Rob’s Blog: First Meeting Review

The Old Spaghetti Factory photo

If you went to the meeting last night and found yourself sitting alone at Gordon Biersch, you are out of the loop, and probably won’t get this email either.

Last night the club had its first meeting at a new location: The Old Spaghetti Factory in Aloha Tower Market Place. I’d say there were mixed reviews.

On the up side is the menu. I can personally vouch for the lasagna. There is a very nice variety to choose from and the prices are not bad either. In place of the “to die for bread pudding” at Gordon Biersch,  is a large slice of mud pie… an acceptable tradeoff.

From my point of view, the service was as good as could be expected for a party of twenty-five people all wanting food, attention and the bill at the same time. We seemed to have a couple of waiters assigned to our table and they were very attentive, at least on our end of the table.

On the down side was the noise. It was very loud. “How loud,” you ask…Loud enough to wonder if Gordon Biersch isn’t the better of the two locations. However, in the interest of fairness, we will have next month’s meeting (August 14th) at the Old Spaghetti Factory again, but in a different area of the restaurant.

After Patrick Casey spoke to the manager, she agreed to set aside an outside area, just for the club. This should make a huge difference. And by huge, I mean we should be able to talk, and be heard. The only improvement beyond this would be a round table for 30 thirty, in a private room, and that’s not going to happen.

There was one other small item… Whoever had a bill for $27.20… “You’re welcome.” Apparently, your bill was paid with my VISA card. I saw the waiter leave the table with a handful of cards and return with a stack of folders. Somewhere in between he used my card twice. If you check your statement, you will see the last four numbers… “0027.” That’s me. Not to worry. My Capitol One VISA people have been notified, and “I will find you.” Not really. More likely is they will probably drop the charge from my statement, and write it off as something else.  At least this isn’t as bad as the three hundred dollar charge Gordon Biersch made by accident.

One other thing to note… When we got there the parking lot across from the restaurant was full, as it often is. Valet parking is $4. If you park in the over-flow lot down the street, past the Falls of Clyde, and you stay one minute over two hours, the cost will also be $4. The first hour is free. Each part of an hour beyond that is $2. Do the math. It might be easier, and more cost effective, to use the valet service, not including a tip. To be honest, I don’t know how they figure the rate there, or if you pull a receipt at all.

And speaking of honesty… For those of you who like to explore the limits of possibility, and honesty, here is a challenge. After your first beer, or glass of wine, get your parking stub validated at the front desk. Then walk outside and pay the machine. Then walk back into the restaurant and stay for another hour, or two, or three. The parking machine thinks you went home. Of course, I’ll deny ever having suggested such an evil plan, but let me know if it works. If it doesn’t, and you’re allowed one phone call, you know my number.

So here are my suggestions for next month:

  1. Arrive early enough to get a parking place in the lot across the street. Bring a book if you arrive too early.
  2. Hack your watch when you pull the parking stub from the meter and don’t stay past two hours. (unless my scheme works.) If you do stay longer, you might as well stay for the entire third hour since you’re paying for it any way.
  3. Pay your dinner bill with cash.
  4. This is really important… Be sure to get your parking stub validated at the restaurant. If you forget, you won’t have to ask why.
  5. And just so you know, the mud pie is big enough to share if you’re sitting next to me.

Lastly… Just a heads up on this month’s Tech Session, Saturday the 28th. It will be at Gary Bean’s house near the Temple Valley Shopping Center and a little past Kaneohe. He has some ignition issues to deal with. It will begin at 10:30. Lunch is provided but you’re invited to bring a beverage of your own. Parking is limited.

Thanks for coming last night, and I hope to see everyone at the tech session, and/or the next meeting.

Rob’s Blog: A Call for Old and Luxurious British Cars

Morris Minor automobile image

If you want to make your car famous, here is your chance. The club has been contacted by a local production company for a local photo shoot. They are looking for “old, luxury cars.”

In my book, the words “old” and “luxury” are both subjective, and could apply to almost any of our cars. That being said, I’m pretty sure an old Rolls Royce would have a better chance than an old VW. I’m encouraging all of you to submit a picture, or two, of your British car for consideration.

I will forward them to the agent in charge, and he will select four or five cars to use. The date will be on, or about, July 17th. The probable location will be the West side of  Oahu, near Yokohama Bay.

He told me it isn’t necessary to have the car in running order, but you would be responsible for getting it to the site, and home afterwards. The shoot will be still shots and no driving will be involved. There is a budget, but he didn’t give any dollar amount for your time or effort. If you have any idea what the going rate might be, please let me know.

