By Morris Garagian
This was the latest E-mail from Warren: “What will be hotter than a British exhaust manifold on a car running lean?” By these words, our Pres extended the invitation for the annual Sierra Sky Park Fly In and Car Show. A note of history – The Sierra Sky Park was established on the outskirts of Fresno right after World War II. Instead of auto garages, every house has a garage that can accommodate a small aircraft & all the street signs are 3’ tall so aircraft wings can pass over them. Pretty cool subdivision! I had earlier decided that the predicted 110 degree day and airport tarmac would be no place for yours truly, but at the last moment, a chance to reminisce with members of the VBAC overrode any semblance of sanity. At the very least, I would be able to check the performance of Goblin running across Fresno’s stop and start traffic paired with Hades’-like environment; a good test of man and machine.
Proceeding across a major east, west corridor, I was surprised to see a magnificent Ford Model T filling the windscreen. This guy has to be heading for the same place, methinks. He made the turn into the meeting place and then I realized the driver was our own Bro Russ. Russ explained that the TR-4 was awaiting a new master cylinder and the 912 also had some issues, therefore the ride turned out to be Mr. Henry Ford’s masterpiece. While we awaited other members, Russ proceeded to take me around the Buckstar’s parking lot. I was immediately taken back to 1954 riding shotgun with Grandpa on his east Missouri Farm. What a time machine!
Very soon we had additional members show. Besides Warren w/ FrankenJag (E-type), Dennis (MGB), Sandie (F-type), Dan (aka Nigel Flopstalk) (E-type), Gary (Lotus), Mike (MGA), Terry (TR-6), and Bill w/ Lil Nelle (MGB) arrived. From our meeting place to our destination was a scant 5 minutes and by arriving en masse, the VBAC was able to park together. After parking, most members headed to the hanger where a substantial breakfast awaited. While walking to the hanger, we ran into another VBACer. Today Bro Jim had opted out of his red E-type roadster and had chosen to bring his Porsche 550.
The rest of our time our group meandered throughout the area checking out the various street rods and classics. Dennis and self even wandered over to the Fresno Police helicopter and visited ‘John Law’ for a while. Returning back to our Brit contingent, it was found that Warren & Company had erected a pop-up canopy to provide a welcome oasis for passers by. There happened to be a group of preteen BLC admirers (potential owners) and Goblin invited all to sit behind the genuine 16 ½” steering wheel.
After some story swapping, Goblin and I heard the calling of weekend chores and we prepared for departure. Of course, Warren commented that since I was the first to depart the group, I was free gratus to talk about. As we proceeded eastbound, I must admit that my ears were burning, however I attributed that to the 100+ degree temperature and the toasty confines of my LBC steed.
‘Til next correspondence,
It was a cold and foggy night.....Well, not really. lt was in fact a rather warm and muggy morning; the temperature headed to the neighborhood of 107 (F) by midafternoon. Ten stalwart Valley British Auto Club members led by our "Fearful Leader" (akaF.L.), Warren Prouty; assembled about a mile from the Experimental Aircraft Association #378, hanger in Fresno, California. We were there to participate in
their annual experimental aircraft fly-in/drive-in. Before leaving our rendezvous; F.L. checked our vaccination records. lt was determined that we were all vaccinated for the Corona virus. lt was discovered, however that one of our number as sorely behind on his Distemper booster shot. By vote of the members present, it was determined that most of the drive-in participants would be "hot
rodders" and therefore had herd immunity for most infectious diseases (lt's the hydrocarbons). We then drove to the event "en masse". Our designated parking area was along side the runway; affording us a great location to display our vehicles. By turning 180 degrees we were able to watch takeoffs and landings of numerous light aircraft. Alas, no shade but Fearful Leader had brought his "not so easy up" and our sweltering masses huddled inthe small patch of shade that it afforded. The Fresno chapter of the E.A.A. did a masterful job of directing both air and ground traffic.
The fly-in aspect was a little thin this year. Nigel attributes this to the fact that the cabin of a light plane in one hundred plus temperatures is according to F.L.:"Hotter than a British car's exhaust manifold when the carburetors are set to the lean side". By 11:00 am the temperature was just over 100 (F) on the ground and the drive-in crowd was in full retreat. The V.B.A.C. contingent saw this as an omen and we broke camp. All in all; just your average summer day in Fresno.
lrreverently submitted: Nigel Flopstalk