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The January 2001 Newsletter

December 14 Meeting Highlights

Margaret Calcote, Secretary

Twenty members and two guests attended the annual Christmas Party December 14 at Rush Street Grill. Before the meeting was over the two guests, Robert and Apryl Hall became our newest members.

Our Nominating Committee Chairman Ben Bailey, presented the following slate of officers for the coming year:

President: Carl Floyd
Vice President: Mitch Byerley
Treasurer: Al Bradley
Secretary: Margaret Calcote

The slate was accepted by acclamation.

Jane Ogle will serve as Newsletter editor. She has asked members to submit for publication articles about cars and events. The retiring President, Allen Calcote, thanked his board for all their hard work last year.

With business completed, the customary gift exchange began. Mitch Floyd made the game fun with all his help. Members went home with many different gifts: popcorn, golf balls, screwdrivers, dusters, etc. Fun was had by all!!.

Happy New Year and may all the oil puddles on your garage floor in 2001 be small.

Meet Our New Members

Robert and Apryl recently moved to Johnson City from Cookeville, TN. Apryl is in medical school and Robert has a Physical Therapy contracting business. Robert left the hospital as a newborn in a Jaguar MKII and has been an enthusiast ever since. They have a '67 E Type, '51 XK 120 and a '76 XJ6 coupe along with a few non-Brit cars.

Welcome to the Halls.

Ye Olde Dreamers Corner

By Sam Chandler

A week surfing Ebay looking at British classic cars for you just won the Virginia Lottery - or, perhaps you were recently knighted by Her Majesty and need the proper Brit car to motor about in. Here are my Ebay auction picks for the first half of December.

Get out your wallet if you want the grand rides. The 1967 Austin Healey Mk III BJ8, low mileage concours car with $60,000 invested, sold for around $36,000. Nice car! Our club members might be surprised that a Sunbeam Alpine in Grundy, Virginia, got sold on Ebay in December. I was really tempted by a 1959 Morris Minor delivery van in Los Angeles, with a 1275 A Midget engine. Drawback was that it had been idle in the California desert for 12 years! My choice was the 1969 TVR Vixen in New Jersey, totally restored. Price was $15,000 with 4 days left on the auction. These cars usually sell in the upper $20,000 range in this condition.

As always, Ebay has several Jaguar E types, Triumphs, MGBs, Austin Lealeys, Minis, Deloreans, Morgans, and a few Lotus and other exotic Brit cars. Please take notice that the most fascinating item was a 1977 Midget in Nashville that a lady won in a divorce proceeding. The Ebay ad stated, "Winner responsible for removing car from my yard in a timely manner. I'm tired of looking at the d... thing." ....Sounds like the divorce judge had a warped sense of humor.

I bought both my MGBs on Ebay. My 71 bgt came from southern California for less than $5,000. My 79 MGB roadster from Kansas for $2,800. I was very lucky! Don't buy a Brit car unless you've seen it and checked it out thoroughly. Otherwise, go back to the Virginia Lottery, or trust your luck. Cheers!

Jaguar's New X-Type Saloon

By Randall Thomas

BBC Top Gear magazine reporter Peter Grunert files the breaking story of Jaguar's new X-Type saloon, a smaller and more affordable Jaguar, aimed directly at the Audi A-4, Mercedes C-class, BMW 3-series cars.

The X-type will share some of the components and part of the platform of the Ford Mondeo (Contour in the U.S.), have a 2.5 litre or 3 litre V-6 engine, and be all-wheel drive, another departure for Jaguar. The new car will be built at the former Ford factory in Halewood, Merseyside (near Liverpool) and is expected to double the company's sales, to around 85,000 cars worldwide.

From the photos, the new X-Type combines styling cues from the current large XJ series, while the sides and rear resemble the S-Type, with the interior trimmed in customary walnut and leather. The dimensions of the new car closely match those of the current BMW 3-series cars, and Jaguar are frank to admit that the smaller BMW's are the target they are shooting at with this car.

Spring Car Show

By Mike Japp, PBCA Webmaster

The Panhandle British Car Association would like to be placed on the ABCS weblist and announces our annual car show, April 21, 2001 at Pensacola Beach right next to the white sand and beachgoers.