I’ll try to answer any questions and will do my best to “sell” our cars to the company.

Contact me at:


Rob’s Blog: What’s Not to Like?

Possible stocking stuffer for a British car person.
Possible stocking stuffer for a British car person.

After receiving several calls over the years asking for help getting rid of old MGBs, I’ve come to the indisputable conclusion MGBs are the old wooden boats of the automobile world. There are lots of them, don’t seem to be worth much in good condition and almost nothing in poor condition.

This morning I received the latest call from an elderly owner asking for, you guessed it, help getting rid of his old MGB. Like so many, it has been sitting outside in the weather, waiting patiently to be restored to its original condition. The expression, “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder” is never more tested than when an owner gazes lovingly at his rusty pile of sheet metal and sees only shiny curves of what it looked like driving off the showroom floor so many years before.

My rusty hulk of sheet metal was my original owner, 1971 VW bus, so I speak with some authority on the subject. Valuable for parts only and not too many of them went unscathed by the ravages of the Hawaiian weather. The latest offering can be seen in the Craigslist ad included below.

After spending time talking to the owner, Chester, I was almost seeing his car through the same rose colored glasses he was. Then I looked it up on Craigslist and was jolted back to a rusty reality. Let’s just say it is a good deal for the dedicated car enthusiast with lots of time on their hands. You be the judge.

It is a complete car with lots of good, spare parts included, and for that reason alone worth considering. Also included is a 1974 Austin Marina engine, a two speed automatic transmission, and even a custom made tow bar. What’s not to like?

Call Chester at either of his two numbers and get the full story. His cell number is 808-421-7765 and his (more preferred) home number is 808-737-3930

See all of you at the Christmas lunch this Sunday the 17th.


Link to Chester’s Craigslist ad:

Rob’s Blog: Everyone Loves a Parade

Photo of the Kailua July 4th Parade

Here is a chance to abuse your car to it’s thermal limits. Nothing like a parade on a nice, hot, July afternoon to get the fluids flowing all over the radiator and out onto the ground.

On the brighter side, you get to meet lots of nice people along the parade route. Maybe some of them will help push your car off to a side street when it overheats.

Do I like parades? “Yes”. Do I think sixty year old, coolant challenged, British cars should be subjected to parades, “No.”

In case you feel differently than I do, and in fairness to everyone who feels differently, I have forwarded the following email from Fred Weisberger (Antique Automobile Club of America) and the Kailua 4th of July parade organizers to all of you. If you decide to participate, have a great time and do the club right. We’ll reserve a tech session for you sometime in the near future.

Aloha, Rob

Hi Car Folk,

The Exchange Club of Downtown Honolulu (similar to Rotary) is participating in the Kailua 4th of July Parade–the oldest and largest such parade in Hawaii!

The Exchange Club will be distributing 2,500 small American flags to people along the parade route. The Exchange Club is looking for six or seven antique cars to carry older members and the boxes of flags. I will be participating with one of my antique cars, so we are still looking for another six or so cars.

We will first meet at my house and then drive to the staging location as a group. This a fun parade with literally thousands of friendly spectators lining the 1 1/2 mile parade route–and they love our antique cars!

The unit is near the front of the parade, so it should move quickly and be a lot of fun for all. More information to follow. If you are interested in participating the 2017 Kailua 4th of July Parade, please contact me.

Fred Weisberger
Phone: (h) 254-0392 / (c) 354-4644

Rob’s Blog: More than 70 years of British Technology

By every measure, this year’s All British Car Day was the biggest, the best, and most organized of any previous year. Brett, Dave, and Dr. Rob culled through email lists from previous shows and made sure everyone who had even thought of a British car, got word of the event. The effort paid off with the largest attendance ever. On display was British technology spanning over seven decades of automotive design and styling.

Running parking lot defense for the club were a couple of early risers who kept our reserved parking area clear of the equally early morning runners who mistakenly think the “NO PARKING” signs are for their event, rather than ours. Their effort paid off big time.

When the Kapiolani Park show ended, the event moved to the Morgan Estate for the presentation of awards, a catered lunch by Fat Boy’s, and raffle. And speaking of the raffle, the club picked up a new sponsor this year. Anna Pang of Mont Blanc, in the Ala Moana Shopping Center, donated a couple of really nice items to the raffle pot.

Jerry Bacon, 2107 Anastasia Cup Honoree

Jerry Bacon went home with the Anastasia Cup for 2017. Talk about slipping through the cracks, Jerry has been a club member for decades, and has run down more electrical issues than anyone can count, and yet, he was never publicly recognized for his service, and support. We all knew he was there, but not until now did he finally get his official “thanks” from all of us. Way to go Jerry!

