Bear Patrol

160130 St Charles-B

No, I’m not talking about manning up, launching and escorting an Aviatsiya Dal’nego Deystviya Tu-95 down the coast (or down the Mississippi River Valley, for that matter).  I’m talking about taking advantage of Saturday’s incredibly good weather (clear/PC, mid-60s) for a reconnaissance drive along this year’s SLTOA Polar Bear Run route.

Devised by a couple of the club’s members, this year’s excursion promises to be a good one of about 70 miles lenght, with good roads (the photo notwithstanding), great scenery and plenty of opportunities for photos.   Assuming the weather holds, I expect all of the participants will have a great time, including the post-drive meal/gathering at Hickory Ridge (and if you’re reading this and would like to join in, call up the web page at for details.  We’d love to have you).

As an entertaining aside, I saw plenty of interesting cars along the route, including two first-generation Mustang convertibles (interestingly enough, both orange); a ’56 Ford Fairlane convertible in that particulary unique mid-50s black/pinkish two-tone that was popular at the time; one other LBC, a late-model crash bumper MGB; AMC Hornet wagon (good grief, haven’t run across one of those in something like 30 years); a late 70s/early 80s Toyota FJ wagon (ditto); ’65 Thunderbird convertible; ’66 Chevy Impala coupe; ’70 or thereabouts Hemi Cuda (wow!  Bright screaming yellow, natch); and a ’64 Buick Electra 225 (talk about two tons of road-hugging weight).  Oh, and the piece de resistance, a circa 1944 TBM-3E.  Great fun.

Hopefully the weather’s good in two weeks for Polar Bear.  AND, hopefully the weather’s good Superbowl Sunday, for the Jaguar Association of St Louis’ drive to Washington and back.  Yr fthfl ed is planning on making the trip for photo purposes.

Meeting Night

160119 Mtg-05 AA

Photo by Andy Ackerman

Truth be known, I was planning on commentary on our fellow St Louis drivers and how they handle (or don’t handle) snow.   Then again it could be worse; we could be living in the Charlotte to Boston corridor, which is about to get one helluva storm over the weekend.  Last night in Washington DC, AAA responded to 6500 accidents/drivers needing assistance…following the deposit of 1 inch of snow on the region (The Washington Post’s headline: “An inch of snow, icy roads unleash 9 hours of traffic chaos across D.C. region”).

BUT, instead, I’ll salute the 12 hardy SLTOA members who did go out in the face of the incoming storm two nights ago for the club’s monthly meeting.  Shoot, one of our newer members even drove his Spitfire!  Bravo!

Winter Arriveth…

LBC Support VEhicle

It might bet time to fire up the LBC Support Vehicle


Having previously lived in the Midwest (Lincoln AFB, Nebraska, 1959-1962 and Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota, 1966-1970), I’m fairly familiar with the wild changes of weather/temperatures/precip/etc this time of year.  However, even I have to admit that tonight’s expected low of about 25 degrees is quite a change from last night’s low of 50 degrees…in mid-January.  Incredible.

I did take advantage of yesterday’s unseasonable high temp.  Left work about 30 minutes early, which gave me plenty of time (and daylight) to get in about an hour of serious rorting around west StL in the TR8.  Yes, with the top down; it was great.

However, the HSD is now back in the garage, top up, battery disconnected.  Doubt I’ll get it out again before mid-February and SLTOA’s annual Polar Bear Run.  But, around these parts, you never know…

10 Jan 16: 5 degrees

TR3 Winter

No, we’re not expecting or requesting any sympathy from our fellow Triumph owners in the Northern Tier states (including the editor’s former stomping grounds of North Dakota) BUT, doggone, 5 degrees this morning.  Winter has finally arrived in greater St Louis/Metro East.

On the plus side, we went into Saturday with forecasts for steady rain (which happened), followed by freezing rain (which didn’t happen) topped by 3-4 inches of snow.  What we got was plummeting temperatures throughout the day accompanied by high winds, which dried everything as the thermometer went south.  To be sure, there are still icy patches out there but overall, our first burst of winter left us with severe clear skies, a crust of the white stuff in yards and a requirement for bundling up.  I’d say we came out ahead, we’ll see what the rest of the winter brings.

Polar Bear ’16 in one month!

2 Jan 16: 47 Degrees

Good thing I brought a pair of gloves…the HSD’s heater works quite well, thank you, but after about 30 minutes of my 50 minute patrol of the local area, my hands were starting to suffer sooo….

Still, rather incredible when you think about it: day after New Years, rorting around a midwestern city with the convertible top stowed.  Regret I didn’t see any other LBCs out and about, did see a third-gen “Mister Deuce” (MR2) but they had their top up. Cowards….

Happy New Year! ….Post-Flood

I44 Westbound Spit Flood

Photos: St Louis Post-Dispatch

For those outside the local area who periodically check this blog, here’s a couple of shots of the recent St Louis/Metro East flooding. The photo on the left shows I-44 westbound at Valley Park near MO Hwy 141, while the Spitfire photo may have been taken in Eureka or Pacific; those two communities pretty much went underwater at the height of the flood. As of yet, don’t have an idea who’s Spit it is, doesn’t look like the car of any SLTOA member.

In the club, we had at least one member who had water in the basement and another member on the south side of Eureka whose development was surrounded by water. Fortunately, their house remained quite literally high and dry, although the owner noted that for a couple of days, visitors would have to come in by either boat or Amphicar (or perhaps a DUKW).

Quite a week for the St Louis area…