September 19 & 20, 2008 - All British Car & Cycle Show (St. Louis)

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A small convoy of Memphis LBC lovers gathered at the intersection of Canada Road and I-40 around 10:00 a.m. Friday, Sept. 18th en-route to the 27th Annual British Car Day hosted by the MG Club of St. Louis, MO.

Weather couldn't be more delightful - temperature in the 70s beneath a mostly cloudy sky as Jack & Janey Reynolds, Rob & John Balton, Charles & MaryAnne Coleman, and Sharon & Jim Duke set off.

Tim and Tom Hayes were trailering their Austin A30 up separately, Lisa and Emily Balton would follow in a few hours, and Steve Pratt planned a quick dash up I-55 on Saturday morning. A balky distributor on his Damiler SP250 had derailed Steve's plan to be part of the colorful convoy.

We stopped at Sikeston, MO for lunch at Lambert's where almost everyone managed to catch a hot roll and we stuffed ourselves on their more than ample servings of great home-style food. Finally, we arrived at the host Red Roof Inn where the St. Louis club already had a grill going with hamburgers and brats in the parking lot. We quickly checked in, dumped our gear, and began to renew old friendships over tasty food and beverage. We watched as a group from Des Moines, IA arrived in TR3s, an MGB, and a drop dead beautiful Jaguar XK120 FHC. Everyone kicked tires, swapped lies, and enjoyed automotive fellowship until a late evening sent us packing for bed.

Saturday morning, Robin, John, Jack, Charles, and Jim secured a garden hose and began rinsing 300+ miles of road dust and bug splats from our cars. We then headed out for breakfast before driving over to the car show site at Creve Coeur Park alongside the lake. A false turn took us south on I-270 for a couple miles, then back past where we'd started to the correct exit. Robin noticed his MGB take a sudden slump to the passenger front as we sped down the freeway, and a quick parking lot inspection at the restaurant found his right front suspension A-arm suspended by only six of eight bolts - the two front-most bolts had sheared.

A quick survey of available tools and skill found everything needed for a quick repair - save bolts. Putting a mobile phone to good use, we contacted friends from the St. Louis club and they dispatched saviors.

John Mangles (The MG Doc), and Robert Rushing (MGB Driver Editor) soon appeared, surveyed the situation, and headed to John's shop a few miles distant. They quickly returned with bolts in pocket and a sturdy trolley jack in the back of John's pickup truck.

Not only did John Mangles provide the bolts and a better jack, he jumped beneath Robin's car and made quick work of securing the dangling A-arm!
Wow! A great friend, indeed.

So, we all made it to the show grounds safe and without further incident.

What a bunch of great cars were gathered! We've posted a few photos, but they can't do justice to the sparkling array of MGs (a bunch of beautiful MGAs), Triumphs, Austin Healeys (both big and little), three Range Rovers, and some of the most beautiful Jaguars this side of Coventry. A couple of rain sprinkles came and passed without dampening anyone's spirit.

Awards: Tim & Tom Hayes grabbed first place in their class Robin Balton - 1st in class; Jack Reynolds - 2nd in class (beaten once again by Chuck & Janel Demick's 'Binabox'); Jim Duke - 1st in class.

Steve Pratt headed homeward Saturday right after the show - he must be a tough cookie to drive up to St. Louis in the morning, then head home in the evening!!

While Tim & Tom had other plans, the balance of us went in to St. Louis' Central West End district where we eventually found parking and a great meal at a restaurant named Liuma (I think). Then we all saddled up and headed home late Sunday morning. No further mechanical gremlins appeared, so we arrived home safely but very tired just in time for Emily Balton to rush to a closing supply store to get art materials needed to complete the weekend's home work assignment. The rest of us sank into soft easy chairs and sighed in pleasant relief at being home, and in remembrance of a wonderful weekend.

The original, full size photos of these - and many others - are in the online photo album.

9/08 St. Louis Car Show

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