January 2016 Volume 4 #1
Front Cover: Jaguar D-Type replica by Marc Cherry
Flyleaf: Sunbeams at Brits on the Bay by Mike Japp
Back Cover: Jaguar D-Type replica by Marc Cherry
Smoke in the Wires is a publication of the Panhandle British Car Association
Contact Marc Cherry email@example.com for questions or submissions
From the Editor 3
Upcoming Events 5
Missing the Marque 6
Christmas Party 8
Lillian Parade 11
Atmore Rally 12
Lucas Distributors 13
Brits on the Bay Volunteer List 15
Feature Car 18
Tool of the Month 22
Brits on the Bay Sponsorship Form 26
PBCA Facebook 27
Smoke in the Wires January 2016 Page 2
Letting the Smoke out
What a great winter driving season we’ve been having. Decent temperatures and low humidity are the payoff
for enduring July and August here. While we haven’t had a lot of driving events, there have been plenty of drives
to take and events to attend. The auction season is kicking off in Scottsdale and F1 and NASCAR will be running
their openers. Before you know it, the club’s signature event, Brits on the Bay, will be here.
January has proven much busier than I expected as my involvement with the classic auction scene has expanded
considerably. My auction house, Motostalgia, secured a Saturday evening auction this year at Amelia Island.
Suddenly there’s no shortage of work to do. In addition to the catalog work, I am now working consignments.
This change brought the good fortune of being asked to attend the Cavallino Classic in Palm Beach. This is the
premier Ferrari event in the eastern US. What an
incredible experience at an amazing venue. More
remarkable was that they charged a $200 entry fee (we
had passes as advertisers) and gave away goodie bags
that contained less than last year’s Brits on the Bay bags!
Shameless Plug for my auction house--click to visit!
If you make it out to Amelia this year, please look me up.
I’ve also been busy with an ongoing side project, converting my milling machine to computer numerical control
(CNC). See the Feb 2015 Tool of the Month feature for details of the mill. So far it has proven to be an expensive
and extensive project. I have named the new pet Millbot. Right now I have full control over the X and Y axis and
can make the mill
draw pictures and
forge autographs if
I mount a pen in
the spindle. I have
even cut precision
parts out of foam.
The conversion isn’t
even fully done and
it is already
watch Millbot run
through its paces
cutting things out.
By early next
Dinos at the Cavallino Classic
month, I should be
finished with converting the Z axis to computer control and be able to start making 3D metal, wood and nylon
parts as needed.
Smoke in the Wires January 2016 Page 3
We started the Smoke in the Wires digital magazine with two
goals in mind: to promote Brits on the Bay attendance and to
increase participation within the club. With the arrival of the
New Year, we are fully into the show planning season. This is
our 24th year and we continue to strengthen and improve
each year. We would like to expand our Friday events but
can only do so if there is participation from PBCA members.
For once I’m not just asking for volunteers to work, I want
you to make time to play on Friday too. Please welcome our
guests by joining in on the tours and events. This year we’ve
also placed an emphasis on the goody bags and you will see
interesting and useful items in them. I’m actually serious
about that. This year’s bags will enlighten and entertain, and
I personally guarantee the opportunity to injure yourself with
at least one of the items provided.
Later in these pages, you will find the volunteer list. I started
with last year’s list and started confirming the volunteers at
the January meeting. If you missed the meeting, please find
your name on the list and contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org or
(520) 237-0285) to let me know if you can do that job again.
If you didn’t volunteer last year, look over the list and see
what jobs you might like to help with. Contact me and I’ll
make it happen! It would really make the show committee’s
job easier if you take the time to tell us you can help rather than for me to track you down to confirm you are
willing to serve again.
As always, sponsorship is the
watchword for the months leading
up to the show. Proceeds from
Brits on the Bay fund our entire
year of activities. Did you enjoy
the Christmas party? Are you
aware that the club subsidized
each ticket to the tune of $37?
The club underwrites countless
events throughout the year from
The cheap seats at the Cavallino Classic
the show proceeds and will need a
healthy seed fund from this show to start our 25th anniversary celebration next year. Please visit the businesses
you patronize and ask them to sponsor our show. Or, if you think our annual dues are ridiculously low for what
you get, take on a sponsorship yourself as several members did last year.
