The November 11, 1999 Meeting

by Al Bradley

A B C S Travels to See Car Collection We all went to Piney flats at the 11 November meeting to see a car collection belonging to Mr. Bob McNab and had a great time in doing so. First we all assembled at the Piney Flats Hardee's restaurant where Herren Floyd announced the candidates chosen by his committee for officers in the coming new year. The following lucky individuals were railroaded or nominated (depending on your point of view!) for next year:


President:   Allen Calcote

Vice-President:   Clarence Goodson

Secretary:   Margaret Calcote

Treasurer:   Al Bradley


Drives:   Ben Bailey

Programs:   Rich Williams

Newsletter:   Al Bradley

Website:   Tom Buchanon

Once everyone had eaten, Ben Bailey lead us through Piney Flats on a course to Bob's collection. First of all, his cars are housed in a heated garage that is the size of the warehouse! The first thing I noticed was that he had a double decker London Bus housed within, so that requires a ceiling height of 16 feet at least. While the bus was the only British Car, the rest of the building was filled up with cars and motorcycles of all descriptions. Those among us who counted said there were 35 cars there. I never heard the number of motorcycles, but there were many of them.

Some of the cars that I remember included an exceptionally nice 1959 VW Beetle. That car was beautiful! There was a great old '47 DeSoto "Fluid Drive" that was large and, I'm sure, built like a tank!

Also among the cars that I personally inspected were a 1928 Hudson Super Six that was a very nice car, a great looking '51 Chevrolet, a '60 Chevrolet Impala that was air conditioned. I can recall hearing that some early cars like that had a/c and that the mechanism occupied almost the entire trunk! We didn't look in the trunk, but I was sorely tempted! I counted four examples of a Dodge Super Bird, one of which was a racing car with Donny Allison's name on the side. There were lots of NASCAR vehicles and I wouldn't attempt to try to enumerate those as I know very little about them. I saw Allen Calcote, Bill Roope and a few others giving the suspension of one of those NASCAR racers a very close inspection.

It was a great, unstructured, have-a-look-at-everything opportunity afforded to us by Bob McNab and we all made the most of those opportunities at this meeting!

Thanks again, Bob!

Y2K Reality Check Joe Bowman

No, I'm not talking computers. Here. This is a British car newsletter after all. Many of the club's members will remember the glory years of British cars in America when every major (and nearly every minor) manufacturer from across the pond offered cars and trucks in the United States. Many of these same folks own and cherish the cars now that they dreamed about during their youth. A lucky few even owned back then.

Well, what has become of the industry? Currently, you can purchase an Aston Martin, Bentley, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lotus, and Rolls Royce through a dealer network in the US. Additionally, you can purchase a Morgan and a Caterham (London built Lotus Super Seven) by special order. From every conceivable make, model, and style of automobile to six major and two minor manufacturers is quite a step backwards.

No wonder so many car enthusiasts stick with models that are no longer available - anyone care to wager which is easier and cheaper to find an alternator for - a 1999 Aston Martin or a 1960 Austin-Healey. As if parts, support, and nostalgia weren't enough, consider the price of being a current British car owner....The new Aston Martin DB7 starts at $130,000 versus $10,000 for a DB4 in 1960. I'd say both are equally unobtainable new. The least expensive British car I can find is actually a truck - the Land Rover Discovery. For sale at your local dealer starting at $34,500. Consider the price of being a current British car owner. The new Jaguar S-Type comes in at $42,000 for the six cylinder version. In 1963, the 3.8 litre S-Type could be had for a mere $6,300 and can be had for $20,000 today. By comparison, that's a little more than twice as much as the best Chevrolet of the era - the Impala which cost $2,950.Well, my Jaguar XJS is starting to look like a bargain - $28,000 new in 1982, $8,000 used today, and to get a comparable Jaguar today - the XK8 - I'd be out $66,200. Now that I look at it in this light, the $800 engine computer I need looks like quite a steal. I think thatI'll order two just in case.