ABOVE: A vintage Rolls-Royce attracts attention at the Classic car show.
With Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai and Honda turning out a million cars each year, Alabama is becoming known as a showcase for fine foreign automaking. To a group of motorists in Birmingham, it always has been.
The Birmingham Motoring Club bills itself as a club for classic foreign car enthusiasts. On Saturday, Oct. 10, it sponsored “Sports Cars at the Summit,” which drew hundreds of enthusiastic owners and spectators to admire the hardware while raising money for a good cause.
“We crossed our fingers for 50 cars and ended up with nearly 90,” said club president David Boger. “It was amazing.”
All proceeds from the annual event, held for the first time at the Summit mall, will go to Camp Smile-A-Mile, which provides recreation and fellowship for young cancer patients and their families.
“We raised over $1,700,” said club member Lee Darden. “They were really sweet and helpful. We look forward to working with them again.”
The parking lot Saturday was crowded with colorful foreign bodies, mostly from British automakers. Triumphs, Morgans and Rolls-Royces gleamed while people chatted and – what else? – classic rock played.
“The bottom line, I was quite impressed,” said Eric Phipps of Wiggins Racing & Performance, a recent Detroit transplant and owner of a 1963 Shelby Cobra replica.
“The responses I got from the participants were all positive,” said club vice president Randy Darden, who owns two Triumphs, a Jaguar and a classic Acura. “They had a good time and can’t wait for next year. We’re really pleased because without them there is no car show.”
It was a busy weekend for the region’s road warriors. The Barber Motorsports Museum held its three-day Barber Vintage Festival for classic motorcycles. And Sparks of Insanity at Alabama Splash Adventure in Bessemer spotlighted lowriders and other tricked-out vehicles.
The Birmingham Motoring Club, originally known as the Birmingham British Motoring Club, made a decision this year to expand the scope of the car show.
“We invited other like-minded clubs from throughout the state,” said Boger, a Triumph Spitfire and Porsche Cayman owner who works for Altec, which manufactures bucket trucks for Alabama Power and other utilities.
“There was a good cross-section of cars, new and old,” said Lee Darden. “The Porsche club helped, the BMWs came out.”
It was a successful day for the group, which holds monthly meetings. The Summit has invited them to return next year.
Lee Darden summed up the club’s philosophy.
“It’s not about ‘my car’s better than yours,’” she said. “We just all love to drive.”