Rob’s Blog: Meet Ockham’s Razor

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I suspect you already figured out there will be no monthly meeting again this month. Plus, the annual All British Car Day is postponed.

The monthly meetings will not resume until the stay at home order is lifted and social distancing is relaxed a little. Like most of you, I have no idea when either of these two things will happen, but in the meantime, I’m fine playing by the rules and not tempting fate with a case of the virus.

As for All British Car Day… Best guess is it could be on Labor Day weekend, Sunday, September 6th. Don’t start making plans just yet, but that is the next three day weekend, and far enough in the future when things could be much different as far as social behavior goes. Right now we couldn’t even get a permit to use the park.

The enormity of this pandemic is hard to comprehend. Imagine car clubs around the world in the same boat as us. The shows, rallies, cross-country drives and tech sessions being canceled. On the other hand, the shutdown of business activity is license to work late into the night on car projects that have been put off for years. In other words… no excuse for not having a huge showing whenever the next All British Car Day is held.

On another note… Since I seem to be the self appointed clearing house for all the car stories, 25 to date, I’m also the one receiving feedback from members who have enjoyed reading about the trials and tribulations of fellow owners. I have learned from several reliable sources, there are still some memories being developed for our amusement, but for now, on behalf of everyone, let me thank all of you who have taken the time to write about your adventures.

For me, it has been an opportunity to re-live some of my own, and appreciate the depth of loyalty we have to old British sports cars. It would be so much easier for all of us to drive Toyotas and Hondas, but to go to the extremes some of us have gone over the years, recovering, restoring, and putting up with the endlessly, agonizing issues that haunt us while keeping these things running is truly amazing.

Having been left stranded along side the road more than once, I have come to two conclusions. First, there are car people all over the place willing to go out of their way to help a classic car owner in distress, and second; When the problem is fixed, it is usually something a lot less complicated than originally suspected. For example… Knowing your gas gauge is unreliable, you run out of gas anyway. Then, after blaming the fuel pump, the filters, the timing, the points, the coil, the condenser and the distributor, you decide to put some gas in the tank before driving home with a perfectly running engine. To be humble is a valuable lesson because there are those who have, and there are those who will. Ask me how I know.

We have another month to fill before possibly meeting again, so don’t be shy about sharing more memories. It doesn’t have to be about speed. Just write a story about you and your car. How could that not be entertaining.

Aloha,
Rob

Rob’s Blog: A life worth remembering

Even if you don’t follow Formula One racing, or racing of any kind, the name Stirling Moss may sound familiar. His obituary was in the Star Advertiser this morning. A few members alerted me to his passing and that was all the reason I needed to think the rest of you might want to know too.

To race for 14 years, then retire from the international racing circuit at age 33, and still be counted among the top ten racers of all time is quite an accomplishment. To say he was a man of many interests would be an understatement. Among his many achievements, in 1957 he broke the world land speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats. I’d guess that not many current Formula One racers have even been to Utah. 

Two quotes attributed to him seemed especially noteworthy. “Courage and stupidity are pretty much synonymous,” and the other, “People watch racing to witness the point where courage converges with catastrophe.” After reading these words, I couldn’t help thinking of the stories many of you have sent to share.

He seemed to summarize many of our own collective experiences. One of his accomplishments illustrates his driving philosophy to an extreme. In 1955 he won the Italian Mille Miglia by driving 995 miles in 10 hours. Do the math on that and you will see what I mean. It would seem that throughout his career he not only out ran his competitors, but fate as well. 

Aloha,
Rob

Rob’s Blog: Learn to Choose your Battles

Gail and Rob Caveney at the British Car Club Hawaii 2018 Holiday Luncheon.

If ever there was a time when the garage based “man cave” was allowed to be expanded into the living quarters, now would be that time. It may be a stretch to do a complete engine rebuild on the living room floor, but surely a carb teardown on the kitchen table is within the current rules defining what is acceptable, and what’s not. I often have greater success initiating such questionable projects under the equally questionable philosophy, better to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission. At least with this approach, the parts will already be covering the table and the only reasonable thing to do is re-assembly, which is what you were going to do anyway. 

