2009 Memphis Euro Fest, October 1st - 3rd, 2009

back to the Archives page     back to the Archives page

Stories About Those Little British Cars
By Kathy Kresser

A group of MG, Triumph and Healey owners trekked to the Memphis 2009 Euro Auto Fest on October 1-3, 2009. Over half of the trekkers encountered car problems over the weekend, just part of the experience of owning a small British car.

On a near perfect weather day, set in the shaded, manicured lawns of the Youth Villages Facility, the show field exhibited fine British cars. One in particular caught my attention, a 1954 Sunbeam Alpine Roadster owned by Woody Woodliff. The blazing black exterior with gray leather interior gave this automobile a rich appeal. The supple leather bag nestled in the front seat added another rich aspect. But, the tool kit in the boot was the best. The original, miniature-size whisk broom and equally small drop light were the ultimate. Okay, the basket filled with wine, cheese and spotted dick and the offer to share the goodies later in the day had its own lure.

In talking with Woody, he told me it was purchased in 1993. After an engine and transmission rebuild and a new paint job, the car was ready to drive. Woody said “Being a photographer, just the looks of the car, its sculpture and tactility made it a must have car. A blind person could polish this car and understand the beauty of its curves.” The three different measure standards -- Metric, American Standard and Whitworth -- still surprise him each time he works on the car.

I find the irony of the dated reverse polarity on the car and the modern day blackberry phone on the dash a funny technological connection.

The featured marque of the Fest was the Classic Mini. The Mini celebrates its 50th birthday this year. The Minis donned black balloons and pointed birthday hats. Happy Birthday to the Mini!

I love to take snapshots of the future owners of these autos. William enjoys a seat behind the wheel of his dad’s Morgan. He is very young, but one can sort of see that excitement of owning a classic.

Show after show, one sees cars that are staged with appropriate items. This Memphis show was no different. Bob and Darla Bridges had a shrine dedicated to the Queen Mum, others had bottles of wine and glasses on the back seat drop down table, others had cheese, Grey Poupon and biscuits, and Simon Dix had a bottle of oil positioned next to the front tire. I guess since the car uses oil like gasoline, it was appropriate. Chris Kresser should have a gasoline can next to his car – an inside joke.

Thanks to the Memphis team for a great day and for the Hagerty bag filled with Autozone products – something attendees now expect at the Memphis show. The Euro Auto Fest schedule of events included the hospitality dinner under the Main Tent at the Youth Villages, a rally after the show followed by the banquet. The Fest benefits the children of Memphis through the Youth Villages. A good job by everyone!


 10/09 Memphis Euro Auto Fest

Best of Show (a tie)

Jerry Billmeier : 1949 Bentley Mark IV Saloon

: Ray & Pam Mattingly : 1958 Porsche 356 Speedster
Class A : MG T-Series
1st D. L. Simmons : 1954 MG TF
2nd Hiram Shepard : 1951 MG TD
Class B: MGA
1st Dennis Norris : 1956 MGA
2nd Michael True : 1960 MGA
Class C: MGB & MGC to 1974
1st Don Eye : 1970 MGB
2nd Bob & Darla Bridges : 1974 MGB
Class D: MGB 1974.5 to 1980
1st Jim Duke : 1977 MGB
2nd Sam Shamblin : 1977 MGB (converted to chrome bumpers)
Class E: Austin Healey, Jensen Healey
1st Jim Hofer : 1966 Austin Healey 3000
2nd Jim Hofer : 1964 Austin Healey 3000 (RHD)
Class F: Sprite, Midget, Spitfire
1st Barry Harrison : 1960 Austin Healey Sprite
2nd Bruce Hamper : 1969 Austin Healey Sprite
Class G: Triumph TR3 - TR8
1st Chris & Kathy Kresser : 1959 Triumph TR3A
2nd Tom Harrison : 1965 Triumph TR4A
Class H: Jaguar XK120, 140, 150, XKE
1st Tom Wilson : 1954 Jaguar XK-120
2nd Gerald Bass : 1973 Jaguar XKE
Class I: British Sports pre 1976


Woody Woodliff

: 1954 Sunbeam Alpine MkI


Steve Pratt

: 1962 Daimler SP250 Dart
Class J: British Sports 1976 - present
1st Michael Glore : 2004 Lotus Esprit
2nd C. J. Pickering : 2003 Aston Martin DB7
Class K: Large British Saloons & SUVs


Jerry Billmeier

: 1949 Bentley Mark IV Saloon


Dennis Norris

: 1960 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud
Class L: Small British Saloons
1st Tim Hayes : 1956 Austin A30
Class M: Classic Mini
1st Larry Henle : 1976 Mini Cooper S
2nd (tie) Rick Hammes : 1968 Morris Mini
2nd (tie) Tom Womble : 1983 Austin Mini MKIII

Class N: New MINI

1st David Miskell : 2009 MINI John Cooper Works
2nd Tracy Bryant : 2005 MINI Cooper

Class O: Mercedes

1st Bob Possel : 1971 Mercedes Benz 280SL
2nd Lynn Jones : 1960 Mercedes Benz 190B

Class P: BMW

1st James Parker : 1996 BMW M3
2nd Mehraj Hudani : 2008 BMW E90 ME Saloon

Class Q: Other German: Porsche, Audi, Opel, etc.

1st Ray & Pam Mattingly : 1958 Porsche 356 Speedster
2nd Beth Carter : 1957 Volkswagen Beetle

Class R: Italian

1st John Greason : 1992 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce

Class S: Other Sports Cars: Volvo, Saab, Miata, Opel, Corvette, etc.

1st Ray & Pam Mattingly : 1936 Plymouth Street Rod
2nd Charles Coleman : 1956 Ford Thunderbird

Class T: British/European Motorcycles

1st Will Miner : 1958 BSA Flash
2nd Fred Bradley : 1975 BMW R90/6 with sidecar

Special Award in Recognition of the 100th Anniversary of the Morgan

Chris Wilson : 1966 Morgan 4+4
Fun Rallye Results

 : Buzz Merchlewitz & Sherri Williams


 : Joe & Angie Reed


 : Jim & Joann Bowlby

back to the Archives page     back to the 2008 Archives page