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Winter Haven European Car Show March 16, 2008

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 In scientia veritas in arte honestas. In science truth, in art honor

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MG Police Car Captures Best of Show
By Dennis J. Magee, CPM, Editor

The MG Police Show Car captured the hearts of fellow car show attendees and the general public, who attended the Winter Haven Art Festival and European Car Show on March 16, 2008, in the city parks in downtown Winter Haven. The show cars encircled the three parks, North Park, Central Park, and South Park, which contained the Art Show Exhibitors and Vendors. Thousands attended the art show and the Second Annual European Car Show which grew from a very small car show in 2007 of about 15 cars to over 80 cars this year, an overall 500% increase in show cars.

The European Car Show had a unique theme in that it recognized the “Restoration” of Automobiles as an “Art Form”.The purpose and goals of Automobile Restoration are preservation, protection, and enhancement of the classic auto of yesterdays for museums, private collections, dealers, individual collectors, and viewing by the general public.
 Attendees found very pleasant weather, with some clouds during the early morning hours, changing to sunny skies by mid-day, and temperatures in the high 70’s to low 80’s—a picture perfect day.

Best of Show was captured by the 1933 L1 Magna Police Car, owned by Sarah and Bill Richey. According to the owners, the police car was delivered to the Lancashire Constabulary in Preston England on April 11, 1933.  Seventy-five years ago the delivery price for the vehicle was 299 pounds with the usual 15% discount.  Only two of the original eight L1s are known to have survived.

The car was purchased on August 19, 2003 by Bill and Sarah Richey from the estate of Dr. Jerome Keuper along with two other pre-war MGs.  Dr. Keuper was the founder of the Triple M Register which celebrates the Midgets, Minors and Magnettes of the pre-war MG era, and hosted the first MG Jamboree in 1984.
After the completion of an extensive two-year restoration, the car has won Best of Class at the 2007 Keeneland Concours of Lexington, KY and the Amelia Island Award at the Amelia Island Concours 2008, earlier this month.
The Richey's wish to continue to pay tribute to the memory of their good MG friend, Jerry Keuper by sharing this wonderful car with all British car enthusiasts.

Second Place of the show went to Jamie Poole, a 1961 Porsche B T-5 Karman Knotchback, representing the 356 Registry and Florida Owners Group

Third Place was won by Bill Emerson and his 1948 Healey Westland. He is a member of the Tampa Bay Austin Healey Club.

The Hemmiings Sports and Exotic Car Spirit of Craftsmanship Award was won by Ron Lasita with his 1959 Austin Healey Sprite MK-1. Ron is a member of the Tampa Bay Austin Healey Club and the Suncoast British Car Club.

Additional winners are as follows:
Best of Class—British
Patrick Dupuis—1976 Triumph TR-6

Best of Class—German
Mike Owen—1956 Porsche 356A Speedster

Best of Class—Italian
John Rady—1976 Alfa Romeo GTV-6

Best of Class—Swedish
Martin Stickley—1965 Volvo PV544

Mayor’s Choice
Mike Owen—1956 Porsche 356A Speedster

People’s Choice
Bruce Rauch—1962 MGA

Best Engine Compartment
Charlie Carpenter—1959 Austin Healey BN-6

Best Paint and Trim
George Butz—1952 MG TD

Best Interior
Terry Davis—1964 Porsche 356SC

Best Wheels and Tires
Mike Davis—1965 Porsche 356C

Best Restoration in Progress
Tim Marton—1958 Austin Healey Sprite

All European Cars 1989 and older were eligible to enter. Winning classes are as follows: The Mayor Award as selected by the Mayor of Winter Haven; Peoples Choice Award, as chosen by a representative from the news media; Country of origin Award (example—France, England, Italy, Germany etc.); and Best of Show, Second and Third Place. Country Award and Best of Show, Second and Third Place Awards will be determined by a three judge panel. Additional awards were presented as outlined above.

Last year, the Winter Haven Art Festival and Car Show event was attended by over 10,000 during the two day event. This year, the Car Show portion will be restricted to a one day event due to the Sebring Races on March 15, 2008, which is only a few miles from Winter Haven. Many of the European Car Drivers will be visiting the Sebring Races, which will give them the opportunity to attend the Car Show on the following day..

Automotive restoration goal is preservation, protection, and enhancement of the classic auto of yesteryears for driving, museums, private collections, dealers, individual collectors, and enjoyment.  Restoration does not compromise on quality, either in materials or workmanship. Producing "acceptable" rather than correct and proper restoration and conservation is simply not an option. Whether you are an individual who performs your own restoration, or a automotive shop or specialty restoration business—integrity restoration and time-tested conservation methods produce the highest quality of restoration.

We believe that correct restoration is not simply a process but truly an art form. Quality restoration prides itself in using proper techniques and procedures to produce uncompromised quality.

Those attending the show will have the opportunity to visit the Art Festival in the Central Park, to view and purchase Art, Crafts of highest quality, and Jewelry, searching out those great buys among the many vendors.

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