Gail and I have reached a workable agreement surrounding these situations. I don’t make any attempt at interior decorating, and she’s agreed not to remodel the garage. I know why I need so many different screw drivers, but it’s difficult to understand how the same argument applies to tongs and basters. Evidently it does, and I’ve learned to accept that. In spite of this agreement, one of my long term goals is to have a fully functional Jaguar engine as a glass covered coffee table in the family room. Imagine those beautifully polished cam covers framed  between a set of triple HD8 SU’s on one side, and two, gleaming porcelain exhaust manifolds on the other.  “What a great conversation piece,” I insist. Her disapproving look speaks louder than any verbal reply, and we defer to the kitchen/garage agreement. It’s important to pick your battles.

If you haven’t already guessed, there will be no Tech Session this month, and the club meeting scheduled for Tuesday, April 7th is also canceled. During these unusual times of isolation and social distancing, maybe we could share some personal stories of our automotive past. For example, what was the fastest you have ever gone in a car and the circumstances surrounding the experience? Or, what was the scariest thing that ever happened to you in a car. Don’t be limited by the facts. At our age (at least most of us) fading memories can only enhance reality. For me, it was 110 mph and I was in the back seat of a Porsche 911. The scenery was going by so fast I had to peek over the driver’s shoulder. The needle was pegged and I knew it was a benchmark moment. That was back in 1968 and it still stands.

I hope all of you are coping well and are observing the new normal when it comes to hand washing and cleanliness. There seems to be no end to the cautions necessary to stay virus free. I still don’t know if it’s safe to share the tube of toothpaste. Maybe it’s best to fail on the side of caution.

Stay safe friends. We will be back together soon with some stories to tell.

Aloha,
Rob

Rob’s Blog: Annual Moss Promotion

I’m forwarding this promotion from Tom’s Import Toy Sales for everyone to see. If you’ve been planning a big purchase, now might be a good time to pull the trigger, and save a lot of money as well.

Aloha,
Rob

From: Tom’s Import Toy Sales
Subject: NEW MOSS SALE
Date: November 22, 2019 at 7:39:42 AM HST

The new Moss sale started this week. 

  • $1-499 gets a discount of 15% from the list price
  • $500-1499 gets a discount of 20% from the list price
  • $1500 and over receives 25% from the list price

The sale is in effect from now thru December 27, 2019 @ 1 p.m.  Some exclusions apply.

Our web site: https://tomsimport.com/

Call us at: 503-245-0174

We wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Tom, Geno and Skip


Tom’s Import Toy Sales & Service is dedicated to keeping classic British cars such as Austin Healeys, Triumphs, Jaguars and MGs on the road.

Rob’s Blog: Does it Always Have to be British?

Two months in a row without a tech session. That must be some kind of record. But not to worry my wannabe mechanics. Hang on to your spanners, charge up the fire extinguisher, and get ready to dive into another project.

Tech Session

For next month, plan on meeting at Victor Geminani’s garage in Lanikai to get his Jaguar E-Type on the road. A variety of jobs await the collective wisdom of the club including brakes, installing a new gas tank, and predictably, an ignition issue that will surely come up as soon as the key is turned. 

We begin around 10:00 a.m. and break for lunch around noon. Depending on the progress, or lack of it, we either gloat in our success, or return to the garage and keep fiddling until we tire of defeat and go home, leaving poor Victor to grovel on his own. 

He has promised to fire up the grill but it’s always suggested you bring a beverage of your own. Victor lives at 1237 Aalapapa Drive Kailua (Lanikai). His house is almost at the end of the loop so if you head that way, you will go past his garage on the right.

A word of caution on weekend parking. It is extremely limited, if not impossible, and the parking police are not there to help. There is some room in the yard, but heed the signs if you don’t find a spot on his property. 

