Valley of Fire 2017, submitted by Jim Oswald

April 09, 2017

It was a cool windy Sunday morning. We drove our cars into the forgotten desert canyons, a distance beyond current time and civilization, winding our way between leagues of wild flowers.  The British Club (with the Motorcycle club) gathered in a CVS Pharmacy parking lot near Sunrise Mountain. With a breeze in the air and a view of the City below, we started our engines. Jim Shope took off first.  He has lots of energy and his gas pedal channeled it.  Chasing that little green Healy became the objective.  I cannot speak for the other members.  Jonas was in my rear view mirror as my Blue TR4 traced along the road like a rattle snake slithering down a rocky canyon wall. Motorcycles passed with waving leather hands. These were Bill Wellbaum’s buddies on their Triumph motorcycles.  

The red sculptured stones reflected in our windshields as we lined up to pay the National Park checkpoint. This was the Valley of Fire. Bill Wellbaum briefed us at the beginning of the trip to drive around this checkpoint.  They closed this loop hole.  Jonas was behind me checking his 3 wheeler for noises and asked me for a beer. I forgot to thank him for fixing my Triumph a couple of weeks ago.   It took him 10 minutes to fix a gas leak in my carburetor. The Blue TR 4 drove like a dream.  I owe him a beer.  I did not have one in my cooler.

We drove into a picnic area called the “Seven Sisters”, seven pillars of stone reaching for the sky.  Tourists adored our British Cars.

 It was nice to spend some time with fellow members while eating between the rocks.  Brett Harris brought his cousin Holly.  She was very nice.  AJ Dowden, a new member took pictures.  Steve and Alyson, Simon and Jane, Bill and Pilar, Andrew and Sandy, Mike and Linda, David and Clara and our motorcycle friends made this trip a wonderful experience.

St Patrick's Day Rally, Submitted by Jonas Payne

March 18, 2017

For those that haven’t been keeping track, this year’s running of the St. Paddy’s day rally marked its 10th anniversary.  I don’t recall seeing a better turn out at any of them, with so many cars in attendance. 

This year, the Rally was actually run the day AFTER St. Paddy’s day.  This is important to note, because several of the attendees, myself included, were notably “frayed around the edges”  from festivities the day before.  My morning in particular got off to a rough start because my loving wife Kate got up at the crack of dawn to head off to a “crafting event”.  I’m not exactly certain what happens when a bunch of women get together to “craft”, but I imagine that there are candles, pentagrams and incantations involved.  But I digress.  When she left, she turned off the alarm, and since I was in no condition to be up 4 hours before the rally started, I promptly fell back asleep.  If not for a call from Healeyman, I would have dozed through the rally.

I pulled into the parking lot after about half of the entrants had already started and found Pat Klenk wandering around looking dazed and confused, this is normal.   As are the bloodshot eyes.  It was like looking in a mirror.  Bill Wellbaum was in similar condition, and eating aspirin like Pez.

Because Kate was off practicing Witchcraft, Pat had agreed to be my navigator.  We were both looking forward to being on what we considered to be a “Dream Team” and showing the Mini Club (The Hun) a thing or two about rallying.  You see, Pat and I are both “professionals” and just egotistical enough to think we are pretty smart guys………….the rest of the teams wouldn’t have a chance against our cunning, supreme intellect and driving acumen.  We were a shoe in to take the podium.  Frankly, I was surprised that anybody hade even shown up, knowing that we were competing together.  Surely, once they were aware of this team, they would forfeit and not just concede victory, but shower us in free beer and adulation.

Pat and I put on the safety belts and proceeded to the start of the rally, where we received………..the Scan Tron Test From Hell.  I’m not sure how many of our members recall taking the SAT, or LSAT, but the Hun’s Evil Doctor clearly had something up his sleeve here, and I had a brief flashback to oversleeping through several college midterms.    He even provided us with #2 pencils….. he asked us if we had understood the Rally master’s instructions…………which I had slept through………I look over at Pat, he silently mouths “Instructions?” with a puzzled look on his face. 

How hard could it be? We laughed…………and promptly took the 1st turn of the Rally.   Incorrectly.   We joined 15 cars lapping the parking lot.   At this point we note that it is getting warm.  Very warm.  How could it be 90 degrees at 10:00 AM in March?  Once in 10 years has it been this hot……It’s rained, it’s even snowed……but 90?  I look towards the Henderson Convention Center for obvious signs of Necromancy, but nothing was to be seen.    No worries though………with Pat navigating and my Stirling Moss like driving skills, Pat and I will be collecting 1st prize and working on tomorrow’s hangover by 11:30.

