, Membership Chairman, Regalia Chairman, Events Coordinator and Editor. Watch for more information.
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.
We hope to see you soon.
The Gold Coast British Sports Car Club is sad to announce the passing of one of our founding members. Brian Jenkins passed away peacefully on July 30, 2022.
On Friday evening, August 5th, the Jenkins family hosted a gathering to celebrate Brian’s life. Two of Brian’s brothers, Gary and Bill, nephew Chris, and niece Morgan attended. Most of Brian’s family lives in the Connecticut and New York area, so his mom, Katherine, and other siblings and family joined in on livestream. The Rev. David Massey, also a club member, offered his church, the Plantation Presbyterian Church, and conducted a non-denominational service. We thank him for his words of inspiration.
Club members and friends were invited to attend, and many brought their British rides. Brian’s brother Bill and several club members addressed the group with stories about Brian’s amazing life. We thank the Jenkins family for their hospitality during this difficult time, as we had the opportunity to pay our respects and share stories. Many of our members remember Brian as a trusted and skilled British car mechanic, as he worked on many of our British cars. However, we learned so much more.
Brian was born in Granby, Conn., but as an adult he relocated to southeastern Florida, where he made his home. Brian never forgot his roots and he loved his family very much and they loved him. He visited them as often as he could and always talked about the happy times he would experience when they were together. He always told us about the wonderful childhood he had and the love they shared. He especially liked to recount how he and his siblings spent their summers on family car trips.
Both of Brian’s parents were teachers. His dad taught woodworking and was great at carpentry. He renovated an old school bus into a family camper and Brian, his parents, and all of his siblings embarked on a cross-country camping trip. That was among many other trips that they all enjoyed doing together.
Brian’s brother Bill told us how Brian loved working with his hands. At the age of four, he built a model house and at the age of 14 he built a pool table for his family. His brother Bill recounted how Brian and his siblings used to build elaborate forts and treehouses in their backyard.
Brian’s love of carpentry led him to the home construction business, where he spent 20 years. He also did a lot of beautiful carpentry work in his own home.
As much as he loved building, his other passion was sports cars, notably Lotus.
Brian’s love of cars started when he was a senior in high school. His older brother’s best friend had just bought a Porsche, and Brian loved it. Circumstances, however, led him to the Lotus brand and the purchase of a 1967 Lotus Europa. Well, needless to say, his passion turned to Lotus — and he spent many hours restoring his dream car with a new candy apple red paint job and several repairs.
Another great memory of Brian was when he and a friend went cross-country with his Lotus, which, by the way, Brian owned until he passed, over 40 years later! Brian’s passion for restoring vintage Lotus cars led him through the years to acquire another 1967 Lotus Europa and a 1967 Lotus Super 7, both of which he restored beautifully.
It was only natural that Brian would start his business, All Loti Restoration, a business that included small repairs to frame-off restoration, custom modifications, custom paint and much more, for not only Lotus but all British cars. He built his repair/restoration business due to his reputation for honesty, fairness, great work and his passion for cars. His customers became his friends.
Some of our members may recall the days when The Tower Shops in Plantation, Fla., would hold a weekly Friday night car show that attracted many muscle cars. It was on one of these evenings that Brian met other British car enthusiasts, Melanie Hale and Bob Murphy. They owned an MGA and had started the Unofficial British Sports Car Club of Broward County.
Bob, Melanie and Brian became instant friends. Bob recalls how he asked Brian to help him with repairs to his MGA, and it wasn’t long after that Brian’s skill as a mechanic had attracted many customers. Bob no longer had his private MGA mechanic. Now he had to make appointments to have Brian work on his cars!
In the meantime, their club became affiliated with The Gold Coast Triumph Club, with members enjoying picnics, car driving outings and other events. However, by the mid-1990s, it became apparent that the club needed to broaden its image to reflect the diversity of its membership. The club got a new name, the Gold Coast British Sports Car Club, with a new logo that we still use. Brian, Melanie and Bob became founding members of the club that we know today.
Membership grew as more British brands joined. In time, Brian took on the role of Car Show Chairman for the GCBSCC’s Annual All-British Car Show. He worked diligently and passionately in this position for ten years, and our annual car shows became hugely successful. They attracted many members and non-members, many of which later joined our club. What started as a small gathering with Brian and Melanie Hale at the helm later necessitated countless other volunteers, and thus began a great tradition that continues today.
On a personal note, my husband David and I met Brian over 15 years ago, after we bought our 1997 Lotus Esprit V8. Of course, Brian convinced us to join the club, and we became great friends. Brian and David worked on many projects together, we attended many club functions, and due to a shared love of Lotus, at Brian’s request we also joined the national Lotus Ltd. Car Club.
Brian co-chaired a LOG (Lotus Owners Gathering) in 2012 in Orlando, which is where we attended our first LOG. We had such a good time that we attended other LOGs with Brian in different parts of the country, but our most memorable trip together had to be the British Invasion in Stowe, Vt., with over 600 British cars, a beautiful venue, and a great side trip to the Green Mountain Range!
We always enjoyed Brian’s good sense of humor, our shared love of British cars and his friendship. In addition to his family, many friends, car club members and business associates, we will greatly miss Brian.
The GCBSCC invites members and friends to visit our website, 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.
Be sure to mark your calendars for Sunday, November 20th, when we will be having our Club Picnic at C.B. Smith Park in Pembroke Pines, Fla. Check our website for more details!
We hope to see you soon. Happy motoring!