Hope you enjoy this Smoke in the Wires. Mike Japp’s Spitfire appears as this issue’s Feature Car. We have a
guest columnist for the Tool of the Month feature in addition to other great content. See you at the next event!
Smoke in the Wires January 2016 Page 4
PBCA UPCOMING EVENTS SCHEDULE
February and March
All PBCA Monthly Meetings will be 6:00 pm Dinner/7:00 pm Meeting at Sonny’s Bar-B-Que, Navy
Blvd at US Hwy 98, Pensacola and will feature a Program, Door Prizes, 50/50 drawing until further
notice by email, website and Telephone Tree.
*All Executive and Show Committee Lunch Meetings are always open to the entire membership and
participation is encouraged. For new members it is a good way to meet active members and get
involved in either a small or larger way. Be a part of the club. You will be enthusiastically welcomed.
Event details will be emailed and posted on the PBCA Website: www.pbca1.com
(PBCA Sponsored Events, Club Activities and Meetings in Bold type)
Saturday 6 - Atmore Rallye. Start - Register: 10:00 - 11:15 At same place - By (closed) Burger King,
Nine-Mile Plaza, North side of east Nine-Mile Rd. (Hwy ALT 90) Address: 312 E. Nine
Mile Rd, Pensacola, FL 32514-2737. Register, get route sheet, and start at your
convenience. No need to pre-register. No fee.
Tuesday 9 - Breakfast at the Grand, 10:00 am, Crown Plaza
Tuesday 9 - "Brits on the Bay" Show Comm Meeting, 12:00 Noon, Crown Plaza
Wednesday 10 - PBCA Executive Committee Meeting, 12:00 Noon, Crown Plaza*
- PBCA Meeting & Program
- Annual Shrimp Boil, at Bear Lake, 11AM till 3PM, plan to eat by 1:00 PM. Bring
favorite dessert if you wish, your drinks and lawn chairs.
Tuesday 1 - Breakfast at the Grand, 10:00 am, Crown Plaza
Tuesday 1 - "Brits on the Bay" Show Committee Meeting, 12:00 Noon, Crown Plaza (Following
Saturday 5 - The Bay British show, Panama City at Pier Park (New location!)
Fri-Sun 11- 13 - Amelia Island Concours d ’Elegance
Wednesday 16 - PBCA Executive Committee Meeting, 12:00 Noon, Crown Plaza*
Fri-Sun 18-20 - Mustang Show
Friday 18 - New Orleans British Car Show Welcome Party
Saturday 19 - New Orleans British Car Show
Saturday 19 - Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival, Fairhope, AL
Monday 21 - PBCA Meeting & Program
Friday 25 - Fancy Friday Dinner on the Town, Location TBA, $10 RSVP Required
Tuesday 29 - Breakfast at the Grand NOTE: ONE WEEK EARLY DUE TO SHOW
Tuesday 29 - "Brits on the Bay" Show Committee Meeting, 11:00 am, Crown Plaza*
Smoke in the Wires January 2016 Page 5
January The British Line submission for The Marque by Richard Lewis
Without being told, Your
Loyal Correspond (YLC) suspects
that you already know this is a new
year. With that knowledge firmly in
place, what are we going to do about
it? How can we make this a better
year than last?
YLC is not going to delve into
all those issues that usually make
the list of New Year’ s Resolutions,
things like lose weight, stop
smoking (What, you are still
smoking? Are you mad? Has Demon
Nicotine rotted what few brain cells
still rattle around in that cavernous
space? This is your mother
speaking—Stop!), or all the other
things you promise sincerely and
with the best intentions and are
eaten with guilt by January 31 for
failing to deliver on.
No, this is truly YLC speaking
to himself in regards to resolutions
related to his own British car, and if
you want to tag along, jump aboard.
First and foremost, he
resolves to make sure he takes the
shining, sparkling TR 6 out of the
garage more often than monthly. It
is amazing, at least to YLC, how
many excuses one can find for not
unlimbering the LBC---“Looks like
rain, Its really cold, It’s just a short
trip and the sedan is so much more
comfortable, My back hurts and
those seats are murder”, and so on,
ad nauseum. No more! The noble
engine’s roar will be heard with
regularity, even the top will come
down, and on to the open road.
