Category Archives: CBCF – Champagne British Car Festival

Celebrating 100 Years of MG at The Mansion

Celebrating 100 Years of MG at The Mansion

By Angie Davis

The 2023 Champagne British Car Festival (CBCF) held June 2nd – 4th is now one for the books!  Sponsoring club, the Illinois Flat Land British Car Club (IFLBCC), hosted a fun-filled and action-packed weekend complete with  Friday evening Welcome Reception, Saturday drive and cruise-in on historic Route 66, Saturday evening banquet and a Sunday Car Show that attracted nearly 150 beautiful British vehicles to the remarkable David Davis Mansion in Bloomington, Illinois.

Dozens and dozens of pre-registered drivers and guests kicked off their Festival weekend Friday evening at a Welcome Reception held at the Chateau Hotel and Conference Center. Everyone had a chance to pick up their name badges and registration packets, get reacquainted and catch  up with old friends and meet new LBC enthusiasts over tasty food and beverages.

After a drivers’ meeting Saturday morning, motorists took off – driving instructions in-hand – on a rally style drive and cruise-in around Lake Bloomington and up Historic Route 66 to Pontiac, Illinois. Drivers and passengers of the 40 cars that participated in the adventure were met by members of the Pontiac tourism bureau and treated to welcome bags with VIP buttons, information about the city of Pontiac, access to museums, walking tours, discounts to local shops and restaurants and terrific photo opportunities at wall murals around town.

Several folks took advantage of two “Behind the Scenes” tours conducted by Tim Dye, owner of the Pontiac-Oakland Museum.  The automobile museum offers rotating exhibits to ensure a new and exciting experience.  The only Pontiac-Oakland Museum in the world, they display hundreds of pieces of memorabilia alongside the ever-changing selection of cars. 

But the day was far from over! The Saturday evening banquet afforded an opportunity to socialize during a great dinner and delicious desserts decorated with the CBCF rondel and logos celebrating 100 years of MG Motors, this year’s featured marque. Guest speaker, John Twist, regaled the 100 banquet guests with his entertaining presentation “MG Was my Destiny.” He left attendees looking forward to viewing his famous “Rolling Tech Sessions” scheduled during the Sunday car show.  

Dave Fitch’s MG TD takes its turn at John Twist’s “Rolling Tech Session” under the watchful eye of Gerald Lofthouse of the Chicagoland’s British Car Union.

Registered participants and hundreds of spectators were treated to a brilliant, sunny and warm Sunday for the Car Show at David Davis Mansion. The Midwest was well-represented with British car owners traveling from seven states – Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin – to participate in the Festival.

The shady, welcoming David Davis Mansion grounds were resplendent with a spectacular Union Jack as a backdrop and flags of the various British marques gently fluttering in the afternoon breeze. Food vendors and music added to the lively atmosphere throughout the day as car owners shared stories about their beloved cars and curious spectators posed questions to learn as much as they could about the vehicles on display.

This year’s MG Featured Marque included the pictured MGBs and MG Midgets

Registered participants voted for their peers to name 1st, 2nd and 3rd place  winners in 21 designated classes and Car of Show. Spectators who attended the Show cast their votes for the People’s Choice Award.   

Congratulations to Simon Griffin of Edwardsville, Illinois who took top honors this year in a clean sweep!  Simon, who at past CBCFs has shown his lovely Austin-Healey 100, left his Healey in the garage and drove to the Show in his recently-acquired 1930 MG 18/80 MKII. His stunning pre-war automobile took 1st in the MG Other class, was awarded Car of Show and claimed the People’s Choice Award. If you are fortunate to see this beauty at a future show, be certain to check out its rich history.

First in Class, Car of Show and People’s Choice Winner – Simon Griffin’s 1930 MG 18/80 MKII

First place winners in the five remaining MG Classes – MG T-Series, MGA, MGB Chrome, MGB Rubber and Midget / Sprite – are Steven Runyan, Alan Kleinschmidt, Doug Eppich, Nigel Keen, and Stephen Sparks.  

A list of all CBCF winners can be found at CBCF-Bloomington.com under Recent Posts – Congratulations to ALL 2023 Champagne British Car Festival Car Show Winners!

As with most car shows, it’s the local car club volunteer’s time and efforts that make the CBCF Weekend possible.  The IFLBCC Team is already planning next year’s event with special attention to participant’s Post-Weekend Survey comments and suggestions.

Remember to mark your 2024 calendars and plan to join us in Bloomington, Illinois for next year’s Champagne British Car Festival May 31 – June 2, 2024, when the Featured Marques will be Aston Martin and Austin Healey.

Celebrate British Car Week with the IFLBCC!

