The Search for LBCs…

…continues this week from the Alabama Gulf Coast, where rebuild and recovery operations continue post-Hurricane Sally. Lots of piles of debris everywhere, lots of disaster cleanup specialists working and a lot of buildings that received damage.

Regret to say, in the week we’ve been down here, I haven’t seen one LBC, save for a couple of modern Jags and one XJ/Vanden Plas saloon/sedan. I did stumble across this Kelmark yesterday, on US 98 east of Foley, AL. If you can work with fiberglass, the body’s in pretty good shape and probably just needs minor work and a new coat of paint. You’d have to source a replacement VW beetle chassis with engine and trans, though….the car’s minus its engine and the chassis looked pretty far gone.

Couple more days, maybe I’ll stumble across a proper British sports car…

7th Annual Lake Garnett Grand Prix Revival

Greetings from Garnett, Kansas, where it’s been a long day and processing photos is making for a late night. I made the trip from St Louis to attend and photograph the LGGPR, observed annually in commemoration of Lake Garnett Park’s status as the site of SCCA racing between 1958 and 1972. The turnout was incredible, with a large variety of cars including members of Heartland Vintage Racing as well as a substantial number of spectators who outlasted the fog and had a grand old time.

Two Triumphs made today’s race: a 1962 TR4 owned by Harvey Kinnard of Leawood, Kansas (No. 111) and another ’62 (appropriately, No. 62), owned by Matt Jenkinson of the KC TRs. Oh, and I finally got to meet my editorial counterpart with the Lawrence Area British Car Club, Bill Fisher; he edits “Brit’s Bits” and served as the head of the photographer contingent at today’s event. I also managed to spend a fair amount of time talking with Phil Taxman of the Jaguar Association of Greater St Louis, a regular on the HVR circuit in his ’64 E-Type FHC. Hoo-hah, that car’s fast…

More racing tomorrow, and hopefully more Triumphs (a really nice TR3 was on display at the Anderson County courthouse show following the day’s track activities.

Meanwhile, at Family Arena

Earlier today, SCCA Solo II/autocross event No. 6 at Family Arena in St Charles and the usual assortment of highly entertaining vehicles, fast drivers, chills, thrills and the occasional spin-out.

And yeah, while I’m the owner of an LBC and proponent of competing in autocrosses in old sports cars, I have to admit: with the Boeing Sports Car Club, SCCA and Misfit Toys series, there’s a fair amount American heavy metal taking to the pavement. Yeah, Mustang and Camaro owners turn out in good numbers, but you gotta applaud anyone who’s willing to get out and autocross a ’70 AMC Javelin, ’70 Plymouth Road Runner or a ’68 Chevy Nova.

Still several events left in the season, come on out and watch for a while. Or, better yet, bring a helmet and go for a spin!

No-Show Drive

BTW, yesterday – Saturday, 19 September – would’ve brought the 39th or so rendition of the All British Car & Cycle Show, organized/hosted by the MG Club of St Louis. Ah, but with multiple restrictions still in effect in St Louis County and reasonable concerns about large groups of people in close proximity, the MG club pulled the plug.

Sooooo, with a now free weekend, SLTOA decided to have a drive. Great fun, perfect weather, 7 TR6s (what, no Spitfires?!), one Infiniti (hey, his TR3’s still going back together), a nice 25-or-so mile jaunt, followed by a picnic lunch at Creve Coeur Lake Park, the locale for the ABCCS. Great fun…the club’s next scheduled drive is 24 October, the annual Fall Colours excursion, see the SLTOA web page at www.sltoa.org for information. Feel a need to get out for a patrol sooner? Call up the MG Club web page at www.stlouismgclub.org for info, as they’re planning an excursion for Saturday 3 October.

In the meantime, get out when you can! I will gladly join y’all once I get the carbs on the High Speed Doorstop fixed…

Fall, Arriving

The first day of fall is officially tomorrow, but this weekend’s been incredible and very fall-like. It seems like a lot of owners are taking advantage of the temps in the low 70s and clear skies to get out and about in their highly entertaining cars. Case in point, I saw, in sequence, a Triumph Spitfire (didn’t recognize the car or the driver but we were on opposite tracks and I only got a quick glance), at couple of 67-68 Camaros and finally, this 1974 Ferrari Dino 246. Wild…

So, How’d You Spend Your Saturday?

Two months since the TR8’s been on the road, down for an electrical malady (surprising, I know 🙂 . My ace mechanic stepson and an equally talented friend did the initial troubleshooting a couple of weeks back but today I called in the master: Creig from SLTOA. I’ll tell you, when you’re of particular skill in reading and understanding Brit car electrical diagrams, you find you have many friends (and are invariably in great demand).

Three and a half hours later, one fried wire in the generator-battery sequence identified and removed (you know there’s a problem when Creig asks if you recall any smoke or burning smells in the past couple of months), partially put the car back together, jumped it…and the generator’s still not charging. Okay, check the local outlets and be prepared for an email order to BPNW or Victoria British tomorrow. Sigh…We’ll get it running reliably again, of that I have no doubt.


Speaking of tomorrow, the next Boeing Sports Car Club autocross is scheduled. Looks like I’ll be doing photos and course work again…The next SLTOA meeting is Tuesday evening, scheduled for Faust Park after 1700. Word is we might push the gathering back online; if you’re interested in checking out the club, monitor the web page at www.sltoa.org for a final determination on the meeting location, either live or via Zoom.

From the Ridiculous to the Sublime….

Nevada, Missouri, US 71, Monday afternoon. First I saw the Fiat/Bertone X1/9 parked next to the local Casey’s. Poor shape (massive rust under the rear bumper), paint’s in serious trouble.

Across the street? One of the more unique Porsche 914-4 modifications I’ve ever seen. Talked briefly with the owner, he indicated the running gear was stock. Over the years I’ve run across a number of modified 914s but this is first one ever where an owner went to the trouble of completely removing the targa structure behind the cockpit, Rather cool, actually…

Oh, the X1/9? When I went back across the street to Casey’s, it was gone; despite it’s appearance, it apparently ran.

BTW, if you think I’m making fun of Fiats (uh, don’t we all?), my ’76 X1/9 was one of the best cars I ever owned, much much better than the ’81 2000 Spyder that followed it. I am keeping my eye out for another X1/9…

Back to the search for LBCs…I’m thinking of driving to Lake Garnett in a couple of months for the annual racing event, bet I see some Triumphs there. Shoot, I might even drive the TR8…

Rolling SweatFest

Long as I’ve been a member of SLTOA – just over 12 years now – we’ve celebrated (?) summer heat and humidity with a mid-July, backyard gathering at the home of one of our members. Ah, but in this time of pandemic, social distancing and face mask requirements, crowding a bunch of cars and members/guests into said back yard in Chesterfield was a non-starter.

The solution? As devised by SLTOA Event Chairman Creig H, a rolling SweatFest: meet on a Saturday at a park in Fenton off MO 141 and MO 30, head out for two hours of spirited driving (“social distancing at 60 mph,” as it were…although plenty of the route’s curves, including a number of hairpins, required social distancing at 25 mph…or less), then return to the park for a picnic lunch under a shelter with either food brought from home or ordered from StL BreadCo.

It was a smashing success: perfect weather, about 24 participants in 14 cars (mostly Triumphs) and one hell of an entertaining drive (thanks Creig!). Everyone who took part thoroughly enjoyed themselves and, in holding a combined picnic/meeting, we set a standard for the remainder of the year, at least into the fall when the temps start going south.

SLTOA’s August meeting is scheduled for Faust Park, see the web page for details.

Photo by David Yannayon