By Jim Danielson
In 1985 I bought a Sprite in a box or actually several boxes. By 1993 the boxes had been moved several times but little progress had been made on the restoration and I had nobody to commiserate with about the lack of progress. So I decided I needed to get to know other British car owners. Perhaps they were suffering a similar fate.
So in the fall of 1993 I decided the best way to get to know people was to attend a car show. Not being aware of any British car shows, I decided to hold my own. Barbara and I made and distributed flyers to gas stations, grocery stores, repair shops like Road and Track and Economy and Performance. We would drive around town and stick them on every British car we saw. We placed ads in the Lincoln and Omaha paper for a couple of weeks before the show and waited to see what happened.
On show day I drove my 1972 Porsche 914 to the parking lot in front of the University Place swimming pool on north 48th street in Lincoln and waited. I went an hour early not wanting to miss anyone and not knowing that seldom are British car folk early. Finally, a full fifteen minutes after the starting time, the first car arrived. I was thrilled. By the end of the day over thirty cars were parked there and even non-British car owners stopped to look. Included in that group was a curious Steve Witt, now owner of a very fine nationally rated Spitfire and good friend. If you were there that day, please remind me, I have the list somewhere.
Enough people said they had a good time that the next year I did it again. Even more cars showed up at the second event and from that we formed a group of Sprite owners into a club called Spritelights. All five of the original members – myself, Jim Dresser, Jerry Needham, Joe Stork and John Ulrich — still belong to what is now the Flatwater Austin-Healey Club. (Ask me sometime about the serendipitous way I met John Ulrich.)
Since year three the show has been held at the Public School administration building on “O” Street. Only once has there been bad weather—the year I was not there. The show now draws 60 to 80 cars. It is still free. It is still low-key. It is still fun.