Next, he will start doing more
of the required work on the car than
he has in the past. Yes, getting
under the car is harder than it used
to be, Yes, bending over the engine
bay can bring on back pain, Yes,
skinned knuckles are not pleasant,
but there will be no more of this
taking it to the mechanic for every
little thing like changing the oil,
adjusting the timing, changing the
points and plugs, rotating the tires,
and so on. While there are likely
jobs that will require more expert
hands, these aforementioned are
jobs that can be done by YLC, and
even a few more even more complex
ones, and he will desist with taking
the easy way out.
Lastly, since three resolutions
are enough for anyone, he will resist
the temptation to covet every
beautiful car he sees, and definitely
resist buying any more of them. In
the past, YLC has yielded to the
siren song of the desire to own “just
one more, that can’t hurt anything.”
Yes, it can. No more irrational
purchases, no more buying cars
that are mainly held together by
rust. YLC seeks focus, and the
pleasure of owning a car he
cherishes and, most of all, uses.
Well, we’ll see how all of this
goes. If any of these resolutions
strike a chord with you, help
yourself. If YLC lives by any of these,
time only will tell.
The end of 2015 was a busy
time for PBCA. Let’s review some
Dec. 1 saw the Tuesday Morning
Breakfast and Show Committee
Meetings. We enjoyed breakfast and
then continued work on the April
15-16 Brits on the Bay Show, which
promises to be a humdinger. Last
year’s show saw stormy weather,
which caused a drop in attendance
but still a surprising number of
attendees brave enough to challenge
Smoke in the Wires January 2016 Page 6
the intermittent showers. We have
been assured that the weather will
be perfect next year and we are
making book on it. It will be a great
Dec. 5- The big Christmas Party at
the Grand was a swimming success,
with the largest attendance in recent
years, good food, and lots of fun
with the Dirty Santa gift swap.
Dec. 12-Lillian Christmas Parade,
as always for us organized by Tom
and Jeanne Schmitz. A nice turnout
and great fun for kids, with lots of
candy and small toys coming their
Dec. 18- The Executive Board met
at the Grand to plan events for the
next year and to attend to some
unfinished business, including the
revision of the By-Laws, which will
be sent to members at the beginning
of the year.
Dec. 19-Our Christmas Cookie,
Cake, and Pie Luncheon and Tour
started with the tour of Historic
Bagdad and then lunch, which
included about fifteen homemade
desserts in competition. All proved
Jan. 13- The Executive Board met
again to finish the work of the Dec.
18 meeting. The Schedule of Events
was approved, plans made to
distribute the By-Laws, a review of
Christmas Party expenses was
presented, and the purchase of club
Jan. 18-Regular Monthly Meeting at
Sonny’s BBQ. Club business,
including a review of recent and
upcoming events, plans for By-Laws
distribution, and discussion of club
badges. Volunteers are needed for
Fancy Friday event and Program
Until next time, remember to put
the clutch down when you shift.
Statistical Outlier was this Allard J2 at the Cavallino Classic
Smoke in the Wires January 2016 Page 7
PBCA Christmas Party
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Lillian Christmas Parade
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Tenth Annual Pensacola-Atmore
Saturday Feb. 6, 2016
Sponsored by: Pensacola Austin-Healey Club and
Panhandle Cruisers Car Club
Start - Register: 10:00 - 11:15 At same
place - By (closed) Burger King, Nine-Mile Plaza, North
side of east Nine-Mile Rd. (Hwy ALT
90) Address: 312 E Nine Mile Rd, Pensacola, FL
32514-2737. Register, get route sheet, and start at your
convenience. No need to pre-register. No fee to
Course: 50 - plus miles over well-paved
“Roads Less Travelled”. Printed course instructions
will be provided after you register. Roads will be
selected to avoid choke-points.
Destination: David’s Catfish
House, Atmore, Alabama - David’s will
be prepared to handle the crowd!!! Last year
there were 128 cars from 22 clubs. David’s
catfish is second to none! You can order
anything else you like from the menu.
Drive your sports car, hot rod, custom or
family sedan so long as it is street legal. You will be a
normal driver using public roads. Speed limits must be followed.
Note: Pensacola-Atmore Road Rally is not a competitive event.
Rain Date: If there is heavy rain, parts of the rally course might be flooded and the rally will be
postponed. The rain date is the following Saturday - February 13, 2016.