“Drive ‘Em, Don’t Hide ‘Em” is the mantra of the British Car Week organization (https://www.britishcarweek.org/) British Car Week is an annual awareness week intended for owners of Classic British Cars to get their cars out of the garage and drive them.

Want to drive your car and need some ideas for places to go?  Plan on joining the IFLBCC for our CBCF Pontiac, IL Rally/Cruise-in on June 3rd. Drives, pop-up car show, car collections and more!   It doesn’t matter whether your car is in better than new condition, or perhaps it’s a less than perfect unrestored gem, we love them all! As long as it can be safely driven down the road, this is a great opportunity to show off your favorite car and take advantage of what British car motoring is all about. We’re calling all owners of classic British cars to get together with other car owners in the central Illinois area and [gently] kick tires, share stories, answer questions, and have a good time.

Did you know the British Car Week culminates with the IFLBCC sponsored Champagne British Car Festival’s car show on June 4, 2023? (CBCF-Bloomington.com)   We’ll be hosting John Twist’s Rolling Tech Sessions during the Sunday car show and best of all, you’ll have the chance to show your car off to the general public who rarely, or in many cases never, have the opportunity to get a real-life, close-up glimpse of these exquisite, entertaining British automobiles of days gone by. 

Book Your Room for the CBCF Weekend!

As Central Illinois’ longest running all-British car show, The Champagne British Car Festival (CBCF) Weekend attracts British car fans from throughout the upper mid-west. But we aren’t the only event that will be in town over the June 2-4 weekend! During the week of June 2-4 Bloomington-Normal will also be hosting the Bloomington Gold Corvette Show and Cogs & Corsets.

With that in mind, the CBCF Planning Committee has arranged for blocks of rooms at TWO Bloomington hotels. BOOK TODAY!

The CBCF Committee is excited to announce the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel will again be our Host Hotel for the 2023 Champagne British Car Festival.  The Double Tree Hotel is the closest hotel to the David Davis Mansion and has ample parking for your auto transport trailers.

It’s simple to receive your special group rate!  Reserve your room as guests of the Champagne British Car Festival (CBCF) on-line by using this dedicated group reservation link: Click Here   

The room block at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Bloomington is for June 2, 2023 through June 4, 2023.   Your Special CBCF Rate of $125/night includes a hot breakfast and in-room Wi-Fi.  Room rates are per room, per night, and are subject to applicable taxes.  

We have ALSO arranged for a block of rooms at the newly renovated Chateau Hotel and Conference Center.

Saturday evening’s CBCF sit-down banquet will be held in the newly renovated* Chateau Hotel and Conference Center’s ballroom and will also be the location of our Friday night Welcome Reception and launching point for Saturday’s cruise-in to Pontiac, IL. For these reasons, the Chateau Hotel may be the better choice for your stay. * Some renovations may not be completed by June 2nd.

The room block for Friday and Saturday nights are for single king or double queens at a rate of $129 + 12% state and city taxes. When calling them at 309 662-2020, please notify them that you are requesting the discounted rate for the Champagne British Car Festival

March CBCF Planning Meeting Update

It’s probably hard to imagine that the Champagne British Car Festival is only THREE months away! The March 7th meeting was our SECOND “working session”  and was critical in assigning sub-committee leaders and helpers in key roles.  Major decisions were made concerning sponsorships, insurance, voting and drives.

For 2023 we will continue the full 3-Day Festival experience and have already planned out a tentative schedule, venues, vendors and many of the details. Registration for CBCF opened on Feb. 15 and we’re well on our way to a successful 2023 event.  You can get an early preview of what’s to come by visiting https://iflbcc.club/iflbcc-home-page/    

What we need NOW is help with executing these plans!  That’s where YOU come in.  We will need additional Illinois Flat Land Car Club members to help during the weekend during the drive, evening events and the Sunday car show. These functions do not require a large commitment of time or effort. Want to help? Contact us at [email protected]

The next CBCF Planning Meeting is scheduled for April 4th

Celebrate 100 Years of MG with John Twist

The Champagne British Car Festival (CBCF) is just around the corner, June 2-4, 2023 in Bloomington, Illinois. This is the 32nd anniversary of the Festival and you can expect an amazing weekend of British car activities. This all-British car show features over 125 brilliant British cars and motorcycles.

In 1923 Cecil Kimber, the Founder of MG Cars, designed, built, advertised and sold his first MG sports cars. To celebrate this 100th Anniversary, CBCF announced that MG will be the featured marque at this year’s car show on June 4, 2023. 