We saw lots of other cars, many going the wrong direction (we thought) and in our arrogance assumed that only we knew the correct route.   Until we had to make a U-Turn in Reno.  At this point we are 3.5 hours in, and our spirit was getting low on BAC, (Blood Alcohol Content, not British Auto Club), and things were looking pretty grim.   So grim in fact that at while at first I happily thought we were being circled by Flying Monkeys that the Wicked Witch of the Crafting sent to find us.  Unfortunately, it turned out to be worse………..much worse………….Pat and I were lost in the desert and being circled by Vultures expecting us to expire at any moment.   Despite Pat’s protestations that nearly ended in a knife fight, I decided to throw in the towel, tuck my tail between my legs and head to the bar.

Apparently, while we were off in Northern NV doing our imitation of the Donner Party, every single other team had finished and was enjoying beverages and lunch.  We pulled in as most of the participants were leaving, apparently the still circling Vultures scared them off?

We missed the awards ceremony,  lunch,  and pretty much everything else (I’m sure the editor has the details, which they will fill in for me).  But that’s OK, we had a great time, as ever.  It was good to see my friends (even if only briefly as we waved at them by going the wrong direction).

Looking forward to next year, the Mini Club is hosting, and Pat and I are looking for an elusive win.

Beatty Days - submitted by Al Seminatore

October 30, 2016

Our journey started last April, 2016.  We showed our Healy at the Over the Hump car show in Pahrump and placed 2nd, but it was pointed out that our paint was cracking.  So off to the paint shop.  We “knew” there was no rust or bondo, so this should be a very simple job.  Well it turned out that we not only had bondo and rust but also fiberglass, undercoating and riveted body parts.  All that was corrected before it was stripped to bare metal, primed and painted.

 

In April, we went to the Amargosa Days in Amargosa, Nevada.  There we took 1st place in the Sports Car Division.  That was a very nice show, many nice people and held on the fairgrounds.

 

In September, we went to the Tumble Weed Taverns (Horizon Market) show.  To our surprise, we received another first in the Sports Car Division.

 

On October 27th I went up to take Mac out for a drive, picked up the trailer while Pat stayed home and washed the car -  actually  she detailed it for the Beatty Days Show.  We loaded up Friday and drove to Beatty for the show on October 30th.  We unloaded the car and parked it in front of our motel room Friday evening.  Saturday morning we went to take the car to the restaurant.  To our surprise, we found the tailpipes dragging on the ground. As luck would have it, one the Model A folks had a coat hanger, which we use to hold the tail pipes off the ground.

 

To our shocking surprise, we again placed 1st in the Sports Car Division at Beatty Days.  This show had about 10 Model A from Las Vegas.  Pahrump Valley Cruisers was well represented as well.  The fairground was packed with cars – there was car for everyone’s taste.

Mt. Charleston Run

June 05, 2016

The Temperatures were heading up into the 100’s as we left home early Saturday morning. A few traffic hiccups along the way, but we arrived at our meeting place to see well over 20 participants waiting to caravan up the mountain. We were also glad to see some four-legged participants eager to get to cooler climate.

Once at the Lodge, we took our places on the patio. A little crowded at first but we all made room.  This was one of the biggest Mt. Charleston events that I can remember, with approximately 40 people in attendance. The scenery was beautiful; the air was a cool 79 degrees.

We were pleased to see Pat and Al Seminatore who had traveled from Pahrump and then up the mountain to join the group. Bill Wellbaum’s British Iron Rebels (a British motorcycle club) also joined us. We all had a good lunch, although it was served by what you ordered and not by the way the orders were taken. Confusing, but everyone got their food.

There were six Canine participants: Max and Callie (their chauffer's were Sandy and    Andrew Lashua), Heidi whose chauffer is Jim Shope, Enzo who rode in style with Al Lindahl, Freddy who stayed close to his drivers Steve and Sandy Kilgour and then there was Shayna, who always rides in style with Laurie Rosenau! All the dogs were perfect little ladies and gents. (Note: Freddy is a shaggy hair Jack Russell. The Kilgours brought him back from the U.K., so he is authentically British ~ doggy passport and all!)