Eberhard Kintscher, People’s Choice Winner 1960 Triumph TR3A.

To say voting for the People’s Choice Award was close would be an understatement. Good thing there was one winner, because there was a four way tie for second. Eberhard Kintscher, aka Chef Hardy, came out in front by one vote. His Beautiful 1960 TR3A is worth every vote and a deserved winner of this coveted award.

A huge cyber applause should also be sent out to everyone who helped pull this event together, and especially the guys who got up early and started it off so smoothly this year. Also, a big thanks to the Morgan family for hosting the lunch at their beautiful, historic home. It was the final touch to making this year’s event the best ever.

See more photos of the All British Car Day.

Rob’s Blog: Celebrating 25 Years of British Cars

At the All British Car Day in 2016
Cars and Coffee Kapahulu May 24, 2015

If you have attended an All British Car Day in the past, either as an owner or a spectator, you know it is the biggest British car event in Hawaii. This year will be no exception. On Sunday, May 28th, Memorial Day weekend, British cars of all kinds will gather at Kapiolani Park and invite the public to have a look.

If you plan on entering your car in this great event, here is how the day will play out.

First, you are encouraged to send in the registration form (see below) and sign up for either the basic $10, or deluxe $25, entry.

On the morning of the event, arrive at the middle parking level of the Ala Moana Shopping Center, the Diamond Head end, near Macy’s, no later than 8:30 a.m. The easiest way to get there is to take the parking ramp off of Atkinson Drive (next to the Ala Moana Hotel) and go to the second level. At 8:45 we will leave the parking lot and caravan our way through Waikiki to the venue at Kapiolani Park.

Upon arriving at the park, you will be directed to the area designated for your make of car. After parking, proceed to the registration desk to pick up your packet.

The show is free to the public and will continue until noon. At that time everyone with a deluxe registration is invited to caravan to the Morgan Estate in Manoa for a catered lunch, the gift raffle, presentation of awards and more car talk. One of the “perks” of the deluxe registration is a $5 voucher redeemable towards your lunch. The actual cost of the catered lunch is still to be determined, but you can bet it will be delicious, and well worth the cost. Especially when the club is paying you back five dollars.

It’s always fun to see a few “new” cars that have been hidden away suddenly appear out of nowhere that day. Remember, your car doesn’t have to be a show car, or even running. It just has to be British.

This would be the perfect place to sell your classic, or maybe buy another one. If you have any question about this event, don’t hesitate calling me.

The suggested deadline for registering is two weeks from today, Wednesday, May 24th, so don’t put it off.

Aloha, Rob

2017 All British Car Day registration form

Rob’s Blog: Need a Lift?

Engine hoist photo

If you’re contemplating the removal of your car’s engine, I’m about to become your new best friend.

For years I have stored a huge engine hoist in my garage, anticipating the day I’d have to remove the monster engine from my Jaguar. I used it once to install the current engine at least twenty years ago, and a few other times around the house for miscellaneous “hoisting” jobs.

If you need to pull the concrete base of a basketball pole from the ground, this will do the job without breaking a sweat. If you need to uproot a tree, you won’t even need a pick and shovel.

This hoist is not one of the light weight models you see on sale at NAPA, or O’Reilly’s. This monster is capable of not only lifting large engines, but entire cars off the ground. The upper range is rated at 4000 pounds (2 tons) That’s five Jaguar engines, or a half dozen Bug Eye Sprite’s, at the same time. That’s the good news. The bad news is that with such a massive lifting ability, it is very heavy, and not something you toss into the trunk of your Honda. It does have wheels and the legs are removable for easy storage.

I know as soon as I get rid of it, I’ll probably need it to remove the Jag’s engine. Because Murphy’s Law.

Here is my offer…

So, does anyone want this monster to use for as long as they want, until I need to borrow it back? Seems dumb to hold on to it while someone else in the club might need it.

I know what you’re thinking… “That bum just wants someone else to store his hoist.” Well, sort of.

Feel free to loan it to someone else after you’re done. We can pass it around the club like an unwanted raffle ticket. Eventually someone will need it. A real win-win situation.

In the folded configuration, it is 56″ high and the width between the wheels is 38”. The pump handle is missing, but anything that fits into the opening will work.

If you’re interested in this once in a lifetime offer…don’t be shy. Give me a call and we can go from there. Remember, anything from pulling stumps to lifting the corner of your house is possible with this baby.

Aloha, Rob