As you all know by now, the induction ceremonies for the British Sports Car Hall of Fame were held this past Friday, June 2nd, in Petersburg, Virginia. The event was held in coordination with the second Moss Motorfest and was a great success with a standing room only crowd of almost 600 people in attendance.
Of the twenty-three human inductees (more on that in a moment), eight were in attendance. Those eight were Mike Cook, Michael Dale, Peter Egan, Robert Johns, Richard Knudson, Graham Robson, Bob Tullius and John Twist. During the awards ceremony itself, brief biographies were gone over, stories were told on themselves and others, and then the gorgeous Moto-Lita steering Heacock Insurance wheel awards were handed out. After the awards ceremony proper, started off by Rob Goldman of Moss and then MCed by Graham Robson and John Nikas, a sort of round table discussion was held which included fielding a few questions from the audience.
My response to an audience question came from Peter Egan. The inductees were asked by an attendee why we love these British sports cars so much if they all seem to have faults and problems. After some discussion of the charm of the cars and their fun aspects, Egan admitted that he believed we become so attached to these British cars because, “they need us as much as we need them.” This received a warm round of both laughter and applause.
The day after the ceremony, during Motorfest, the attending recipients of the awards gathered in the Hall itself to meet with attendees, tell more stories, and sign autographs. The stories these guys tell have got to be heard to be believed. For example, Peter Egan was prompted by the cover photo on one of his books to tell about a car’s water pump self-destructing sending the fan blade sailing out of the engine bay, across his shoulder, and off into the desert. This led to a lively discussion about parts coming off of cars either of their own accords, such as wheels while racing, or with a little aid – such as steering wheels in the driver’s hands. Bob Tullius recounted the story of the steering wheel of Spitfire that he was testing coming off in his hands while on the track. He said he carefully and quickly refitted it and made it safely back to the pits. Asked what he did then, he said he promptly threw the steering wheel at the mechanic in charge!
I mentioned above that there were twenty-three human inductees. Well, there were also two inductees of the non-human variety. Special awards were given to the book The Red Car by Don Stanford and to the Jaguar Clubs of North America. Both of these awards were based on influence on the hobby and, in the case of the JCNA, work done to promote and sustain the hobby.
The “Hall of Champions” which is being set up for the Hall of Fame within the Petersburg Moss Motors headquarters is a great space with room for cars, a coming reference library, events, and the wall plaques made to honor each of the inductees.
I am very pleased to stay that Just British is a sponsor of the Hall, and we provided all of the plaques (cards?) you see in the picture above. The mission of the Hall of Fame fits right in with what we are about here, and we are honored (get it?) to be able to take part and help out.
Speaking of helping out, please make sure to check out the Hall of Fame’s website where you can vote for the next round of inductees. These ceremonies should be a regular event, so make sure to both vote and attend. After being a part of this first one, I can promise you that you don’t want to miss out.