Sunday, July 22, 2012

Four British Car Clubs Meet; Pigs Tremble

Some of the Classic Brits on Hand
Tom and Jeannie Schmitz open their gracious home to the members of four local British car clubs each year in July for a regional get-together that includes eating, drinking and merry-making. This year, a large contingent of members from the Panhandle British Car Association, South Alabama British Car Club, the Mardi Gras MGs and the Pensacola Austin Healey Club descended on the riverfront home in Lillian, Alabama.

Some of Tom's Model Collection
For the last several years, the main course has been a roast suckling pig that Tom and Jeannie order up for the event. The chefs in charge of the tender porkage deliver the goods ready to carve and serve. Club members contribute goodies such as appetizers, sides and desserts to round out the days menu.

Relaxing Before Lunch
Early arrivals are welcomed and are free to enjoy fishing off the pier in Soldier's Creek or swim in the spotless pool. Most of us British car enthusiasts spend our time chatting with old friends and new in Tom's spacious air conditioned garage which is covered with an amazing array of automobilia including vintage ads, posters and photos from Tom's lifetime of collecting and showing classic cars. Tom also has an unequaled collection of die cast, metal and plastic cars, trucks and planes and his library of classic car magazines goes back literally decades. 

One Corner of Tom's Garage
The event encourages owners of British cars to drive them to the gathering by granting them special on-premises parking under the many shade trees at the Schmitz home. This year, however, the midsummer heat was in full attendance and more than a few of the participants chose to drive something a bit more driver-friendly in the climate control department. The classic British cars on Tom and Jeannie's lawn included a rare Jensen-Healey among the MGs, Triumphs and Jaguars. 

It was great to see around 75 of our fellow British car enthusiasts in this relaxing spot on the river. The club once again owes a great deal of thanks to our hosts for the day.  

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