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.

Rob’s Blog: First Meeting Review

The Old Spaghetti Factory photo

If you went to the meeting last night and found yourself sitting alone at Gordon Biersch, you are out of the loop, and probably won’t get this email either.

Last night the club had its first meeting at a new location: The Old Spaghetti Factory in Aloha Tower Market Place. I’d say there were mixed reviews.

On the up side is the menu. I can personally vouch for the lasagna. There is a very nice variety to choose from and the prices are not bad either. In place of the “to die for bread pudding” at Gordon Biersch,  is a large slice of mud pie… an acceptable tradeoff.

From my point of view, the service was as good as could be expected for a party of twenty-five people all wanting food, attention and the bill at the same time. We seemed to have a couple of waiters assigned to our table and they were very attentive, at least on our end of the table.

On the down side was the noise. It was very loud. “How loud,” you ask…Loud enough to wonder if Gordon Biersch isn’t the better of the two locations. However, in the interest of fairness, we will have next month’s meeting (August 14th) at the Old Spaghetti Factory again, but in a different area of the restaurant.

After Patrick Casey spoke to the manager, she agreed to set aside an outside area, just for the club. This should make a huge difference. And by huge, I mean we should be able to talk, and be heard. The only improvement beyond this would be a round table for 30 thirty, in a private room, and that’s not going to happen.

There was one other small item… Whoever had a bill for $27.20… “You’re welcome.” Apparently, your bill was paid with my VISA card. I saw the waiter leave the table with a handful of cards and return with a stack of folders. Somewhere in between he used my card twice. If you check your statement, you will see the last four numbers… “0027.” That’s me. Not to worry. My Capitol One VISA people have been notified, and “I will find you.” Not really. More likely is they will probably drop the charge from my statement, and write it off as something else.  At least this isn’t as bad as the three hundred dollar charge Gordon Biersch made by accident.

One other thing to note… When we got there the parking lot across from the restaurant was full, as it often is. Valet parking is $4. If you park in the over-flow lot down the street, past the Falls of Clyde, and you stay one minute over two hours, the cost will also be $4. The first hour is free. Each part of an hour beyond that is $2. Do the math. It might be easier, and more cost effective, to use the valet service, not including a tip. To be honest, I don’t know how they figure the rate there, or if you pull a receipt at all.

And speaking of honesty… For those of you who like to explore the limits of possibility, and honesty, here is a challenge. After your first beer, or glass of wine, get your parking stub validated at the front desk. Then walk outside and pay the machine. Then walk back into the restaurant and stay for another hour, or two, or three. The parking machine thinks you went home. Of course, I’ll deny ever having suggested such an evil plan, but let me know if it works. If it doesn’t, and you’re allowed one phone call, you know my number.

So here are my suggestions for next month:

  1. Arrive early enough to get a parking place in the lot across the street. Bring a book if you arrive too early.
  2. Hack your watch when you pull the parking stub from the meter and don’t stay past two hours. (unless my scheme works.) If you do stay longer, you might as well stay for the entire third hour since you’re paying for it any way.
  3. Pay your dinner bill with cash.
  4. This is really important… Be sure to get your parking stub validated at the restaurant. If you forget, you won’t have to ask why.
  5. And just so you know, the mud pie is big enough to share if you’re sitting next to me.

Lastly… Just a heads up on this month’s Tech Session, Saturday the 28th. It will be at Gary Bean’s house near the Temple Valley Shopping Center and a little past Kaneohe. He has some ignition issues to deal with. It will begin at 10:30. Lunch is provided but you’re invited to bring a beverage of your own. Parking is limited.

Thanks for coming last night, and I hope to see everyone at the tech session, and/or the next meeting.

Rob’s Blog: A Call for Old and Luxurious British Cars

Morris Minor automobile image

If you want to make your car famous, here is your chance. The club has been contacted by a local production company for a local photo shoot. They are looking for “old, luxury cars.”

