President's Message - November 2016

I was using some compressed air on one of the carbs on our TR-6 and inadvertently blew out the float bowl drain plug. I watched it ricochet off one of the exhaust tubes and then lost track of it until it banged off the inside of the bonnet. Two days later, neither Pilar nor I could find it. Trust me—me looked everywhere. I sent out an SOS to the fellow TR-6 owners on the 6 Pack list asking if anyone could supply me with one. One owner said they sold them at Victoria British, one of the big three parts suppliers for British cars. And, best of all, Dale Osterndorf of Roanoke, VA., said he had a couple squirreled away and would send me one—free of charge. Sort of a pay-it-forward thing. I got it in the mail three days later. He would not accept any sort of compensation—even for the modest postage fee. Goes to show you that British car owners are indeed part of a unique fraternity.

We were recently cruising down the highway between Valencia and Zaragosa and I mentioned to Pilar how civilized the drivers were there in Spain. It reminded me of our road trip to Oregon where the drivers are surprisingly courteous—no speeding, no weaving in and out of lanes, no abusing the horns, and no one flipping you off for committing some imagined offence. The Leflers explained that that is the way things are in the great liberal northwest. It was actually shocking at first and then became a welcome change—having spent the past 20 years navigating the streets in Las Vegas. Kind of restful, actually.

Our last night in Spain we were invited to some friend’s house for supper and a few drinks. They picked us up at our hotel in a new diesel powered Alfa Romeo and drove the few blocks to their house. After supper I asked them if they could drive us back to the hotel as we had an early flight back to the States. If got very quiet and our hosts sort of looked down at the table and got very quiet. Curious, I asked them if I had asked the wrong question and they replied they wouldn’t be caught dead driving after as much as one beer. Yes, it seems that in Spain if you are stopped after consuming one beer and asked to ‘blow’ you are considered drunk and you go to jail. We ended taking a cab back as no one wanted to risk it. Spanish police have a zero tolerance policy to alcohol consumption and driving. That applies to the national speed limit of 120 kph as well—72 mph, and believe me it is a law respected by all drivers. I don’t mean 73, I mean 72 mph. Amazing.

Enough of this idle chatter. Pretty exciting to think that by the time you read this the BAC will have a new President, Vice President, Secretary, and Member at Large. And this will probably be my last President’s message. It has been a pleasure to serve as your President and to work and play alongside the other hardworking Board Members. As they say in Ireland “good craic.”


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