ABCS Insignia

The November 2002 Newsletter

Highlights of the October 10 Meeting

We had seventeen members in attendance and didn't have any visitors this time. The program consisted of a show-and-tell by our members of any interesting British car parts, tools, and products of special interest to automotive enthusiasts. It proved to be an interesting and fun activity. Tools that got a very favorable reaction included a Sears cutter which easily and cleanly cut a fuel line in the demonstration, a calibrated adjustable wrench marked in fractions of an inch, and some very thin-walled racheting box-end wrenches, angled with a reverse switch.

Robert brought several items on loan from Sears including some very neat devices for removing damaged, rounded off hex-head bolts and nuts, and for removing damaged Phillip's-head screws.

Herren brought an MGB special tool, an octagon box-end wrench for removing the large wheel bearing retainer nuts, and offered the loan of it to any members that might have occasion to need it. Also shared was a simple home-made part that engages the teeth of the flywheel when fastened at one of the bolt holes to prevent the flywheel from turning. The door prize drawing was won by Gael Bright who had remembered to wear his name tag .

Election of New Club Officers

New club officers for the year 2003 will be elected at the beginning of the December 12 meeting. Elected Officers are President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. The Nominating Committee was appointed by our President and will present its slate of candidates at the November 14 meeting. Also any member may nominate another member or other members at the November or December meeting provided that they have indicated a willingness to serve as a club officer if elected. Volunteers are also welcome (including incumbent officers who are willing to serve another year), and their names will be added to the list of candidates.

The club also needs the services of the Programs, Driving Events, Newsletter, and Website Committees. These are appointed by the Elected Officers, and volunteers to serve on these committees are needed.

Saturday, October 5 Drive to the Middlesboro Air Show
By Herren Floyd

It was a pleasant Autumn day with comfortable temperatures. We left from Rush Street Grill parking lot shortly past 8:45 AM and headed to the Overlook restaurant for breakfast. Clarence Goodson and Gerald Mitchell came in their Jaguars and Ben Bailey, Bud & Regina Shinall, Jon & Karen Whitt, and Kenneth Hampton in their MGBs. I rode with Carl who led us in his MGB-V8.

We met Dick Williams and several other British car enthusiasts from other clubs at the Overlook restaurant, and ate a delightful, leisurely breakfast in the expanded facility which now offers a splendid view of the scenery below. After breakfast, Carl led the pack on to Middlesboro airport where we joined still more British cars parked inside the fence.

Glacier Girl was roped off this time so that workers could continue the restoration work all during the air show in preparation for her first flight scheduled for October 26. The air show was somewhat limited in scope again this year although there was a very good aerial acrobatics performance. Carl and I decided to walk over to the Stearman biplane that was selling rides to see how short the waiting line was. Carl apparently got distracted along the way. When I reached the Stearman alone and was told that I would be next, I climbed aboard for a thrilling twenty-minute open-cockpit ride.

Eventually our breakfast was gone and some of us headed to Webb's in Cumberland Gap for lunch and their famous cobbler. Surprisingly, we decided not to take what I thought was a mandatory drive up to the Pinnacle on this trip. I had been flown very close to it on my flight in the biplane.

After lunch, Dick led us on a drive to see an old fashioned filling station in Tazwell that is being restored and features the old hand-lever gravity-flow gasoline pumps. From there, he led us down a curvy back road to the Clinch Mountain Winery where I bought a bottle of their pear wine.

On the way back to Kingsport, Kenneth followed Carl and me to Steve Hightowers place out from Church Hill to check on his progress refurbishing my 1963 MGB. Steve wasn't home, but peering through his shop window, we decided he must have completed the new paint job.

Sunday, October 20 Multi-Club Picnic
By Herren Floyd

Carl and I didn't meet with the others at Rush Street Grill, since my younger son from Atlanta was visiting with us. We left later and drove straight down to Dave & Darlene Britton's place on Cherokee Lake in Carl's MGB-V8.

The weatherman had promised a thoroughly rainy day, and we drove through quite a bit of it on our way, but it stopped raining before we arrived and never rained during the event. We had a very good turnout. There was a delightful assortment of over twenty-five cars, mostly British from at least four clubs. One of the cars that attracted much attention was a new SOB (Something Other than British) Lexus all-wheel-drive sporty roadster with a fully automatic, powered convertible steel hardtop. Another interesting car was a German-built, British-powered Amphicar, an amphibian vehicle that can be driven on the road or in the lake. It has a screw at the stern for propulsion in the water, but uses the front wheels to steer both on the road and in the lake.

There was also a delightful assortment of delicious foods including homemade pies and other desserts brought by participants, in addition to the hamburgers and hotdogs grilled by our co-host, Dave Britton. We are very fortunate to have been invited to hold this event at Dave and Darlene's home place again this year.

After we could eat no more, the English Automobile Society presented their Dick Williams Award to one of their deserving members, which they do annually. Just before we were to leave on the drive to see Ron Bloomquist's latest World War One vintage aircraft project, we got to see the Amphicar roll down the boat ramp, splash into the water, cruise around in the lake, and drive out again squirting a stream of water into the air from its bilge pump. I know of a few British cars that could make good use of a bilge pump on a rainy day.

