Needham & Patterson Car Collections

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Erin go bragh! It’s St. Patrick’s Day, Selma’s Historic Pilgrimage weekend, and the weather couldn’t have been nicer for thirty-six BMC members, guests, and our hosts,  Scott Patterson and George & Kathi Needham, as we toured their garages of British sports cars, other vintage cars, airplanes, and boats.

We met at the Capri Theatre, on East Fairview Ave., and were on the road by 9:00AM. Bobby had brought strands of emerald ribbon to adorn our radio aerials as our nineteen cars (including nine LBCs) caravanned past the gothic edifices on the Huntingdon College campus and out the tree-lined avenue of Narrow Lane Road to US 80. Once out of town, we enjoyed the rolling hills and green farmland of the Black Belt’s main artery. The fruit trees, wisteria, and dogwoods have all blossomed in just the past week.  But, it seems as if the leprechauns had emptied their pots of gold dust in the air which eventually found its way to our cars, eyes, and nasal passages.

At 10:00 AM, we were turning into Craig Field in Selma to admire Scott’s collection. Scott welcomed us to his garages and gave us an overview of his collection before letting us swarm. He’s done an amazing job of keeping the cars original, save a few engine tweaking modifications. Some of the many examples included: his Porsche 911 DE car, a Corvette, a 1954 Triumph TR2 long-door, a Bugeye Sprite, a rally prepared RHD Austin Healey 3000 Mk II, a Mercedes, 2 Ferraris, and airplanes. We also admired George’s beautiful dark-blue Ghia 1500 GT that was being retro-fitted with an Alfa Romeo 2-liter DOHC engine. While we were looking, George was placing directions to the restaurant and to their home in our cars, then at noon, led us downtown Selma to the El Ranchero Mexican restaurant, with ample off-street parking provided by Scott.

In spite of the larger than usual crowds in town for the pilgrimage weekend, Kathi had arranged for us to be seated in a separate room away from the main dining room so that we could sit together. Ordering went smoothly for our larger than expected crowd of thirty-nine and we enjoyed our visits while the food was being prepared. Our orders were brought out as they were ready and all seemed to enjoy their menu selections. Following our meal, George again led us up Broad Street to AL 22 then on to their beautiful home and grounds where Kathi had obviously been busy preparing for us with desserts and cool beverages on their shaded back porch. They had Kathi’s 2011 Hot-Chocolate MINI Cooper S cabriolet, George’s sage green Rover 3500 V8, the Rolls Royce, and of course, the 1947 Allard K1, parked on the beautifully landscaped yard. We split up into separate groups — some to the gorgeously restored and wonderfully stocked library, while others roamed the grounds and visited the garages.
George and Kathi had brought tour guide packets to our March meeting for the tour of historic homes for those who decided to take advantage of Pilgrimage weekend and visit historic homes and churches in Selma.

Thanks to Pam for coordinating the logistical details and choosing our route out of town; to David for printing directions and leading the way; and special thanks to our hosts Scott Patterson, and George and Kathi Needham, for opening their garages and home to us and patiently answering our car questions.

Photos by Russell & Cathy Whigham

Also see Blitz & Amanda’s photos