Questions? Bill Moseley, Rallymaster 850 456-9040 email@example.com or Warren Peacock, President,
Panhandle Cruisers 251 946-3327 firstname.lastname@example.org
Smoke in the Wires January 2016 Page 12
Lucas Electronic Ignitions
By Jeff Simpson
What follows is the third of a series of articles reprinted with permission from The Register, the newsletter
of the Tucson British Car Register. All words and photos copyright Jeff Simpson.
For those cars with the 40--series Lucas distributors, I wrote about the option of
using a Standard Motor Products “LX-101” ignition module as a way to replace
the original LUCAS “AB14 electronic ignition module (see March 2015
Register). For those of you who want to keep everything looking strictly
original, here's another option for you.
To remove the original module, disconnect the black cable which goes to the
distributor, the white wire to the 12 volt ignition power supply, and the white
Smoke in the Wires January 2016 Page 13
with black stripe to the coil, then unscrew the module from its mounting
surface. Having removed the module, unscrew the four small screws which
retain the back cover and lift it off. Surprise! There you will see the General
Motors HEI, 4-pin, ignition control module. These are available everywhere and
anywhere for as little as $15.00 to $20.00.
They work on 4 or 6 cylinder engines. The GM HEI modules come under the
name Delco, Allstar, Moroso,
Accel brand, and probably others.
Unscrew the two small mounting nuts, disconnect the wires, and remove. You
don't need to remove the capacitor or potted transistor in the aluminum cover,
which functions primarily as a heat sink. Put a liberal coating of dielectric
grease or Silicon gel over the metal plate on the bottom of the new module to
help with heat transfer. Plug the wires onto the new unit the same way as the
old. Attach mounting nuts. Put the rear cover plate back on and replace the
module back onto the car and attach the black cable, white, white / black wires.
You now have a new electronic ignition system that not only looks the same
as the original, but is the same. Make sure all connections are clean and solid,
and you're good to go, having just saved
and you're good to go, having just saved yourself at least a couple hundred
If your car was converted from the earlier Lucas “Opus” electronic ignition
system, you no longer need or want the ballast resistors. They should have
been taken out of the circuit when the ignition was originally converted. Make
sure that they are.
Smoke in the Wires January 2016 Page 14
Brits on the Bay Volunteer List
April 15-16, 2016
Thanks to everyone who has already confirmed their volunteer slot for the 2016 Brits on the Bay.
We are way ahead of the game this year on volunteers. I already have XXX out of XXX spots
confirmed. As you look through this list, I have highlighted the few people I still need to hear from.
Please send me an e-mail at email@example.com to confirm. We really appreciate your enthusiastic
participation and look forward to another great year.
Chair: Tom Schmitz
Assistant Chair: Bob Henson, Tom Matsoukas, Marc Cherry
Site Preparation: Friday-Saturday
Bill Weeks, chair, Keith Sanders, Bob Henson, Paul Salm, Tom Matsoukas, Marc Cherry
Marc Cherry, chair, Bill Weeks, Richard Lewis, Rich Willows, Al Deweese, John Grossi,
Gus Fell, Tim Maynard, Dave Powers, Tabor Tompkins, Jack Rowles, Jason Court
Tom Schmitz, chair, Jeanne Schmitz, Midge Derby, Curt Derby, Risa Manske, Tom Matsoukas,
Rich Willows, Al Deweese, Mike Bamford, Karlyn Cherry
Tom Schmitz, Chair, Gail Sanders, Donna Weeks, Rise Manske, Liz Maynard, Midge Derby, Karlyn
Tom Schmitz, chair, Marc Cherry, Bob Henson
Rolling Sculpture Award--Bill Sillhan
Special Category Trophies--Marc Cherry
Moulton Family Award--Moulton Family
Best in Show-judges--Mike Darby with Larry Norton and Bill Gillson of Peachtree MG Registry
Smoke in the Wires January 2016 Page 15
Artwork: Curt Derby, Rich Willows
Production: Tom Schmitz, Curt Derby
Show Sales: Mickey Kay, chair, Kay Kay, Ann Fell, John Malone and Ken Stewart
Curt Derby, chair
Tom Schmitz, chair, Darla Willows, Rich Willows, Al Deweese
