ABCS Insignia

The June 2002 Newsletter

May 9 Meeting Highlights

C. C. Goodson

The May 9 meeting was at the Carriage House of Dr. Gerry and Becky Mitchell. Approximately 25 club members enjoyed a feast of "haystacks" and delicious homemade cookies! Don't know what a "haystack" is? Ask one of the lucky ones that attended… There were a couple of cars at the meeting we seldom get to see - an Austin Healey 3000 and a Triumph TR6. Of course, Gerry's pristine vintage cars garnered much of the attention along with Becky's llamas! Jack Harbourne brought samples of his unique, hand carved wood plaques impressed with images of a variety of British cars. Thanks again, Gerry and Becky, for a fun, enjoyable evening.

Thinking of You

Allen Calcote, one of our Charter members, recently had by-pass surgery and is recovering well. Our thoughts and prayers are with Allen and Margaret as he continues to improve.

Drive Your British Car Week Gathering

Jane Ogle

The Third Annual Drive Your British Car Week gathering was a huge success thanks to Gourmet & Company and Natalie and Ben Bailey. Folks brought their cars, lined them up for viewing, and enjoyed snacks and drinks prepared by Gourmet & Company. The first ten cars to arrive received nice brass dash plaques.

Some of the luckier ones stayed for dinner on the outside patio. The weather cooperated and everyone enjoyed the delicious food.

Randall & Judy Thomas and Larry & Martha Elswick left Johnson City with their tops down under a blanket of stars to arrive back in Pikeville, KY at 1:00 AM. Wow! Kudos to Randall and Larry for being such staunch ABCS supporters and their willingness to drive the distance to attend our functions.

Business Journal Highlight

The Business Journal of Tri-Cities Tennessee/Virginia will feature our club in their next publication. Wayne Dye, Advertising Director, plans to attend our next meeting and will have copies available for the members.

Quinne Bryant authored the piece and did an outstanding job. The full page article features some memorable quotes from some of our more eloquent members along with a picture of Ben Bailey in shorts!

Thanks to Wayne for arranging this opportunity to publicize our club. Be sure to come to the meeting to get your copy.

Biltmore Estate Drive

The Smoky Mountain Jaguar Club (SMJC) invites us to travel with them to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC, June 29-30. The Tri-Cities group will meet at 10:45 at McDonalds at Exit 59 on I-81. We will arrive around Noon and purchase tickets to the estate. Adults - $29, Youth (10-15) - $21.75, children with a paying adult are free.

Special parking is at the Rampe Douce end of the front lawn of the Biltmore House. Before touring the home, we will have lunch. Either bring your own picnic or eat on the grounds at the Deerpark Restaurant. Their buffet is $16.50 per person, inclusive of tax and gratuity.

For those who wish to spend the night, you can get a free Accommodations Guide by calling 1-800-624-1575. The second day is reserved to tour the rest of the estate at our leisure and then drive back home.

June ABCS Drive

Randall Thomas

After a busy month of May with several club activities going on, we'll try to get in a Saturday drive in the ridge and valley country of Southwest Virginia Saturday, June 22nd. We will leave Abingdon that morning and drive North on US 19 to the junction of VA 700. We then proceed Northeast to Saltville, on to VA 16 North to Tazewell, then to VA 61 and the turn-off to Burke's Garden.

Before the next club meeting, I plan to drive this route and will discuss any suggestions or alterations to the route or time at the meeting. Since the dining options in Burke's Garden are limited, a picnic lunch is planned. Be sure to attend the next regular club meeting On June 13 to get the latest details on this drive.

Blue Ridge Parkway Drive

Herren Floyd

Three couples met early Wednesday morning at Sears Automotive in Johnson City for the unusual mid-week club drive, Ben & Natalie Bailey in their MGB, Gerald & Becky Mitchell in their Jaguar XJS, and Herren & Otti Floyd in their Capri convertible. We departed at eight o'clock and Ben led us down US 23 to Asheville and from there to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The plan was to have breakfast at Pisgah Inn, but we found the section of the Parkway south of us blocked because of a recent rock slide. A nice map was posted at the roadblock showing the blocked section and other nearby exits and connecting roads. We decided to get back off the Parkway and soon found a Waffle House. There were six of us and the booths held only four. Otti suggested that the three ladies sit together at one booth and the three men together at the adjacent one. The other two ladies quickly agreed, and it was done before any of the three men had time to get any debate started about it.

After an enjoyable and leisurely breakfast, we got back on the Parkway and headed north. The weather was perfect, the air was clear, and the scenery was magnificent. We stopped briefly at several overlooks to view the surrounding and distant mountain panoramas along the way.

We stopped to tour the Folk Art Center which was filled with interesting and some unique craft items of obviously high quality A traveling exhibit from Scotland featured a loom, fibers, textiles, kilts, and models of Scottish boat designs. A retiree from Athens, Tennessee demonstrated basket weaving and stopped to show us how a white oak log can be split into narrow ribbons.

Further up the Parkway we stopped for a while at the Craggy Garden Visitor Center and began to wish we had packed picnic lunches. Further north, we arrived at Little Switzerland a little before 2 PM and had a very nice lunch around a round table in the Chalet Restaurant. Gerald said he wanted to photograph the "aquaduct section" of the Parkway further north, so when we reached the Linville exit, he and Becky continued on north while the rest of us headed back home from there.

