2021 Sierra Sky Park Fly In
Sierra Sky Park Fly-In and Car Show Recap
by Morris Garagian
Dear VBAC Members,
I hope this message finds you all in good spirits. Our recent adventure to the Sierra Sky Park Fly-In and Car Show was truly memorable, and I'd like to share some highlights with you. Warren's invitation, seasoned with the humor we've come to expect from our President, set the tone for the day. The Sierra Sky Park, with its unique history and airplane-friendly garages, provided an intriguing backdrop to our gathering. Despite the predicted 110-degree day, our intrepid members, undeterred, seized the chance to reminisce.
As I embarked on the journey, a delightful surprise awaited – a magnificent Ford Model T, expertly driven by none other than Bro Russ. With the TR-4 and 912 facing issues, Mr. Henry Ford's masterpiece became our steed for the day. Russ took me on a nostalgic tour around the Buckstar's parking lot, transporting me back to 1954, riding shotgun with Grandpa on his Missouri Farm. A true time machine experience!
Our group, including Warren with FrankenJag (E-type), Dennis (MGB), Sandie (F-type), Dan (aka Nigel Flopstalk) (E-type), Gary (Lotus), Mike (MGA), Terry (TR-6), and Bill with Lil Nelle (MGB), arrived en masse, allowing us to park together. A substantial breakfast awaited us at the hangar, and our stroll through the area revealed a variety of street rods and classics. Bro Jim, opting for his Porsche 550, added a unique touch to our British contingent.
The unexpected thrill of a Fresno Police helicopter encounter added excitement, and Warren's pop-up canopy provided a welcome oasis. Our invitation to preteen BLC admirers to sit behind the genuine 16 ½” steering wheel of Goblin showcased the camaraderie of our club.
As the day wound down, Warren's playful comment about being the first to depart meant I was "free gratus" to talk about. Departing eastbound, I couldn't help but feel my ears burning, likely a result of the 100+ degree temperature and the toasty confines of my LBC steed.
'Til our next correspondence, 'Safety Fast'
It was a warm and muggy morning when ten stalwart Valley British Auto Club members, led by our "Fearful Leader" (aka F.L.), Warren Prouty, assembled about a mile from the Experimental Aircraft Association #378 hangar 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, determining that we were all vaccinated for the Corona virus. However, one of our members was 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 (It's the hydrocarbons). We then drove to the event "en masse."
Our designated parking area was alongside 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 in the 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.