Bob Manske, chair, Bill Weeks, Tom Matsoukas, Keith Sanders, Marc Cherry, Tommy Fulgham
Bill Weeks, chair, Keith Sanders, Curt Derby, Tom Schmitz, Bob Manske
Tom Schmitz, chair, Marc Cherry, Taber Tompkins, Paul Salm
Mike Japp, chair and web site manager, Bill Moseley, Cam Leonard & Richard Lewis
Gus Fell, Bill Weeks
Friday Day Activities:
Tom Matsoukas, Marc Cherry. Co-chairs, Henry Hensel, Ingrid Candelaria, Richard
Friday Night Reception:
Bob Manske, chair
Set Up: Marc Cherry, Tom Matsoukas, Therese Hemert, Liza Maynard, Tim Maynard,
Marie Olive, Jeff Olive, Jason Court, Stacie Court
Smoke in the Wires January 2016 Page 16
Food Arrangement and Serving: Therese Hemmert, Jeff Olive, Marie Olive
Guest Welcome: Marc Cherry, Melissa Silhan, Bill Silhan
Post Event Clean Up (10-11:30 pm): Carol Stewart, Ken Stewart, Jack Rowles, Jerry Rowles,
Jeff Olive, Marie Olive
Therese Hemmert, chair, Gene Wilcox, Carol Stewart
Bob Manske, Monica Bachmann, Marie Olive
Jeff Olive, Judy Huber, Paul Salm, Jerry Rowles
50/50: Darla Willows, Donna Weeks
Therese Hemmert (basket), chair, Joan Clemons (quilt), Jerry Rowles (basket), Ann & Gus
Fell (basket), Jeff Olive (wood bowl), Tom Matsoukas (tools), Rich Willows (painting
and framed print), Curt Derby (2 paintings), Dom Hambrick (Enamel Badge),
United Bank (silver necklace)
Smoke in the Wires January 2016 Page 17
1977 Triumph Spitfire
Words and Photos by Mike Japp
It’s hard to believe that over thirty years have gone by since my Dad bought a 1977 Triumph
Spitfire for me from the original owner. Even though I have had to repair many things and broke
down unexpectedly once or twice, I have throughly enjoyed my years with this Spitfire. Who else
can say they still have their first car, 34 years later?
It started in 1981 when my Dad showed me this yellow sports car convertible in Bay St. Louis,
Mississippi. I was 15-years-old and a month from my birthday. Dad asked me if I liked the car and if
so he would buy it and we would fix it up. After climbing in and imaging driving it, “Sure!”, I said and
I’m glad I did.
The engine block was cracked so Dad located a wrecked Spitfire to get an engine from. With my
cousin's help we replaced the engine under a raised house on the coast of Waveland, MS, that we
built. I dented the front bumper slightly before even driving the Spitfire by backing a pickup with the
replacement engine a little too close to the car! The bonnet was removed and the tailgate of the
truck put a small dent in the chrome bumper.
Smoke in the Wires January 2016 Page 18
After finishing engine replacement
and getting the Stromberg
carburetor rebuilt, Dad taught me
how to drive a manual-shift. After
school I would take small trips
around the neighborhood to
practice the shifting technique.
Naturally I stalled it a few times or
forgot to put it back in first gear
after a stop. Don’t we all when we
For the next six years I drove the
car to high school and college, to
Mississippi beaches on weekends,
and even delivered pizzas. During
high school I drove it from my
hometown of Slidell, LA to Cape Canaveral, FL to watch the second space shuttle launch. On that
trip the water pump blew there and had to be replaced before I could drive back. I did not know
how to do that yet, so we paid a mechanic for the job that I later learned how to do myself. A year
later I did replace the rear leaf spring myself when it lost tension and also later the differential. That
was a tough job!
It was impressed upon me forever to never sell the Spitfire when I was 20-years old and working
part-time at a gas station. During a year’s time, over 20 different "older men" would notice my
Spitfire on the side of the building and ask about it. They would say that they had one when they
were my age or that they had an Austin Healey, or an MGB, or TR6 or a Jaguar, etc. But they
always ended their story with this: “... but I sold it when I was in my 20's and I have regretted it ever
since.” If it had been only one or two men that said this to me, no big deal. But it was about 20
different men who told me that they had “regretted it ever since.” I did not want that regret so I
vowed to always keep my Spitfire no matter what.
