|Coffee & Conversation|
The club gathered early at the Panera Bread on busy Schillinger Road in west Mobile for another Mugs & Motors this morning.
I hitched a ride over with Richard Cunningham in the dense fog that blanketed the causeway over Mobile Bay. My long suffering spouse was a wee bit concerned that the Mini would be difficult to see in the low visibility conditions and Airport Boulevard was no place for a car of its diminutive stature. Of course, she was right and I took Richard up on his offer to ride in something a little larger.
|The Gang at Panera Bread|
The coffee and baked goods emporium was invaded by 27 SABCC'ers and their guests necessitating shoving several tables together. I was proud of the of the group in that most of them limited themselves to only one of the delicious treats. One at a time. Coffee was enjoyed, sweets were consumed and the pleasure of each others company made the morning pass all too quickly. The store manager stopped by our table and handed over 10 Panera gift cards worth $5.00 each for us to distribute as we saw fit. He said that our group and the lovely British cars in his parking lot made his day, so the cards were passed out to those who drove their British cars to the event. Thanks, Mr. Panera Bread manager!
|Parked at the Collection|
We topped off our mugs and saddled up for the short ride to the Continental Collection to see an incredible display of investment grade automobiles. These stunning cars are for sale and many of them would not be out of place in one of the many televised auto auctions that seem to be popular fare on so many cable channels.The products of Detroit were in abundance, especially muscle cars of the '60s and '70s. Rarities such as a genuine Camaro COPO, and a low mileage Plymouth Belvedere GTX were much admired by the group.
The lone British immigrant was a splendid 1959 Jaguar XK-150 FHC with an automatic gearbox. While not the most lithe of the XK series Jaguars, the 150 was big and comfortable. The SABCC'ers were drawn to it like moths to a porchlight.
|Yours Truly Stuffed in a '54 Corvette|
Our hosts for the morning, Dennis 'Junior' Lassiter and Dennis Parrish were gracious and very accommodating. They were completely laid back about the collection, insisting that we sit in several of the cars to get an idea of what driving these machines must have been. The highlight of the morning was starting up several of the large displacement V8s for our aural pleasure. What music. Thanks, guys - you really made us feel welcome.
Since it was just a matter of a few hours that we had gone without nourishment, it was suggested that we not miss another chance to eat as a group. Michael King recommended Orleans Po-Boys Restaurant for lunch. We didn't need a show of hands as the startup sounds of the British cars present indicated that it was a done deal.
|The Cavernous Building|
My brother, Alan, drove is '76 MGB to the event and complained of clutch issues. A quick peek at the master cylinder reservoir revealed low fluid level. Club President Noel Eagleson graciously offered to give Alan a lift to the nearest parts store to buy a quart of hydraulic fluid and help him with the top up while Alan worked the clutch pedal.
The rest of the group headed out to grab enough table space for the gang at the restaurant. Shortly after we got everything set up, Noel arrived followed closely by Alan and his missus, Debbie in their now smooth shifting MGB. We devoured all manner of sandwiches, salads and sides at the po-boy shop while we continued the conversations started early in the morning.
|The Lone Brit|
Having had our fill (twice!) we headed to our respective homes. Mike Darby, the restoration wizard of Silverhill, invited me to ride shotgun with him in his beautiful red MGA back across the bay. I think I was belted in before he finished his invitation. We pressed on down Government Street towards my home in Spanish Fort when were halted by preparations for an afternoon Mardi Gras parade. We were forced to detour back to Michigan Avenue and on to I-10 for the river crossing. It was a glorious day and I was riding in a lovely MGA with a good friend. How does it get any better?
I want to thank everyone who attended this fine event and especially thank Ron Wolverton who suggested the activity and Richard Cunningham who arranged the visit.