Smoke in the Wires Jan 2016


Here is the long-anticipated January Smoke in the Wires in snazzy e-magazine format. Enjoy!

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 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

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Letting the Smoke out

Marc Cherry


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

mesmerizing to

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 ( 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


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:

(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*

Monday 15

Sunday 21


- 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

badges discussed.

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

Smoke in the Wires January 2016 Page 11

Tenth Annual Pensacola-Atmore

Road Rally

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 or Warren Peacock, President,

Panhandle Cruisers 251 946-3327

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 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

Reception/Registration Area:

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

Specialty Awards:

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

T Shirts

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

Goody Bags

Tom Schmitz, chair, Darla Willows, Rich Willows, Al Deweese

Sound System:

Bob Manske, chair, Bill Weeks, Tom Matsoukas, Keith Sanders, Marc Cherry, Tommy Fulgham

Show Promotions:

Bill Weeks, chair, Keith Sanders, Curt Derby, Tom Schmitz, Bob Manske

Awards Presentation:

Tom Schmitz, chair, Marc Cherry, Taber Tompkins, Paul Salm


Mike Japp, chair and web site manager, Bill Moseley, Cam Leonard & Richard Lewis

Motor Homes:

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

Food Booth:

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

Basket Sales

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

Featured Car

1977 Triumph Spitfire

Mike Japp

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

first learn?

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


Pensacola, Florida


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


Organization/Company _________________________________________

Address _______________________________________________________

City/State/Zip _________________________________________________

Contact Name & Phone# ________________________________________

Class/(TITLE) _________________________________________________

Payment must accompany application. Check # _____________________

Make check payb1e to "PBCA" and give to PBCA representative or mail it with this printed form


Tom Schmitz

9609 Soldiers Creek Drive .

Lillian, AL 36549

Payment due prior to April 8, 2016 to be included on Display Poster at show.





PBCA Representative ___________________________________________________________________________________

DATE PAID _______________________________________________________

PBCA is an Affiliate of

The North American

MGB Register.

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

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