The entire drive was about 250 miles round trip from Kingsport, and we enjoyed every mile.

Mark and Ann's Almost Excellent Spitfire Adventure

Sam Chandler

Some readers may recall the 1980 Triumph Spitfire I advertised on our club website classified section a few weeks ago. This story is about the little Spit and the adventures of its new Canadian owners. I became acquainted with Mark Jones, owner of a 1973 MGB GT, a few short years ago when he responded to my post on the MGB Experience bulletin board, offering to trade an owners manual for a 1971 MGB GT, for anything of comparable value. Thus, began a friendship that principally involved trading local interest items across the international border with that country north of the USA. We discovered another unique bond in kayaking. I am a mostly retired whitewater kayaker, and Mark and his wife, Ann, are intrepid ocean kayakers up in the Canadian Maritime provinces. Mark was aware that I had a Spitfire for sale, and had read my posts on the MGB bbs about an attorney colleage from Whitesburg, Ky., who had been trying to trade me his 1990 Jaguar XJ Sovereign straight-up for the Spitfire. To the consternation of my fellow attorney, I declined to trade the Spitfire for a big Jag that wasn't running, and had some electrical issues(remember Joe Bowman's V12 nightmare). So, after Mark and Ann relocated to Head of Chezzetcook, near Halifax, Nova Scotia, they planned a vacation to see this part of North America, with the possible idea to buy my Spitfire and drive it from eastern Kentucky, back home to Nova Scotia. Mark was becoming sold on the idea of getting his wife a little British roadster for her birthday. Adventure alarms went off like the Queen's Jubilee, so the Jones bought airline tickets to the Cincinnati airport(actually located in northern Ky), and plans were made for me to pick them up at the airport on May 12, and drive them to my home in Jenkins, Ky, for a couple days of R&R. I knew this meant having the Spitfire checked out by my "free" mechanic, Paul, to get the Spit ready for some serious travel. This involved new tires, new brake pads and shoes, one new and one rebuilt wheel cylinder, differential seals, rear axle half shaft seals, plugs, ignition wires, oil change, new gear oil, etc. My UPS man was bewildered at the almost daily deliveries he was making to my house from places like Moss Motors, British Racing Green, SpitBits, and Little British Car Co. The fixup was relatively painless, thanks to a mehanic working off an attorney fee. So far, so good. The day before Mark and Ann were to arrive, my mechanic phoned me with a frantic message that the Spitfire had caught on fire in his yard. He had gone inside his mobile home to call me to say it was finished, and he was driving it back to my house, when "Canoe", his brother-in-law, yelled that the car was on fire. a screw had backed out of the throttle assembly, allowing gas to spurt onto the hot intake. Poof! A real SpitFIRE. I managed to inform the Canadians of the dire course of events, but those plane tickets are nonrefundable, and they were still coming. So, we met at the Cinci airport on the afternoon of Sunday, May 12. They were even more determined to return home by motorcar, after encountering some horrible air turbulence on the final leg of their flight. Monday, May 13, we drove to my mechanic's house, at the head of Round the Mountain holler, near Mayking, Ky. An adventure, in itself, and quite a bit off the beaten track, even for eastern Kentucky. Paul, my mechanic, lives at the end of a one mile dirt road, high in the hills, with his wife, three kids, four dogs, five ducks, a host of game chickens, and a tough old tomcat that rules the farm except for "Lil Bit" , the house chihuahua. We spent May 13, on the phone with various parts houses, British car mechanics, fellow club members, before deciding our course of action. Mark and Ann had to be on the road home by Thursday, so time was of the essence. We ordered a carb rebuild kit, throttle cable and mechanism from Victoria British. The melted hoses and battery were replaced locally. Overnight delivery of the parts from Vicky B, didn't happen, so Wednesday morning found us at the Pikeville, Ky UPS hub, at the break of dawn, to intercept the order before it got on the route truck. We spent the rest of the day at Round the Mountain holler, repairing the fire damage. Finally, everything appeared in order, but the little Spit would not hold an idle. Ann, in a stroke of true genius, attached a new leather Triumph keyfob to the ignition key, and BAM!, the car started purring like a happy kitten. They drove the Spitfire to my house late that evening, topdown(of course). The time we had together was not all work and anxiety, fortunately. We managed to drive my MGBs, go to the Breaks Interstate Park, and enjoy lots of fun and feasting. The Memphis bbq, fresh Maryland crabcakes, Grainger County strawberries, and the cooking of Ricki, my better-half, eased our troubles. Mark and Ann left for home on Thursday afternoon, May 16, topdown in the Spitfire. They made it Salem, Va, the 1st night. Day Two, Berkeley Springs, West Va, where they "took the waters" George Washington style in the historic mineral bath town. Will the magical Triumph key fob continue to guide them home, through New England and beyond? Will the Prince of Darkness make an appearance? Will the little Zenith carb hold out? Part Two next month.

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.

Past Newsletters

May 2002

April 2002

March 2002

February 2002

January 2002

December 2001

November 2001

September 2001

August 2001

July 2001

Jun 2001

May 2001

April 2001

March 2001

February 2001

January 2001

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

November '99

October '99

September '99

August '99

July '99

June '99

May '99

April '99

March '99

February '99

January '99

December '98

November '98

October '98

September '98

August '98

July '98

June '98

May '98