Lorene Lindahl brought her sister Ellen who is visiting. Laurie brought her friend Kathy who is visiting from Florida. As always, guests are always welcome!  Brett Harris brought along the “Paddle” just in case it was “needed” (always thinking ahead Brett!)   It has been suggested that we do another Mt. Charleston run this year, maybe in the fall. We are considering that.

Andrew and I would like to thank all who made the drive and participated in this event. We had a great time and hope you did too.

THE BRITISH AUTO CLUB DOES SPRINGDALE, submitted by Bill Wellbaum

May 20, 2016

Those needing a hearty breakfast to start the day met at the truck stop near the Speedway and loaded up.  We then convoyed up the 15, turned right at Hurricane, and followed the signs to Springdale.  All in all—a delightful 3-hour drive through some beautiful countryside including Rockville, a quaint, peaceful little village called the “City of Trees.”  I mean lots of trees.

The bad news on arrival at the Canyon Ranch motel was that we were all checking in for the very last time as a Club.  The property has been sold and will shut down the end of the year to become a Best Western. 

After a walkabout and some shopping, we settled down to some adult beverages and chitchat in the grassy area that forms the most enjoyable part of the motel.  All 12 of us then adjourned to the Spotted Dog for an enjoyable meal in one of our two favorite restaurants.  Not full enough, some then made their way to the Ice Cream Palace for a hot fudge sundae.  That was enough for me.  Full of food, beer, and ice cream I left the group gathered in the ‘grass’ and went to bed.

Saturday dawned a beautiful day -cool and partly sunny.  We had breakfast at 9 East—a new eatery directly across from the motel.  Everyone then scattered for a day of more shopping, hiking, and exploring the new sites in Springdale.  The evening was capped off with another great meal at the Switchback Grille—one of our regular dining locations.  The good news is we have located another motel just south of town that is much newer, has a grassy area, and is priced the same as the soon-to-be-gone Canyon Ranch.  So, those of us who value a quiet, restful weekend out of town have another spot to “hole up” for three days next year and beyond. 

 

Can’t wait to get back to Springdale. Haven’t tried it?  You should. 

Highland Games & Car Show, by Jonas Payne

April 16, 2016

Our third annual trek to the Highland Games was a resounding success, with 19 cars in attendance.  While short of our first year “high water mark” of 22 cars, we did beat last year’s total, and the Payne’s showing up with 2 cars (in lieu of 3) and the Kennedy’s with 1 (in lieu of 2).  Using “Trump Math”, that tells me that turnout was better than ever, and to coin a term…………”HUUUGE”.

“Storming the Gate” was, how shall I say it delicately?.................Typical.  We showed up on time, in formation, ready to roll, and?   The organizers of the event had no idea we were coming and couldn’t unlock the gates.  We did however get to spend some time with a very nice Sheriff’s deputy who was very helpful, and also very embarrassed that his “all pass” key couldn’t unlock the gates.  Interestingly enough, the event’s host “Angus” looked more hung over than I did (that ain’t easy folks……..)

In perspective for timing:

               Year 1 – we show up at 6:30 AM, and the organizers get there at 7:30

               Year 2 – we show up at 7:00 AM, and the organizers get there at 7:30

               Year 3 – we show up at 7:30, and the organizers show up at 8:00.

Next year we are showing up at 8:00.

Despite my joking about the timing, it is a great event, one of my favorites, as we get to hang out together socially, and dare I say it, there is something other than just cars for those in the club that have other interests.  For example:

  1. Beer.  I like beer, it turns out that many of the other club members do to (who would of thought…..).  We were cracking the first ones by 8:30.

  2. Food.  I like food (reference aforementioned item 1).  Scottish Eggs……..yummm!  Pat Klenk nearly lost a finger getting too close to the plate.

  3. Hefty gals throwing heavy objects………enough said.

  4. Music.  Who doesn’t like that?

  5. They have a f’n parade!  With dudes in skirts………from all over the place.  These folks come from all over the place and they are seriously into their Scottish Heritage.  It is a beautiful thing to see.

  6. Kevin the magical peacock.  Shope still doesn’t think he is real and is part of some PTSD flashback.  Jim – Kevin is real and he LOVES YOU!  That’s why he constantly sneaks up behind you and makes you jump out of your skin.

Other important observations from this year that are in all seriousness and I hope people take to heart:

  1.  Somewhere in the brochures, bylaws, etc… it notes that you don’t need a British Car to be in the club or attend events.  I would like to extend a personal THANK YOU! To James Oswald, who was recovering from Eye Surgery and showed up without his TR4. 

