20 Feb

Gold Coast All British Show in Boca Raton, Florida

We the  Bycroft’s and the Braunstein’s each set off early Saturday morning so as to meet up at the Port St Lucie service plaza en route to the 25th Annual British Car Show vic Boca Raton, Florida hosted by Gold Coast British Sports Car Club.

After an uneventful and pleasant drive we arrived at our hotel in time for a wash and brush up before an early dinner where we were joined by Gil and Barbara Stegen.  With dinner behind us we all went to the Palm Beach International Equestrian Centre for an evening of show jumping competition. This involved horses that were essentially hunters so the jumps were lower than for the the actual ‘jumping’ horses.   The weather was spectacularly good and the competition was colorful and intense. The horses were presented beautifully. This was an experience which none of us with the exception of Gil and Barbara had enjoyed before, except maybe on TV.  We learned Gil and Barbara are passionate about all aspects of horse competition.  And, we are grateful to them for allowing us to join them on this occasion.

We arrived back at our hotel where unfortunately there was no bar.  But we did learn that the hotel next door does have a couple of bars so what could we do but try one out.  A few beers was just what we needed to round off a most enjoyable day.   And thanks to Barbara (she was driving) for leading us to a point from where we could easily find our way back to our hotel and thanks to Gil for not interrupting!! (An inside joke)

Although without a bar our hotel does have a breakfast facility included in the room charge and we all did justice to the eggs, sausages, waffles and all the other options available.

The show took place just two miles up the road from our hotel so we were soon there to set up and do last minute cleaning. It was just as well we got there reasonably early because the public was already beginning to turn up. There were hundreds of owners showing off their cherished British vehicles in the best light possible.

The featured marque this year was to be Lotus cars and there were obviously quite a few examples of all of their models but they were joined by a whole host of other British vehicles including MG, Jaguar, Triumph, Rolls Royce, Austin Healey, quite a lot of Minis, Aston Martin including one Aston Martin Lagonda which you don’t see too often these days. And, of course, there were our Morgan’s.

We had 5 Morgans at the show.  I had my 1989 Plus 8, Mark took his newly acquired 2005 Roadster and Gil his 1967 Plus 4 Drop Head Coupe (which had won its category last year so he was apart from us, in the ‘Prestige’ class!)   We were joined by new member F. Berry Hayley with his 1962 Lotus Twin Cam powered 4/4 and arriving a little later was Daniel Schultz in his early 60s (1964?) Plus 4 – 4 Seater.   So a good mix of Morgans.

Uncharacteristically, we were scattered about in at least 4 different classes. The organizers were adamant that if we had 3 or 4 cars we would have a class. Then they checked their paperwork, saw that there were certainly a sufficient number of Morgans,  and then admitted failure.  Unfortunately, that meant that we were not all parked together.

The public attendance was strong all day and this meant that there was much interest in all the cars. It made for a day full of activity and enjoyment. We had lunch at the Biergarten Restaurant where all the Morgan attendees (except Daniel and his family) ate together thanks to Christine making a reservation for us all.  A good opportunity to get to know each other and exchange Morgan chat.

Actually being in different classes worked in our favor as the Morgans won awards in the each of various classes and didn’t have to compete with each other. The award ceremony started at 2 O’clock and we were in for a few surprises.   Because he had won last year Gil Stegen had won his class, he was placed in the Prestige class this year, with all the other class winners.   This year Gil got second place in the fancy class and received a very nice award, a lovely cut crystal in the shape of a ‘Key’engraved with the Club’s logo and the occasions specifics.   And, because the other Morgans were scattered about in a number of other classes, we took home a few more awards.

Berry got 2nd Place in his class, Mark got a 1st in his, and yours truly got 1st in his class.  So our 5 Morgan’s got 4 awards.  Daniel’s Plus 4 was very nicely displayed and had he arrived a bit earlier he would have garnished more votes and won award as well.

Receiving recognition is a wonderful finish to an already great day.  But I forget,  Annie and Christine both won raffle prizes without even buying a ticket!!! Mark got a bucket!  How good is that?   All of this was followed again by a few beers and food in the bar next door to our hotel.  Certainly, a good day out!!

We had decided to stay over again at the same hotel as the night before so we could drive home Monday nicely rested. Or was it so we could have a few more beers??  You decide.

Monday morning we went to an ocean fronting restaurant recommended by Gil for breakfast.  It was really very, very good and gave us a tremendous start to the day. It was difficult to drag ourselves away from the food, coffee and ocean view but it had to be done.  Eventually we set off home.

Another great Morgan weekend. You should have been there!!

Robin Bycroft

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