We had phoned my son, Cliff, to have him meet us on his way back to Atlanta at Ron Bloomqist's place on Aviation Blvd. Ron had his latest project, a German WWI Goth twin-engine bomber, well in progress, and he led our group on a splendid guided tour of his amazing historical airplanes and his hangar and workshop facilities. He even agreed to let some of us know by email when he planned to be flying, although it would have to be rather short notice. I plan to furnish Ron with a list of members with their email addresses who would like to be notified. Let me know if you would like to be included.

I Haven't Had Clean Fingernails in Two Decades
By Robert Hall


Robert Hall - Christian, Husband, Dad, Patriot, Car Enthusiast and Military Historian, Age 34.

Wife, Apryl Hall is a second year medical student at Quillen College of Medicine, ETSU.

Daughter, Katherine is 9 years old and loves sports, animals, and art.

I struggle to correctly label the type of relationship I have with cars, but I'm sure I get the infatuation from my dad. It is sort of genetic disorder you might say, though behaviorial psychiatrists would say that it is a learned behavior brought on by years of riding around as a small child in the front seat of an old blue four door Chevy pickup truck dragging Jags out of fields, barns and storage sheds from Sikeston, MO to Tupelo, MS, or maybe it was the time I spent playing in the empty shell of that once proud Maseratti 250 road racer that sat for short spell in out driveway. Who knows? Who cares? The important thing is that I'm hooked!

I said infatuation because I do have emotional trysts with certain cars that are oft based more on their looks and some idealistic daydream what they are or could be versus the reality of what they are or never were. I hold out hope eternal that the next repair or modification will miraculously transform a fault-filled design into a vice-free chariot with near mythical abilities. Cars can consume my thoughts from dawn until midnight, yet even though I know my involvement defies logic it feeds on emotion and grows without bound.

Is it Love? Love involves a steadfast and lifelong commitment. I have that. Not with just one car mind you, but with autos in general. I admire them from a distance and study them up close. I long to know all about them, to memorize their lines and burn their specifications into the fibers of my brain. I want to care for them and buy them little presents like polished wood shift knobs and polyurethane bushings. Love is patient and keeps no records of wrong. A car's faults are quickly forgotten and it is remembered fondly when it is gone.

Is it an addiction? I may go on the wagon for a while, but just about the time I feel I've mastered my sloppy impulse control - BAM there I am again face down in the classifieds, high on the dreams of what bargains lay in wait for a man such as I and drunk on the thrill of the hunt for the next project or the next daily driver to end all daily drivers. Maybe I'll find a car that can make me be true and never even want to look at another chassis or whiff some other model's fragrant leather. Oh, who am I kidding? I'm a car junky! There I have admitted it, and they say that being able to admit to an addiction is the first step to recovery. Goodness I hope not!

Is it an obsession? Obviously!

In lieu of recounting my experiences and discussing the cars I've owned, here is list of significant numbers.

Significant Numbers:

1- Is the number of days old I was when I had my first Jaguar ride, fingers I have had cut off by Jaguars, fingers I have had surgically reattached, times I stopped working on my car when I told Apryl I would, the number of women I love, and number of times I had my TR7 airborne by accident.

2- Jaguars I've caught on fire.

3- Times I had the TR7 airborne on purpose. E Types, XK's, 6.3 Mercedes, 6.9 Mercedes, and Triumphs owned.

4- MGB's and Porsche's owned, times I swore I would have my '67 E Type reassembled within a few weeks.

7- Times I thought I was going to have a stroke because I got so mad while working on an old Jaguar.

12 - Years my '67 E Type has been dismantled.

13 - Vintage races I've been to.

27 - Times I was pulled over by the police before I turned 30.

29 - Times I mention cars on an average day.

67 - Times I mention cars on a good day.

** - The number of times I mention cars when I'm on a "guy weekend" would involve exponential notation and mess of the neat type spacing in this article, so I'll omit that number.

My current collection:

1953 XK 120 OTS - tremendously original unrestored.

19?? XK120 FHC / XK150 / E Type conglomeration - nice driver and getting nicer.

1961 Mercedes 180b sedan - gift from the original owner.

1966 Stingray - belonged to former Elvis / John Belushi bodyguard - hmmm?

1967 E Type FHC - excellent rust free original getting a complete mechanical rebuild.

1970 Mercedes 6.3 - good 'ol original car with a big Nazi V8.

1971 Mercedes 6.3 - as above, but in need of restoration.

1977 XJ6C - excellent rust free original awaiting post paint reassembly - (for sale).

1979 TR7 Convertible Ltd Edition - very low miles, a/c, good body and interior but lonely and forgotten - (needs new home).

1996 XJ6 VDP - Apryl's first Jaguar - SMOOOTHE.

1998 XJR - supercharged V8, thinks 911's are diet food.

ABCS Officers & Committee Chairs for 2002

President: Robert Hall, 423-262-0402.

Vice-President: Gael Bright, 423-239-4247.

Secretary: Clarence (CC) Goodson, 423-928-2023

Treasurer: Al Bradley, 540-628-4763.

Newsletter: Jane Ogle, 423-282-5687.

Driving Events: Randall Thomas, 606-432-5153.

Programs: John Hanlin, 423-239-5603.

Webpage: Herren Floyd, 423-239-5455.

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