Friday June 2, 2023: Registered entrants “Start Your Engines” and your Festival weekend by joining us Friday evening, June 2nd for a Welcome Reception, sponsored by the Illinois Flat Land British Car Club (IFLBCC). This informal Meet & Greet with fellow British car enthusiasts will be held from 5:00pm to 9:00pm. If you’re already registered for Sunday’s show, you may pick up your Welcome Packets at the reception.

Saturday June 3, 2023: The fun continues Saturday morning, June 3, with a self-guided rally to Historic Pontiac, IL where the city parking lot will be reserved for our use. City representatives will welcome us with information packets and souvenir Route 66 pin. Arrangements have been made with Pontiac’s Tourism Department to provide us with special access to the Route 66 Hall of Fame exhibits & Museum and Pontiac-Oakland Automobile Museum.

Join the self-guided rally to historic Pontiac, IL

The automobile museum offers rotating exhibits to ensure a new and exciting experience each time you stop in. As the only Pontiac-Oakland Museum in the world, they display hundreds of pieces of memorabilia alongside the selection of cars. CBCF has made special arrangements for multiple private “behind the scenes” staff-guided tours of the Pontiac-Oakland Museum.

I’m sure that many of you have seen pictures of Pontiac’s Route 66 mural at the rear of the Route 66 museum, but are you aware two dozen other Wall Dog murals are scattered throughout Pontiac?  Enjoy Pontiac’s walking tour of the murals as you shop and enjoy lunch in several downtown Pontiac restaurants. You’ll also want to be sure to save time for a selfie with your LBC in front of the iconic Route 66 mural!

Here’s your chance to take a LBC selfie at the iconic Route 66 mural.

Saturday Evening, June 3, 2023: Saturday evening’s banquet will feature this year’s Honorary Chairman and Guest Speaker, John Twist. John Twist is the MG guru behind Michigan’s University Motors who has helped countless people maintain, restore, and understand their MGs. He has run a successful shop, has an informative video series, and now is an international speaker. Twist was inducted into the British Sports Car Hall of Fame in 2017. 

Sunday June 4, 2022: Early Riser?  Join other Dawn Patrollers onSunday June 4 at the David Davis Mansion for some Pre-Show camaraderie.  Our food vendor, Redbird Catering, will be on the grounds by 8:30am with a menu of biscuits & gravy, a breakfast sandwich, pastries, coffee and water.

The weekend culminates on Sunday June 4th, 2023 with the Champagne British Car Show on beautiful Clover Lawn of David Davis Mansion, Bloomington, IL.  The David Davis Mansion provides a wonderful backdrop to display over 125 British cars.  The festival includes music, vendors, food and beverage options, and tables and chairs to enjoy your meal and drinks.

John Twist’s famous Rolling Tech Sessions will be available during Sunday’s car show.

In keeping with the show’s recognition of 100 Years of MG, CBCF is hosting John Twist, nationally renowned MG mechanic and expert for a “Rolling Tech Session”.  In addition to owning and operating University Motors LTD since 1975, John has been performing his famous rolling Tech Sessions at MG-related events throughout the country for decades. While John is an MG expert, this event is open to and appropriate for the owner of any British car as the mechanical systems are generally identical. 

This year, Redbird Catering will be adding a British favorite, Fish & Chips, to their typical menu. Gramma Nanna’s will also be on hand with delicious cookies, ice cream, shakes and floats.

You can register electronically on our website using PayPal. There is a discount for early registrations so get your form submitted by May 28. We look forward to seeing you and your car at CBCF!

Please visit the CBCF website and Facebook pages for more about the Festival and weekend activities.

The CBCF receives significant support from the Bloomington-Normal Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and the David Davis Mansion State Historic Site.

For more information, visit www.cbcf-bloomington.com  or the IFLBCC Facebook Event – Click Here

As with most car shows, the enthusiasts who volunteer their time and  efforts have made the CBCF what it is today. The Champagne British Car Festival has become an annual event fo

Congratulations to ALL of our Award of Excellence winners

Congratulations to ALL of our Award of Excellence winners at the 2022 Champagne British Car Festival Car Show on Sunday June 5, 2022. Your personalized award plate is being prepared and will be mailed to you as soon as we receive them.

THANKS to ALL of the participants in our show at the David Davis Mansion.

We had a fantastic day and hope you enjoyed it as much as the members of the Illinois Flat Land British Car Club (IFLBCC) members enjoyed hosting it.

At the Champagne British Car Festival’s Car Show Ken Shure with his 1959 TR3 was second overall in the Triumph Featured Marque, Dan and Connie Goodrum with their 1980 TR7 made the top 25 Award of Excellence awards.

SIX Austin Healey “Award of Excellence” Winners (one not pictured) at the 2022 Champagne British Car Festival’s Car Show. www.CBCF-Bloomington.com