I’ve been active in LBC internet chat groups since about 2001. Without them and the advice of countless generous people, I would still be fumbling with my first car restoration. I have dozens of people I call friends because we have been corresponding for years online and speaking on the phone, despite the fact that I have never met most of them in person.
Upon my return to Las Vegas from Hawaii in 2006, I was contacted by Gerald Petter, who is a member of the Foothills British Car Club located in Pickens, SC (FBCC). He was visiting Las Vegas and asked if I’d like to get together for a pint and hopefully a ride up the fabulous Las Vegas Strip in my Morgan. We got together and had great fun. Over the years, Gerald was kind enough to copy me on some FBCC newsletters.
As it turns out, my parents have a retirement home in Pickens. They are members of my club, the British Auto Club of Las Vegas (BACLV) and have enjoyed club events for several years. Upon returning from Calgary to South Carolina, I encouraged them to join the FBCC, which they did, and they were very pleased to find that the membership was outgoing and friendly.
This year, my family and I were able to visit SC for the first time in many years, I reached out to various internet friends to see if there were any LBC events nearby in SC, and Gerald suggested that we contact Judd, the President of the FBCC. He indicated that there were no events planned, but that he would be happy to set up a drive. Needless to say, I was as pleased as punch.
My father, Gary, and I arrived at the clubhouse and I was amazed to see nine cars in attendance. For the record, this would be a very good turnout for a driving event in Las Vegas; the fact of the matter is that the weather here really isn’t conducive to LBC’s, which we all know like to overheat.
Speaking with Judd, I learned that the FBCC is about the same size as the BACLV, with 65 to 67 active households. We also quickly commiserated about the lack of younger people in the hobby and discussed ways to get them interested. Several others joined in the conversation, and I was absolutely amazed at the warm welcome I received.
This area of the country is blessed with what is arguably the best weather and unarguably the best driving roads for our cars in the country. While the BACLV is more of a social club with LBC’s thrown in, my observation is that the FBCC members DRIVE their cars.
The drive was OUTSTANDING! I say this with a good bit of jealousy. Here in NV, I’m blessed with high heat and flat roads with no curves. It was so much fun to drive and to see the cars in something more akin to their natural habitat. The scenery was outstanding, and I thoroughly enjoyed driving through the woods, off camber turns and one lane bridges. What fun!
I want to extend a big THANK YOU! To the FBCC for hosting me and welcoming a stranger with open arms. I had a great time, and to Judd, Gene and Gerald – many thanks. It takes great people to make a great club and the FBCC is a treasure.
I’d like to extend an open invitation to any members of the FBCC to join us at the BACLV if you are ever in Vegas. I’d love to return the favor and share my club with you. Our website is BACLV.ORG. Additionally, you can follow the BACLV on FACEBOOK.