The weather forecast was calling for sunshine and mid-twenty degree temperatures. The final day of summer was going to be a great one and Don sent out an email to BCCCB members suggesting we take advantage of the forecast and take our final summer drive around the Donkin / Port Morien highway with a stop for lunch at the Dock Yer Dory restaurant. By the time we met at the old Value Village parking lot in Sydney River the temperature was already hitting 23 degrees.
Lee was the first to arrive and the shiny paint of his MGB could easily be seen from Kings Road as Joe and Jean were approaching in the Sunbeam. Renzi’s little “Bugeye” sprite wanted to come along for the drive but the Sunbeam said “no, you have to stay home, you’re too small, the drive today is just for bigger little British cars”.
Don was third to arrive and we needed sunglasses to protect our eyes from the sun’s rays being reflected off the gleaming finish of his red pride and joy .
No matter if there is only 1 car or 100 cars, any sunny day is a great opportunity to let these British cars stretch their legs. While waiting to see how many BCCCB’ers would be showing up, we noticed a few of the Cape Breton Custom Car Club members arriving. It looks like they are also taking advantage of the weather for their final summer run. One of the custom car club members walked across the parking lot to admire Don’s “ A” car and while admiring the MGA, he could be heard to remark “it’s one of the cars I most want to own in my lifetime”, and who wouldn’t, Don’s car is a picture of perfection.
By 10:45 it was decided no more cars would be arriving and the trio headed out in the sunshine. A drive through downtown Sydney and along Prince Street to the Glace Bay highway was the route chosen for the first leg of the journey. Sunday morning traffic seemed heavier than usual, probably because of the fantastic weather, and there were a lot of tooting horns and friendly waves as they passed by our shiny little cars.
Joe and Jean led the little convoy through Reserve and onto the main drag in the Bay where our cars put on a display for the folks, milling about the downtown shopping area. A quick pit-stop at the house of a friend for Jean to pick up a cookbook and then we set off to explore Donkin and the sights beyond.
Just a few minutes before noon, we arrived at Dock your Dory Restaurant, for our lunch break. It was lucky we arrived a bit early because there was mostly reserved seating and as soon as we were seated, the place quickly filled up. I guess more folks decided to take advantage of this beautiful end of summer weather. The Dock Yer Dory is a wonderful restaurant with good food, great service and the ocean view is spectacular. The restaurant décor is impressive, with antiques and movie memorabilia adorning the walls and booths, all of which contributes to stimulate conversation as well as keep you occupied while waiting for your food to be served.
During lunch Don mentioned that the folks he bought his MGA from, lived just up the road from the restaurant and it would be great if we could drop in on the lady to show off the rebirth of their old sports car. We agreed it was a great idea. The reveal had to be postponed by a few minutes because, as we were finishing our lunch Don got word about the desserts which were available and he could not resist ordering the fresh wild blueberry shortcake. The dessert was served on a rectangular clear crystal plate adorned with blueberry shortcake, surrounded by generous dollops of whipped cream and drizzled with steams of wild blueberry syrup. I think we all gained a few ounces just from looking at that work of art. The cardinal rule of always carrying the camera was not obeyed in this instance and a photo op of the blueberry masterpiece was truly missed, only because our photographer left the camera in the car.Don took the lead from the restaurant and in a few minutes we pulled into the driveway of the previous owner of the MGA where Don introduced the lady to the newly restored MGA. To say it was an emotional moment would not be a lie.
The lady couldn’t stop examining the car as she approached it. Her eyes were looking everywhere from the fabulous bright red paint job, to the tan leather interior, fenders, doors, trunk, luggage rack, shiny chrome. She could be heard saying she wished her husband and son could see it now. She asked Don if it really was the same car. Don explained that red was the original color as determined by the Serial Number and told her about the work that was done to bring the car to its present condition. She thanked Don for bringing the car to show her.
It was decided we would make a short visit to the Hayter homestead in Homeville, unfortunately there was no one home at the time of our visit.
Leaving the house we headed off in the direction of Mira Gut and stopped along the beach for a photo opportunity. On the other side of the Mira Gut bridge folks were picnicking and sunbathing on the beach.
The sun was hot and the temperature was warmer by this time and we were certain the forecast high of 24 degrees was surely surpassed. Today’s drive took our little convoy west along Brickyard Road to Hwy 22 and then Trout Brook road to Marion Bridge.
It was a perfect day, warm and sunny, smooth pavement, comfortable speeds and interesting sights.
The real estate along the Brickyard and Trout Brook roads is very impressive to say the least. The homes and gardens are as gorgeous as any featured on the TV home shows. Quite a few homes along the Mira River have private docks with boats, beautiful flower gardens, and … most importantly …. garages to die for.
After arriving at Marion Bridge, the trio split up and headed for home via the famous Prime Brook autoroute.
As Lonnie would say, if you weren’t there you missed a perfect end of summer run.
Story and photos By Joe and Jean Renzi ....