BY MELANIE BUCK –
On Friday, May 30, Mena residents will be treated with a visit from the British Motoring Club of Arkansas. Cars such as MGB, Austin-Healey, Jaguar, Mini, Rolls Royce, and more will grace our streets.
Ron Kew, President of the British Motoring Club of Arkansas, said their visit to Mena is part of the activities planned for their annual British Car National Meet.
On Thursday, May 8, Kew and club member Jerry McCullough, drove to Mena to meet with some of Mena’s local officials and to tour Janssen Park as part of the preparations for the club’s upcoming “mass drive.”
The British Motoring Club of Arkansas is a group of around 150 British car enthusiasts from all over the state who enjoy what the Brits have to offer. “We have some real interesting cars in our club. We have anything from a couple of Rolls Royce down to MG Migits and everything in between. Some of the Austin Healeys and Jaguars in the club are show quality,” states McCullough.
Kew drives a 1965 Morris Minor Trapper, with a hard top and wood trim. It looks like a station wagon and is called a “woodie” because the wood is actually structural. It gets a lot of attention because it’s right-hand drive and because of the wood frame. He also has a 1974 MG. McCullough owns a 1972 MG, among others. “For some reason, you get a British car and then, you want another one, they’re like little match boxes and you want to collect them all,” smiled Kew.
Most of their cars are actually not that expensive. Some of the least expensive are Midgets which can be found for around $2,000. “When you’re first starting out, if you pick one of those real common cars, they’re less expensive and the parts are easier to get,” said Kew. McCullough agreed and stated, “It’s like any other club, you join in and there are people who know where to get the parts, it’s a group of really nice people.”
The British Car National Meet will begin on May 29-30, at the Hot Springs Convention Center. The event will host enthusiasts from across the nation. Named The Crown Jewels Auto Display, fifty of America’s best British cars will be on display. These “concourse cars” are brought close to original condition and will compete for the title of the best. Each class will be represented by only one car, that car being the most elite. Proceeds from the event will benefit Drive Away Cancer.
On May 31, the festivities will move to Hot Springs Village for the British All Marque National Meet Popular Vote Show. This will be held at the Ponce de Leon Center and will include all British cars, no matter the class or condition.
Also, on the morning of the 31st, the club will take a “mass drive.” “As part of the British Car National Meet, one of the activities is a mass drive and the mass drive this year will be from Hot Springs to Mena,” stated Kew. They will meet at Janssen Park around 11 am and enjoy a catered lunch by Country Express. They will depart at 1 p.m. and will also enjoy a tour of Brodix, Inc. They expect around 60 cars to make the drive. The public is invited to come see the cars and meet club members.
When asked why they chose Mena as their destination, Kew said,
“On the web, I saw Janssen Park and it has history and it’s beautiful.” He also stated that it’s a beautiful drive and just the right distance. He hopes that some of the club may like the area and come back to enjoy the car show at Lum & Abner the following weekend, and possibly, gain some new members for themselves.
If you may be interested in joining, you don’t have to have a British car, you just have to have a strong interest in the cars. The club meets once a month and takes a monthly drive. You can visit their website at http://www.britishmotorclubofarkansas.com/ .