Tigers United XXII
The After-glow (Installment Two)

Sunday, June 15th, was the arrival day for United's special guests Rosemary Smith and Ian Hall. Arrangements had been made to have Steve and Jane Sage collect Laura Garrad then trundle off to LAX to meet their incoming Virgin Atlantic flight, but that wasn't to happen until 3:00 in the afternoon. Well, with all that time to kill, why not fit in a diversionary "show-'n-shine"? A mere 35 minute drive from the El Segundo encampment delivered two of the special Tigers to the front lawn of Costa Mesa's Westin Hotel. Late comers (me and a pea-green MK II) following a map that was reversed during the copy process, ended up miles out of the way and too tardy for inclusion with the rest of the Tiger brotherhood on the main walk.

As David would say, just a bit of fun before the main event. An all Ford powered car show "Concours De Nice" in Costa Mesa.

The first ever visit to the United States for ADU 179B. Owner Tony Eckford and the bald guy discuss the coming caravan.

Several CAT club members joined the observance, not the least of which was current "Tiger Technologies" guru, Jeff Cushing with his recent Dale "A" restoration. Also present, was past "Tiger Technologies" poobah Jan Harde as a supportive observer. Long Beach resident, Dan Westland sporting his marvelous do-it-at-home GT resurrection, hovered close to his creation, albeit a bit hampered by a broken collar bone. Darrell Mountjoy out of Lake Forest, showed off just one of his sets of reproduction, Haldibrand style Tiger wheels, while Mr. fuel injection, Phil Cohen, took copious notes on all of the English iron. More than likely a few others joined, but may have slipped my attention. The group pointed, poked, inspected, applauded and generally had the best part of a perfect day to enjoy some magical machines.

When all was said and done, the Tigers were heaped with awards, including a first place acknowledgment to Mr. Westland's GT, a second place honor to Jeff Cushing's red renewal and a crowning 1st in competition to Tony Eckford's Le Mans coupe. All went away with a warm feeling, particularly those of us headed toward the Queen Mary for the continuation of Tigers United XXII day one. No sooner had the vehicle entourage settled down in the parking lot, than up walked the British invasion. Even having never met her before, an elegant Rosemary Smith was easy to spot and just as easy to feel right at home with from first blush. Ian Hall nearly trampled me as he rushed toward a long awaited reunion with ADU 179B. He touched and spoke personally to the machine he remembered from another time, commenting, "it's been a long time since I've seen you my dear". Throughout the grand entrance, Laura Garrad beamed with the thrill of sharing special friends, special cars and special memories.

Tony Eckford has to be one of the most generous men on the planet. Everyone who had the chance to see his unique Le Mans racer owes a big debt to a remarkable guy. How many of us would consider letting some total strangers have carte blanche with our Tigers? Thank You - Thank You - Thank you.

Magic in the making. Just moments before an historic run, a family portrait of the starting point.

Late afternoon turned to an early onboard dinner, arranged by CAT. Longtime enthusiasts joined the welcoming committee, for a very relaxed evening of chit-chat. Tony Eckford made a brief appearance (long enough to accept his "Concours De Nice" trophy) and before leaving, promised to reappear in Santa Rosa. VIP's were gifted Tiger racing caps, not that any of them needed the reminder. With the meal out of the way, those whose eyes remained open, undertook a bar closing exercise that may have broken new ground. On second thought, I doubt anyone remembers what happened that night, but it seemed earthshaking at the time. Monday morning couldn't have come soon enough for me. The decision to drive the Le Mans coupe had been made. We wanted to get underway around 10 o'clock and good news reported three trailers on their way. Kathleen Kruidhof was first to arrive with Bill Carroll and the Shelby prototype. Dan Walters was right behind carrying Martin Wildgoose's ex-Marcus Chambers car. Finally our third rig appeared (driven by Dan Walters' Uncle Ted) ready to accept the very last Tiger built and the die was cast. In short order, all was ready for the drive of a lifetime, which we'll talk about in the next installment.

1997 After-glow Series

Installment One

Installment Three

Installment Four

Installment Five

Installment Six

Installment Seven

Installment Eight

Installment Nine


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