In 1987 I decided to join the US Navy and stored my Spitfire in Mom’s garage for a year during
boot camp and training school. When permanently stationed in Jacksonville, FL, I used a Toyota
Corolla to tow the Spitfire 500 miles to Jacksonville and used a storage unit as my garage because
I was living in the barracks.
On free weekends, I would repair, improve, and drive the car around Jacksonville. One side of the
front hubs began sweaking badly, so I ordered new wheel bearings and replaced them on both
sides following the instructions in the Haynes manual. After new spark plugs and a carb rebuild,
my barracks roommate used to love the time that I let him drive the flashy yellow convertible and
he said it was a blast.
The next year I moved into sharing a house with two other Navy guys and they let me use the
garage for my Spitfire. There I decided to replace the carpet. As we know, classic British
convertibles are never completely waterproof with the top up. Mine is no exception. When I
removed the seats and pulled up the carpet, I discovered the floor pans were quite rusted on the
Smoke in the Wires January 2016 Page 19
surface. So I proceeded to sand down all the rust and old paint, vacuum, spray it with a rustprevention
treatment, and then seal it with undercoating compound to protect the metal from further
damage. Then the new carpet went in.
The day before I started my Christmas leave in 1989, the carb of my Toyota broke and I could not
fix it in time to travel to Mom’s house, so I decided to drive the Spitfire. It was a nice drive there for
Christmas, but it didn’t make it back. About an hour into the return trip, the engine started banging
loudly, so I pulled over and opened the hood to check for damage. I saw no obvious external
damage so I had to call for a flatbed tow truck to take me back to Mom’s house from Gulfport,
which was expensive. I was forced to return to Jacksonville without my Spitfire! Fortunately, my
sister was returning to Orlando, so she brought me back to Jacksonville first.
My Spitfire sat in Mom’s garage for a year until I switched to the Naval Reserves. Then my friend
Tom and I were able to pull the engine and remove the oil pan. We discovered that one of the
piston connecting rod bearings was damaged from that night after Christmas. Since I had no
knowledge of internal engine repair, we brought the engine to a professional in New Orleans who
only charged me $150 in labor cost in addition to the parts and machine shop cost, all total $930.
After installing the engine back in the car, I was back in the Spitfire’s saddle with a rebuilt engine.
I moved to Pensacola, FL for my second college experience and had to leave my Spitfire again in
Mom’s garage for a few years while I attended classes and worked part-time three weekends a
month and Navy Reserve the fourth weekend a month. As a financially-struggling university
student, I had no money and no time for the Spitfire. I needed reliable everyday transportation so
my Toyota Corolla served me there (with a few breakdowns too), but I never gave up on my
After I graduated from UWF and rented a house with a carport, my friend Tom used his Buick to
tow my Spitfire to Pensacola. There I used tarps on the side and front of the carport to protect the
Spitfire from bad weather. I worked to recover it from the time in storage by first rebuilding the
brakes, then the fuel pump, and worked on the electronics. Then I drove it on a long trip from
Pensacola to Seagrove and back with no trouble. I joined the Panhandle British Car Association
and had fun going to shows and learning from the experienced guys.
But going to shows made me realize that my car needed new paint. I also realized that I was tired
of renting, so I looked for a house to buy with the Spitfire in mind and found a place that had a
large shop behind the house. After moving in, I took the Spitfire apart. I removed the engine,
transmission, bumpers, tail lights, turn signals, door handles, and everything from the engine
compartment firewall. I also removed the interior and rolled the body onto a trailer to take it to the
body shop. There was a lot of bondo on the right rear quarter panel from the original owner's
accident, so I decided that since this was a restoration job the quarter panel needed to be
When I brought the finished body back from the shop, it was only two weeks before PBCA’s annual
show in 1999 on Pensacola Beach. So I worked every night before the show to put it back
together. I had the engine back in but not running yet and I also had trouble with re-connecting all
the other wiring correctly. So I trailered it to the show and received 2nd place in the Restoration
Smoke in the Wires January 2016 Page 20
When I finished the wiring enough to drive it, I discovered that the clutch would not stop the
flywheel to shift into gear. There was plenty of fluid and the clutch line was completely bled. With
the transmission tunnel cover off, I could see the lever that the slave cylinder pushes through a
small space between the clutch slave cylinder and the bellhousing. When I pressed the clutch, I
could see it move forward. But apparently it did not more forward enough. So after two weeks, I
decided to learn something and go to the mechanic. Bob Malcomson at Tartan's Garage
discovered that it was the pivot pin sleeve that had worn down. When I would press the clutch and
the push rod pressed one side of the bellhousing lever, the worn sleeve allowed the other side to
fall back just enough to not give the clutch enough contact with the flywheel. It was an expensive
lesson, but I learned something!