In my book, the words “old” and “luxury” are both subjective, and could apply to almost any of our cars. That being said, I’m pretty sure an old Rolls Royce would have a better chance than an old VW. I’m encouraging all of you to submit a picture, or two, of your British car for consideration.

I will forward them to the agent in charge, and he will select four or five cars to use. The date will be on, or about, July 17th. The probable location will be the West side of  Oahu, near Yokohama Bay.

He told me it isn’t necessary to have the car in running order, but you would be responsible for getting it to the site, and home afterwards. The shoot will be still shots and no driving will be involved. There is a budget, but he didn’t give any dollar amount for your time or effort. If you have any idea what the going rate might be, please let me know.

I’ll try to answer any questions and will do my best to “sell” our cars to the company.

Contact me at:


Rob Cowie wins the 2018 BCCH Karting Grand Prix

BCCH Karting Grand Prix

The spring 2018 BCCH Karting Grand Prix was held Tuesday, May 9, at the K1  track in Kapolei, and the dozen BCCH members who came out had a great time. H1 westbound traffic was surprisingly light for those leaving the Honolulu  area around 6:00 PM, with the predictable slow down past Aiea.

The track was quiet when we arrived at 7:00 PM, but business picked up and a few other small groups arrived to join in the fun and excitement. Our party was grouped into two, those who had karted before, and those who had not. President Brett, a former karting champ, worked with the helpful K1 staff to keep our party together, and our races well-organized. In keeping with the GP format, each group raced three 16 lap sessions: practice, qualifying, and race. Each session was gridded by the fastest time in the previous session.

In the first timers group, we had three spirited women who put their newly found racing skills into action against three guys, and their races had plenty of action, with a few spins for good measure. Dave came out on top  at the checkered flag, but was closely followed by Suzanne Sortor and Michael Rowe who battled for second.

In the experienced group, two ‘senior’ members locked out the front row in qualifying. The race turned out to be anything but a procession, as Patrick, the pole sitter, was spun on the first lap when tagged from behind, dropping him from the lead to 5th out of six places. He managed to claw his way back up through the pack to finish second, behind an uncatchable Rob Cowie, who took the checkered flag first, and had the evening’s best lap time for our group.

I think it is safe to say, based on the smiles and laughter heard afterwards, there will be a re-match to be scheduled, not to mention the fact that there were several interested members who were off island for this event. Stay Tuned!

Rob’s Blog: What’s Not to Like?

Possible stocking stuffer for a British car person.
Possible stocking stuffer for a British car person.

After receiving several calls over the years asking for help getting rid of old MGBs, I’ve come to the indisputable conclusion MGBs are the old wooden boats of the automobile world. There are lots of them, don’t seem to be worth much in good condition and almost nothing in poor condition.

This morning I received the latest call from an elderly owner asking for, you guessed it, help getting rid of his old MGB. Like so many, it has been sitting outside in the weather, waiting patiently to be restored to its original condition. The expression, “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder” is never more tested than when an owner gazes lovingly at his rusty pile of sheet metal and sees only shiny curves of what it looked like driving off the showroom floor so many years before.

My rusty hulk of sheet metal was my original owner, 1971 VW bus, so I speak with some authority on the subject. Valuable for parts only and not too many of them went unscathed by the ravages of the Hawaiian weather. The latest offering can be seen in the Craigslist ad included below.

After spending time talking to the owner, Chester, I was almost seeing his car through the same rose colored glasses he was. Then I looked it up on Craigslist and was jolted back to a rusty reality. Let’s just say it is a good deal for the dedicated car enthusiast with lots of time on their hands. You be the judge.

It is a complete car with lots of good, spare parts included, and for that reason alone worth considering. Also included is a 1974 Austin Marina engine, a two speed automatic transmission, and even a custom made tow bar. What’s not to like?

Call Chester at either of his two numbers and get the full story. His cell number is 808-421-7765 and his (more preferred) home number is 808-737-3930

See all of you at the Christmas lunch this Sunday the 17th.


Link to Chester’s Craigslist ad: