28 Oct

Report From the Field – Safety Harbor FL, All British Car Show, 25-26 Oct 2019

The Safety Harbor All British Car Show is hosted by the Austin Healy Club of Tampa Bay each year and lately, many of us Morgan types here in Florida, have chosen to participate.  The show is held in downtown Safety Harbor which is on the western bank of Tampa Bay in Florida and the weather in October is nice.

There are usually some 200 cars, all British of course, in the show.  The Austin Healy Club of Tampa Bay did another wonderful job of the ‘Meet and Greet’ and organizing the show (although it seems like there are some four hundred awards for Austin Healys, go figure?)  Like other shows, they have a ‘Meet and Greet,’ lately it has been at a Mexican sort of cantina, in town on Friday night.  Here it is within walking distance from the Spa. Tasty food and cold beer. But then some folks just had to find the ice cream shop on the way back! A perfect ending . . .

The show the following day (Saturday) is right there along the Main Street.  Gas lights and gazebos.  Neat place!

14 Morgans were in the show this year but surprisingly no Aero 8s or new M3Ws??  But, it was close.  Tom and Kathy Coryn came to the show in their wonderful Plus 4 4 Seater, opting to the leave their 2005 Aero 8 at home.  (The Plus 4 is such a pretty car I can fully understand their dilemma!)  We had all the other models; 4/4s, Plus 4 4 Seaters, Plus 4 2 Seaters, Plus 8s, a Vintage Trike, several 3.0L Roadsters, and John Pokorny brought out his recently acquired 3.7 Roadster.  Wow!!  I personally like the to have examples of old and new, and all the various models. It makes answering questions easier!

But, we did quite well. I can’t begin to count the number of folks that came up to me to thank the Morgans for coming out in large numbers.  Well, I didn’t do it!  They can’t blame me!!  

Again, the town of Safety Harbor was in full support, with their police directing traffic and blocking roads.  Parking for the show is along Main Street and the quaint nature of the little town is just wonderful.  People everywhere.  Decorations for the fall season or Halloween Holiday were on display and smells of fresh baking, or was it cinnamon(?), seemed to attract me no matter which way we walked.  The quaint shops were all open and some of the ladies bought things that would challenge even the largest of Morgan trunks (?) 

I really do like this show as the Safety Harbor Spa and Resort (where we typically stay) is within a mile of the show field.  This convenience translates to a few minutes longer in bed, a shorter trip back should something be forgotten, etc.  All good things.   As I get older, ‘easier’ is much more appealing!

We ate in several of the local eateries – omelets and pancakes for breakfast with seafood and fish for dinner.  Most places wouldn’t take reservations but were still able to accommodate our numbers.  Many cafes had their outside patios in full operational, as the town seemed quite crowded.  I came to find out later that there were three different weddings in the Safety Harbor Spa and Resort, so lots of additional folks, adding to the car show crowd, were in town to fill the seats.  

One thing I found odd this year was the typical trailer parking near the hotel.  Normally truck and trailer parking is in the trees in front of the Safety Harbor Spa and Resort and is plentiful and easily accessible.  This year, it was all blocked off and I ended up parking my truck and trailer in the valet parking lot.  This lot, although convenient (right in front of the hotel), was just a tad small for my rig (and others that were parked there.)

Rumors are that folks, also using the valet lot, found scratches that may have come from the overcrowding. 

As far as I know, everyone had a great time!  We met some new MOGSouth members and saw some lovely cars.  This is the time of year that Florida is wonderful!  If it’s getting too cold at home, come south!!

Cheers, Mark

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