When I asked my
girlfriend to become my
bride, I had owned my
Spitfire for 18 years.
Therefore she knew that
it was not going away.
During the first three
years, she enjoyed riding
in the convertible with me
and we drove to shows in
New Orleans and
Tallahassee. On the way
back from Tallahassee,
we met club members in
Seagrove at the Goat
Feathers restaurant. But after our son was born, that was not possible. One of the original Spitfire
TV commercials shows a man driving fast with his wife and they make it look like the police are
chasing them, but when they arrive at a hospital and she gets out very pregnant, the audience
realizes that the police were escorting them. My wife said very bluntly, "We are not doing that!"
Oh, well. So her drive to the hospital and my son's first ride in a car after birth was in ... my wife's
Then there were three of us, so we trailered my Spitfire to the Montgomery British Car Show when
my son was about 5 months old. The first time he sat in my Spitfire was at the Pensacola Beach
British Car show when he was 10 months old. His first ride in the Spitfire was to the European Car
gathering at the Naval Aviation Museum when he was almost 2 years old. I kept the top up and he
actually fell asleep in his child-safety car seat on the way home.
Since my daughter was born, I haven't attend as many club events as I used to with my children
being young. But I enjoy taking the photos at our annual show and managing our website that I
created back in 1998. My Spitfire's engine needed another rebuild now 25 years after the last time,
so it's missed two shows. However I have brought my 1966 Triumph 2000 Mk1 family saloon. I'm
not sure if the engine will be re-installed in time for this year's show, but I will try.
I never give up on my Spitfire! :-)
Smoke in the Wires January 2016 Page 21
There are countless lighting products available to help the car
loving public see what they are doing while working on a car. The
lights come in all shapes and sizes, with hooks and magnets that
can attach to (and scratch) hoods, bonnets and frames. Some have
little extended tripod feet, some can be worn on your head making
you appear like an idiot, and some look like they were purchased at
an Adult Toy store. They mostly have the common problem of
being in the way and lighting up stuff you didn’t want lighted up,
while seldom sending much illumination where you actually need
it. There is a reason they are usually called “Trouble Lights”.
Trouble lights have been around forever. They have the familiar
Construction Details--Brute force prevails over finesse
Smoke in the Wires January 2016 Page 22
metal shroud to make
sure the light goes
where you don’t need
it. The shroud also
serves to collect the
heat and burn you.
And of course there’s
the hook on top that is
too big to hang on
anything smaller than
a 10 penny nail. They
really do get hot –Very
Hot. You never come
into physical contact
with a trouble light
IV Light in action from above
until it has reached the
Very Hot stage and you
are at an important point of your work. Humans can’t hold a tiny snap ring with needle nose plyers while an ear is
touching a branding iron hot trouble light.
So, my contribution to the Tool of the Month column is not a tool at all, but a safe, handy garage light that will let
you use tools better and actually see what you’re doing. It is a
simple combination of just two components, one found in any
Walmart and one found in any hospital - No, not a nurse with a
Here are the facts:
During a recent stay in my favorite hospital, I was forced to
walk about with an I.V. in my arm connected to a bag of
something unknown, but very expensive, which was hanging on
the handy hooks of an even handier rolling I.V. pole! The trusty
little pole wheeled about easily on four wheels and was
obviously an excellent device on which to place a directional
light for working in my garage. Yes, a nurse with a flashlight
would be better, but I couldn’t get a single volunteer. When I
enthusiastically tried to explain to the staff the many uses for
that wonderful I.V. pole, they looked frightened and suggested
more bed rest and cutting back on the pain killers. After my
release I jumped on my computer and found exactly what I
wanted on Amazon. More amazing is that an I.V. pole just like I
wanted only cost $33.58 including tax! Yes! The same people
who charge you $125.00 for an aspirin only pay about $30
bucks for those all steel, chrome plated I.V. poles. In fact, there
Good light from any position
Smoke in the Wires January 2016 Page 23
Marc Cherry demonstrates the old ways with more light in his face than on the car
were even less expensive ones offered, but one should never scrimp on I.V. poles. I didn’t tell my wife about my
purchase knowing she would be pleasantly surprised when it showed up at the house. She was surprised! She had
tears in her eyes when I showed her my new chromeplated,
fully adjustable I.V. pole. Still, like the nurses,
she was too short-sighted to see the fantastic
possibilities for the I.V.pole that now stood in our
kitchen. When she got over the surprise enough to
speak, she only asked why I bought an I.V. pole.