PBCA has 70+ members and have more than 90 cars at our shows. For more details and pictures of past shows, please visit our website:

100 Years Ago

By Al Bradley (edited in part)

It may be hard to believe how times have changed in the last 100 years.

Happy New Millennium, everybody!!

"100 Years Ago":

* Average life expectancy in the U.S. was 47 years

* Only 14% of the homes in the U.S. had bathtubs

* Only 8% of the homes had a telephone. A 3-minute call from Denver to NYC cost $11

* There were only 8,000 cars in the U.S. and only 144 miles of paved roads

* The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph

* The average wage in the U.S. was 22 per hour and the average worker made $300 per year

* More than 95% of all births took place at home

* Most women washed their hair only once a month and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo

* The population of Las Vegas, NV was 30

* There was no Mother's or Father's Day

* Only 6% of all Americans graduated from high school. One in ten U.S. adults couldn't read or write

* 18% of households in the U.S. had at least 1 full-time servant or domestic help

* There were about 230 reported murders in the U.S. annually

* Plutonium, insulin, and antibiotics hadn't been discovered yet

* Scotch tape, crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn't been invented

* Sugar cost 4 per lb.; eggs were 14 per dozen and coffee was 15 per lb.

Interesting Web Sites!

By Carl Floyd

Carl found these links that you might enjoy visiting:

(editor's note: the spaces in the above site are an underscore _ which blends into the underline)

He also sent this very good quote:

"A complex system that does not work is invariably found to have evolved from a simpler system that worked just fine."

Little Known Facts...
or Info You Really Didn't Want to Know

By Ben Bailey

Started in 1905 when George Skinne patented a carburetor in which the amount of fuel metered was controlled by the engine's vacuum at any given time, the SU company was founded and grew to become the preeminent supplier of carburetors to the British car industry.

August 16, 1994 brought an end to the last batch of SU carburetors with the emergence of fuel injection, the demands for carburetor had dropped to the point of 100,000 units per year, less than 10% of the company's income.

Burlen Fuel Systems of Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK has agreed to take over manufacture and supply of SU components to fulfill demand for obsolete models. SU (Skinner Union) a subsidiary of the American Echlin since 1989. British Car Dec. 1994

Here it is! A Blast From the Past . . .
Behind the Smile

By Al Bradley (circa 2/94)

My neighbor who lives up the street has one of the nicest, looking, sounding and (I'm sure), running Porsches that you have ever laid eyes upon. The other day, DURING WINTER, mind you, I actually saw this guy DRIVING HIS CAR; a phenomenon which, at this time of year, English car lovers do not care to discuss. This could be the ruination of the sports car mystique if word of such things were to leak out. Imagine driving YOUR car in the midst of winter weather! Boggles the mind, doesn't it; or perhaps you are crazy enough to actually drive your car in this weather? ... Side curtains and all? Ask me about the Upper Peninsula of Michigan sometime.

This one short encounter set me to thinking driving the Bugeye in the snow. Could it actually be done? Why would I want to? But, there do exist some limited possibilities here. The Bugeye could become:

1. Half of a pair of large ice-skates. In light of recent Olympics Events, this seems less than promising.

2. A part of a team of 'draft Sprites' to help power the Budweiser delivery wagon in parades and commercials everywhere. We could all share in the fruits of their labors . .

3. Teensy-weensy snow plows, not even requiring the addition of a plow attachment to the front! What a thought!! Built-in utility! A natural. I would have to draw the line at spreading salt, as Bugeyes have been known to rust under the correct conditions (...such as when sitting in dealer showrooms...)

On the other hand, my neighbor is missing (since I happen to know that in his feckless youth he used to occasionally dabble in English sports cars):

1. The pleasures of genuine Top Down motoring (translation: applying Rain-X to the INSIDE of your windshield!)

2. The joys of Joe Lucas (Company Motto: "Home before dark"!)

3. Having his precision-tuned, hand-crafted English Sports Car dribble oil all over his garage floor, necessitating the application of large quantities of "kitty litter" to soak it all up. HOW DO YOU SUPPOSE HE LIVES WITH THE GUILT???

Past Newsletters

December 2000

November 2000

October 2000

September 2000

August 2000

July 2000

June 2000

May 2000

April 2000

March 2000

February 2000

January 2000

Past Meetings

May 2000

April 2000

March 2000

February 2000

January 2000

December '99

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December '98

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