The Tampa Bay Austin Healey Club hosts an All British Car Show each year, in a quaint little suburb of Tampa called Safety Harbor, FL. This show is held right in the middle of the town and they close the roads and make a big deal out of the whole thing. It brings business to the hotels, restaurants, boutiques and other shops so the town is happy to have the event.
There are any number of All British Car Shows around during the fall and the spring in Florida. It’s the location, however, the town of Safety Harbor, that makes this one special. This year was special for another reason. Morgan was the featured marque. Given this honor, we decided that the 2018 GatorMOG Fall Noggin should coincide with this show. In that way we could ensure a good turnout.
Interestingly, I was contacted last year, a month or so before this show, asking if Morgan could support being the featured marque for 2017. I said no. The show was a month away, on day where all the local Morgans were already committed. We needed time to get the word out.
Well, it worked. This is only the second time I remember having attended this show. The timing is usually in conflict with other shows or things on my calendar. The first time I attended, there were only 2 of us. Gene and Betsy McOmber were there with their lovely Plus 8 and Andrea and I had the Series 1 DHC.
But, this year it was different, we had 12 cars. I knew 10 of them that had registered and then two local cars (non MOGSouth members) augmented our number. I was pretty pleased. We had Plus 8s and Roadsters, Plus 4s and a DHC. The only thing missing of the 4 wheeler variety was a 4/4. Seems we are all shifting to the idea of ‘bigger is better’ or ‘size does matter’?
The organizers split the Morgan class into 1999 and older, and 2000 and newer. We had 7 older Morgans aligned on one side of the street and 5 newer cars, post 2000, directly across the street. Not too bad.
The 1999 and older half the of the Morgan Class.
As is the norm, we had lots of interest in the cars and lots of questions. Many were surprised to see the newer cars, thinking Morgans had gone the way of the dinosaurs.
The 2000 and newer half of the Morgan Class. (4 Roadsters and Ron Gricius’ red ‘03 Plus 8.) Photo Courtesy of Alan Rae.
They had a good number of awards to present and the Morgan contingent got their share of them but they all say ‘Austin Healey.’ Go figure?
Alan Rae getting his award from Bill Borja, the President of the Tampa Bay Austin Healey Club. Photo Courtesy of Alan Rae.
The picture below was our attempt at a group shot, but only shows some of the Morgan crowd and most the of awards. Somehow we missed getting the rest if the gaggle into the picture.
This picture is purposely fuzzed as we all look like hell. It was a long day!!
Having the show downtown on the streets of Safety Harbor was certainly interesting. I normally don’t enjoy shows on the street or in parking lots as the tarmac gives off too much heat. This wasn’t too bad as there was a cool front coming through and we had some sort of sea breeze making for a bit of overcast. Really quite pleasant.
We were parked directly in front of a great breakfast and lunch spot, (which we took advantage of, several times.) It was very, very convenient and quite good! This venue provided something for everyone. Those not interested in the cars were welcomed in the little shops and boutiques.
Following the awards presentation we all packed up the cars and drove them back to the Safety Harbor Spa, our hotel. The hotel was all of 1/4 mile down the road from where the show was held. Another good thing about this show, a very convenient hotel. We got freshened up, had a drink at the Tiki bar by the pool, then walked back downtown for a lovely dinner.
Another supper weekend out with the cars and good friends! In my opinion, this is the best of year in Florida. The weather is superb, no longer hot and humid, and the snow birds are just now starting to arrive.
This one was so much fun, we will have to keep it on the schedule for next year.
If you feel the urge, come join us! You will be more than welcome!!