Proud as a peacock, I told her it was because I
couldn’t get a nurse to hold a flashlight! She cried
even more! I’ve never seen her so moved by any
purchase ever. She said she was going to call the
doctor, but I let her know that they would not let us
have one of their I.V. poles because I already asked.
And then I told her the best part. I was going to
clamp a gooseneck lamp on the pole. It is not
possible to describe her reaction. She took to loudly
blowing her nose and shaking her head. Once I
managed to explain it was for my garage she gained
composure and said it was nice and she was going to
visit her sister in Texas for a few days. Anyway, it
really works great! A $7.50 goose neck lamp with a
super-strong clamp from Walmart and a cool burning
led light bulb was all that was needed.
Maniacal grin for want of proper lighting
Smoke in the Wires January 2016 Page 24
The attached pictures show how handy this little beauty really is. You will notice the picture of Marc Cherry trying
to see what he is doing to his Jaguar while using a typical trouble light. The light is almost worthless. You will also
notice the picture of Marc Cherry with a big glob of grease on his forehead, displaying the serenity more typically
reserved for the insane. All this would have been prevented if my new wheeled pole light was available.
Now feast your eyes on the pictures of the pole light in action. Notice that the (cool) light can be directed
anywhere. No more dark places. If using a lift, the light is perfect for any work height. If you are working under
the bonnet the light can be right against the car and shine exactly where you need it.
I forgot one of the components. To work “right against the car” I added a piece of ¾” pipe insulation (very cheap
stuff) to the lower part of the I.V. pole. Walmart again- It was not far from the goose-neck clamping lamp. Just put
it around the lower pole, remove the paper strips and It has super sticky stuff to make the insulation stick together
quite well. Once the insulation is installed the chrome pole will never scratch a fender.
The entire affair can be purchased for about $40. Yes, there are more modifications that can be done to make the
now famous I.V. pole rolling garage light even more garage useful. A small tray or even a cup holder can be added.
The pole is hollow all the way down and it would not be difficult to avoid the hanging wire, but I may want to use
the lamp alone, off the pole. There are endless possibilities for the little curly ended rods at the top of the pole.
Smoke in the Wires January 2016 Page 25
PANHANDLE BRITISH CAR ASSN.
2016 SPONSORS REGISTRATION FORM
Pensacola “Brits on the Bay" I 24th Annual AII·British Car Show I April 16, 2016
OTHER AWARDS, TROPHIES OR VENDORS: Contact PBCA Representative or Tom Schmitz, (251 )961-7171
Contact Name & Phone# ________________________________________
Payment must accompany application. Check # _____________________
Make check payb1e to "PBCA" and give to PBCA representative or mail it with this printed form
9609 Soldiers Creek Drive .
Lillian, AL 36549
Payment due prior to April 8, 2016 to be included on Display Poster at show.
SPONSORSHIP WILL INCLUDE PUBLICITY, PRODUCT OR SERVICE DISPLAY BY SPONSOR(if
requested prior to show) TROPHY PRESENTION,SPONSOR TROPHY AWARD, INVITATION TO
FRIDAY EVENING SOCIAL AND THE SINCERE THANKS OF ALL THE MEMBERS OF PBCA AND
THE CAR SHOW PARTICIPANTS.
PBCA Representative ___________________________________________________________________________________
DATE PAID _______________________________________________________
PBCA is an Affiliate of
The North American
Smoke in the Wires January 2016 Page 26
Join the Panhandle British Car Association on
Our Facebook Group!
Smoke in the Wires January 2016 Page 27
Smoke in the Wires January 2016 Page 28