Saturday, August 9, 2014

A Classic Camera and its Classic Shots

Film Foto Forever
John Oliver runs the Film Foto Forever Web site where he posts articles about the joys of photographing with film in a related blog. John recently came into the possession of a Leica IIIC 35 mm camera that originally belonged to his wife's grandfather - Jack Holliday - who had passed away a short time ago. The camera came with a large number of slides that Holliday shot and John is painstakingly digitizing them.

One of the first batches completed included a selection of photos taken at the 1956 Watkins Glen Grand Prix. These photos captured a a series of candid moments of course workers, spectators and competitors. You'll want to bookmark his blog to keep up with the new posts. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Names in Our Cars
Dan Carney of the BBC's Autos Web page posted an interesting feature about the names of equipment on automobiles that were derived from their inventors. For example, the MacPherson strut (shown) so common on today's vehicles was the brainchild of Ford of England's Earl MacPherson.

Check out the rest of the feature here.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Finally - A Web Site that Allows You to Browse Self-Service Scrappers

Haunting scrapyards is one of those activities that requires no explanation to those who "get it". On the other hand, for those who don't, no amount of proselytizing will win a convert.  Count me (and most of my friends) in the first group. While browsing a yard in person is always the best way, some very smart types created the next best way: a Web site that lets you check out the inventory of 90 (as of this writing) yards across the USA.   

Row 52 provides this vital service at no charge to the user. You can search by year, make and model, or you can check out any yard in the system in its entirety if you are so inclined. The site also has contact information for local "pullers" that will - for an agreed-upon fee - pull your specific part and ship it to you. 

Useful tool or another time suck? You can thank me/hate me later.  

Monday, April 21, 2014

BCF 2014 Show Artwork and Theme

It is my pleasure to unveil the official artwork for the South Alabama British Car Club's 24th Annual British Car Festival Supported by MINI of Pensacola.

As you can see, the club is celebrating the half-century anniversary of the Sunbeam Tiger, that Ford V8 powered sports car from the pre-Chrysler Rootes Group. Last year's Festival drew an impressive six Tigers and we hope to top that number this year with a few tasty incentives for ALL Rootes Group cars on display.

2014 also marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the British Invasion with the arrival of The Beatles on American soil. 

The show committee is working hard to make this our best show ever.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Oil Those Hinges

If you've never seen an MGB or MGC door hinge you might be surprised at the robust nature of it. While replacements are readily available (through Moss Motors, for example) it's not something that you would enjoy replacing especially if it failed due to a lack of lubrication. Lubricating the MGB/MGC door hinges is a simple task, made so by the clever engineers at MG. 

Open your car's door and look at the top of the hinge strap that bolts into the door itself. You'll see the word "OIL" cast into the hinge and a trough that leads into the part of the hinge you can't see deep in the body support. This trough is where you add a few drops of light oil. The oil follows this trough to the pivoting mechanism, keeping it squeak (and seizure) free. 

Door hinge lubrication can be scheduled at the same time you do an oil change and chassis lube.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Hemmings Motor News Reports on BCF 2013

The May 2014 issue of Hemmings Motor News carried an article featuring the 2013 British Car Festival. The two-page spread included a write up by Executive Editor Richard Lentinello and numerous photos from the event.

Details in the article about the community of Fairhope, past cars shown at the event and dates for the 2014 event were included as well. I recommend that you purchase a copy from your favorite bookstore or newsstand, but if you can't wait, the nice folks from Hemmings have an excerpt from the feature that you can browse here.

British Car Festival 2014 Venue Change

After three successful years on the South Lawn of Faulkner State Community College in downtown Fairhope, 2014's British Car Festival is on the move. 

Last year Dr. John L. Borum, the college's chancellor shared the plans for development of the South Lawn. He told show officials that the school was to build a pavilion, restrooms and an attractive wall around the perimeter of the field. He stressed that he was doing his best to schedule the construction so that the festival would not be affected. It turns out that circumstances will not allow the site to be finished in time for the show. 

Site committee members reacted quickly and approached Fairhope United Methodist Church - the site of last year's Friday evening welcome party - about moving the show to their lovely church campus. The church leadership graciously agreed and British Car Festival has a site directly across the street from the college venue. 

View Larger Map

The church site is shaded by old-growth oak trees and the show site is a mixture of well-maintained asphalt and fine gravel. There is a gourmet class barbeque pit near the site as well as restrooms and a dining hall open to the event. It is one block further south from downtown Fairhope so access to the shops and galleries will be just as convenient. 