In addition, I would like to thank Brett Harris (our youngest member) for attending without his MGB, just for fun.  I had an absolutely wonderful time hanging out with Brett, and it was good to get to know one of our newer (and did I mention youngest!) members.  BTW Brett, Uly Shope is WAAAAAAAY out of your league. 

  1. Despite the fact that Susie Rosoff wasn’t there this year, we had not 1, not 2, but 3 female members of the club drive ANTIQUE cars to the event.  In the 10 years I have been in the club, this is a record, for any event.  I would like to thank Jane James, Uly Shope and my own best friend Kate Payne for demonstrating that the girls are just as much into this as the guys.

Another great year at the Highland Games – we look forward to seeing you there next year.

Temecula Weekend, submitted by Bill Wellbaum

November 13, 2015

     This year we saw 24 make the drive to the wine country around Temecula, California.  The weather was cool and sunny as we left the parking lot of the Silverton Casino and headed down the 15.  Some of us decided to take a small detour to Tom’s Farms for a little lunch break and to buy some beer, wine, and snacks for later.  A few moments later we pulled into the Quality Inn—a nicely remodeled motel off the beaten path.

 

     The accommodating staff arranged to have some extra chairs and tables brought to poolside and at about 4:00 we began our traditional ‘attitude adjustment’ session at which the events of the day are discussed as well as the plans for the next day.  It starts to get dark early in Temecula and the temperature started to dive so around 5:00 we packed up and headed for the Thornton Winery.  There we enjoyed a wine tasting of their wonderful products followed by a lovely meal out of doors on their patio.  Everyone seemed to have a great time including Enzo who was attending his first such BAC event.

 

     Next morning we congregated downstairs for a better-than-average motel breakfast and then it was off to the well- known Temecula Farmers Market for a look at the fresh produce and crafts brought in from the Temecula Valley.  As if on cue the BAC members scrambled to get to the first winery of their choice at the 10 o’clock opening bell.  After all, we did make the trip to drink wine and we did just that.  Those who weren’t interested in sampling the grape offerings found other things to do.  Jim Shope and Andy Lashua drove to a nearby town to take part in a gathering of Austin Healey owners and cars.  Sandy, Laurie, and Christine were seen cruising the various retailers in Old Town and the wineries that had gift shops.  Needless to say there are lots of goodies in Temecula to spend money on.

 

     As is the habit of BAC’ers we got back together after a hard day’s sampling wine—for more wine and snacks around the pool.  Those who weren’t ready for a nap at that point decided to try a new restaurant in Old Town—the 1909.  The food selection is varied and of good quality and almost all of us had a good experience there—except for Andrew Lashua whose tale “The Bison Burger” will be published elsewhere.  It is said that Enzo—a new member—had a lovely time as well.  The consensus is that we will do this trip again—next year.

 

 

 

   

Wurst Fest - Boulder City, NV

September 26, 2015

 

From one of our own, Jonas Payne, writes after a great day in Boulder City:

 

To our token Kiwi, Steve "Elko Sheep Herder" Zaks, "Commander" Cody, Black Sabbath Headrick, The Ayatollah Bowman, the SGT Major Lashua, (and the General), Kennedy's, Contortionist Jim Oswald, Klenk's, Jim "Who peed in your Cheerios" Shope, and the Outlaw Biker Welbaum's (don't mess with them).

Thank you for a great day!!!!

Thanks for sneaking us beers Al! (I don't know if you guys know it, but the Ayatollah Bowman is sort of connected in Boulder City.)

...

 

I don't take days off often, but when I do, I like to hang with the BACLV!

If you weren't there - you missed a great time. See you tomorrow!

Lunch at Lola’s Louisiana Kitchen

Well, the dark, overcast skies were threatening and the weather alerts warned of flash flood warnings. Nevertheless, in spite of the impending foul weather, 22 hardy souls gathered at Lola’s in Summerlin for some great Louisiana cooking.  The eight members who signed up to join us at the luncheon - but failed to show - missed a terrific lunch and an opportunity to spend some quality time with their Club Mates.

From blackened catfish to etouffee, gumbo to shrimp and grits, the food was delivered tableside hot and ready to be devoured. To top it off, the selection of Abita beers on tap is extensive.   The wait staff was attentive and the menu provided excellent value for the money.  The consensus seems to be the Club should do this again.  I’m sure we will.

 

Submitted by Bill Wellbaum, Event's Chairperson

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