Holiday Party

The Christmas Brunch will be held again at Josh’s house on Sunday, December 15th. His family home on the North Shore is the perfect beachfront venue for this event and gets us out of the city for a real road trip sort of drive.

The cost per person will be in the $15 to $20 range, but if you have been to one of these wing dings, you already know the raffle gifts can easily equal the price of admission. Mark your calendars and make sure your old car can make it that far.

As in previous years, we will plan on meeting at the Temple Valley Shopping Center and caravanning up the coast together. In keeping with the phrase “safety in numbers,” we might as travel surrounded by helpful friends and tow ropes. More details when the date gets closer.

Ford vs Ferrari

Remember the club’s last movie night? I don’t either. I’d say we are over due for another one. This time we are going to take it up a notch and plan a real outing to see the new movie, “Ford vs Ferrari”, which is to be released November 15th. It is being offered in super sized IMAX format or regular screen. Either way, even though the link to British cars is sketchy, at best, it will still be a fun movie for a bunch of car guys to experience together. Time and date to follow on this as well. 

It’s a Wheel Deal

Here is another good deal for someone out there. Member Terry Tusher has an offer worth looking at. 

Contact him directly if you are interested: 808-225-2805

I have a deal for you if you own a TR2-4A, MGA, MGB, MGC, Morgan 4/+4, or Austin Healy BN1 – BJ8!

The car they were purchased for, unfortunately, is none of the above and the wheel offset is wrong.  

For Sale:  5 new MWS silver painted, 72-spoke, Heavy Duty, 5×15, wire wheels (Moss Motors #454-665).

My error is your good luck!  

My cost: $300/each + shipping.  Make me an offer I can’t refuse.

The next club meeting will be Tuesday, November 12th at 6:00 p.m. at Gordon Biersch, Aloha Tower Market Place. 

That’s all I have for now. Be sure to give Terry a call about his rims, mark your calendars for the Saturday, November 9th Tech Session, the Christmas Brunch on December 15th, and the next membership meeting on the 12th.

Aloha,
Rob

Rob’s Blog: Last Call

One week from today is this year’s All British Car Day.

On Sunday, the 26th, anyone with any British car who wants to enter the event is invited to sign up and join with others to share stories, and revel in the company of like-minded British car owners. You don’t have to be a club member to participate.

Register to participate in the show: http://britishcarclubhawaii.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/British-Car-Day-Registration-form.pdf

It isn’t a show, but rather a gathering of people who just like British cars and want to get together at least once a year. Entry is free to the public. There is always the Peoples Choice Award presented to the car everyone likes the best, for whatever reason, plus this year’s recipient of the Anastasia Cup. This annual award goes to a club member who has supported the club, its members, and has displayed unconditional encouragement to all of us. Believe me when I say this year’s recipient is way over due for recognition. 

If you want to participate in the caravan through Waikiki from Ala Moana Shopping Center to Kapiolani Park, meet outside of Macy’s on the second level from the top, no later than 8:45 a.m. If no one is there, that means we already left, or you are on the wrong level. 

After the show, about noon, we will proceed to Gordon Biersch for awards, a gift raffle, and lunch.  This is when you can use your $5 lunch credit coupon. Don’t forget to pick up your T-shirt at the park with the other coupon included in the entry envelope if you sign up for the deluxe entry. 

One last note: It isn’t too early to program your DVR to record the Indy 500. I suggest tacking on an extra half hour in case it runs over-time. 

See you all this Sunday.

Aloha,
Rob

Rob’s Blog: When Just a Pinch Will Do

Photo of Patrick Casey working on Gary Bean's Morris.

Ace mechanic Patrick Casey worked his usual magic and got Gary Bean’s little Morris purring like a kitten.

The work involved a little more than tightening a loose pinch bolt, but the collective talent, and resourcefulness, of the members in attendance at the last BCCH tech session overcame all the issues to get it running.

We all enjoyed the success with a delicious pizza for lunch. Nice work guys.