SABCC is looking forward to another fine British Car Festival on October 25th as we celebrate the musical "British Invasion" of 1964 and the fiftieth anniversary of the introduction of Sunbeam's V8 powered Tiger.

A partial view of the show site- Click for a larger image

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Movement to Ban Jaguar E-Types

A mothers movement has been established to remove the classic Jaguar E-Type from the nation's highways because it resembles a phallus. Wendy Bouffant, 41 of Dallas, Texas is a mother of three teenage daughters who was horrified to see what she calls, "a shocking resemblance between that car and the male sexual organ." 

Wendy Bouffant
Ms. Bouffant's crusade began last year on April 1 when she and her daughters happened upon a group of Jaguars parked outside a high-end restaurant in downtown Dallas. "We stopped on the way in to admire these old cars - they were all parked right at the front door - when my oldest daughter, Kaylee- she's 17, saw a long sports car and mentioned how much she liked its looks. I looked over at the car she was talking about and saw her running her finger down the fender of it and I was just dumbstruck," she said. "I was almost screaming at her to get away from it and don't touch things like that."

Ms. Bouffant's cries were overheard by the maitre d' who rushed outside to offer his assistance. Upon hearing of the cause for her distress, he explained that these cars were owned by some of his most loyal customers and, having known them for many years, could vouch for their impeccable taste and community standing. Thoroughly nonplussed, Ms. Bouffant gathered up her daughters and left the parking lot, shielding her 13 year-old's eyes from the sight of the sports car that upset her sense of propriety.

"When I got home, I started searching the Internet to see exactly what that horrible car was. I found out that it was called an XKE." 
A Jaguar E-Type, Being Touched

The more Ms. Bouffant researched the Jaguar, the more convinced she became that it was menace to the young women of America. "I knew instantly," she said snapping her fingers," that its first initial being an 'X' it had to be something smutty. I saw pictures of that car with young women just draped all over it. Let me tell you, it does not belong out in public. It's pornographic."

With the counsel and encouragement of her pastor, the Reverend Will B. Dunn of the Congregation on the Edge in Dallas, Ms. Bouffant is organizing Texans United to Remove Disgusting Sportscars. Its mission is to ban the iconic E-Type from the highways of the state of Texas, "and hopefully, the rest of America, too," Ms. Bouffant adds. 

A core group of TURDS is bringing the issue to the attention of Texas state politicians via phone calls and face to face visits with state representatives and the governor. Ms. Bouffant stated that aides to Governor Rick Perry "listened closely and offered support for her fledgling organization. They told me that they have been investigating the possible connection of these disgusting cars to Obama's liberal agenda".

A rally on the statehouse steps drew tens of people to hear about this threat to the minds of Texas' young women. Ms. Bouffant stated that afterwards she was approached by several "like-minded, right-thinking people," for assistance in starting a chapter of TURDS in their hometowns.   

When contacted by this writer for a reaction to this story, a Jaguar Land Rover North America spokesman said, "Go away."

Saturday, March 22, 2014

A Visit to the Morgan Factory

The folks from /DRIVE visited the Morgan factory in Malvern Link last year. The tour was hosted by Charles Morgan shortly before his dismissal from the firm. 

For those of you who may not know, /DRIVE is an Internet automotive news video magazine that covers topics ranging from modern supercars to classics. If you have a half hour or so invest, /DRIVE is an interesting site to browse.

This is blog post number 600. Thank you for visiting this site over the years.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Shut It!

It’s something of a tradition at US car shows that the entrants raise the hoods (or in our case, and from here on out, the bonnets) of their cars to display the engine compartment.
Courtesy 4pphotography

Some owners even raise the trunk (ahem, boot) lid while on the show field.

Our cousins across the pond normally show their cars with the bonnets firmly latched, according to the photos I’ve seen of British events over the years and I think they could be on to something.

When our cars were designed, they were drawn so that they were at their most attractive with all panels closed: boot lids, bonnets, doors – everything. It would follow, then that when we display our cars, we would want to show them to their best advantage with everything in the closed and stowed position. 

Naturally, when cars as uncommon as the ones we enjoy are displayed, other enthusiasts would like to see how a well turned out model looks under the bonnet and perhaps in the boot area, too. Maybe they’ve got one in restoration and want to pick up a few tips on how everything should look.  We’ve all been the beneficiaries of a peek at other similar cars with me, gratefully included. 

Maybe we, as participants and organizers of British car shows could pick up an idea from our U.K. friends and do at least a portion of our day-long shows with the opening panels closed. Let our cars speak for themselves as the unique vehicles they are.  Then, when the popular choice ballots are given out, invite the owners to open them up for inspection inside and out. 

What do you think?