Category Archives: Drives

Champagne British Car Festival 2024 Celebrates its 33rd year in Central Illinois!

The Illinois Flat Land British Car Club Planning Committee met at Culver’s in Bloomington on Wednesday, January 10th, to begin finalizing plans for the Champagne British Car Festival (CBCF).  The CBCF will be held during the weekend of May 31 to June 2, 2024.  All Aston Martin and Austin-Healey cars will get the Featured Marque spotlight this year.

The 2024 CBCF planners are working hard to include many of the familiar weekend features while adding a variety of new and exciting venues, drives and activities.

We’ll be keeping the popular Friday evening Welcome Reception & Event Packet Pickup sponsored by the Illinois Flat Land British Car Club (IFLBCC) at The Chateau Hotel and Conference Center.  Pre-Registered entrants will have the opportunity to pick up their weekend information packet and stay for our British Pub Mixer.  Along with the cash bar, we’ll be providing a variety of pizzas and snacks to enjoy as you renew old friendships and make new ones.  We’ll have lots of group parking outside the Conference Center where an impromptu car show is sure to develop.

The fun continues Saturday morning, June 1, 2024 at our first-time ever venue, the Davis Lodge at Lake Bloomington, Hudson, IL.  This beautiful City of Bloomington owned lodge will be the hub for all of Saturday’s activities, until Saturday evening’s banquet at the Chateau Conference Center.  

Saturday morning activities will begin with a Cars & Coffee at Davis Lodge.  The site of the lodge overlooks the widest expanse of Lake Bloomington and makes for a beautiful backdrop our classic cars.  We plan on providing some morning refreshments for early-bird attendees. The two separate screened rooms and a large patio overlooking Lake Bloomington are perfect for enjoying a morning beverage.

Our Planning Committee is working on our first-ever CBCF Scavenger Hunt and other Special Activities that will all start and end at Lake Bloomington’s Davis lodge.  The planned Scavenger Hunt will take advantage of the area’s lake roads, small town sights and area restaurants. 

Last year’s event survey suggested that many would enjoy a Boot Sale/Swap Meet.  The Davis Lodge will be an excellent venue for that, once the Scavenger Hunter’s are back from their drive. Watch the What’s New? section of the  website for more details.

Saturday’s activities will be capped off with our traditional CBCF Banquet.  The sit-down banquet will again be held in the renovated Chateau Hotel and Conference Center’s ballroom.  We’ll have designated parking to display our cars and provide lots of opportunities for mixing with fellow enthusiasts before dinner.  Our Planning Committee is also exploring the possibility of holding a Silent Auction throughout the evening. More on that later.

The weekend culminates on Sunday June 2, 2024 with the British Car Show on beautiful Clover Lawn of David Davis Mansion, Bloomington, IL.  The David Davis Mansion provides a wonderful backdrop to display over 150 British cars at this popular annual event, organized by members of the Illinois Flat Land British Car Club. ALL Aston Martin and Austin-Healey cars are Featured Marques at this year’s Festival.

The Festival includes music, vendors, food and beverage options, tables and chairs to enjoy your meal and drinks.  Once again, 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.

The car show is open to the public from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM and holds its awards ceremony at 2:30 PM on Sunday, June 2nd, 2024. 

All registered vehicles will be entered into one of +/- 25 marque-specific classes.  Voting will be a “Popular Vote” by registered participants. The total number of Class awards will be based on the number of cars pre-registered.

Additional details will be announced on the  after February 1, 2024.

Fall IFLBCC Update!

This Fall was a busy couple of months for the Illinois Flat Landers. Below are a few of the IFLBCC Events and Activities. Be sure to check this website and our Facebook page for updates on future events!

4th Annual IFLBCC Harvest Days Cruise-in & Picnic – October 14, 2023

Todd and Linda Reid hosted the IFLBCCs Fall Gathering at their home this year on Saturday, October 14.   They’ve got a wonderful setup on the Lake with firepits and plenty of outdoor and indoor space when the weather didn’t fully cooperate.

We started arriving around 3:30 which gave us the opportunity to do a little early leaf peeping around the lake before watching the rain roll-in from their back patio. We had been hoping for a spectacular sunset, but Hey! . . .this is Illinois.

They provided us with gourmet appetizers, sides and light bites as well as beer and wine. Folks also brought their favorite dogs/brats for the grill or fire pits. ‘Smores fixings were all set up for dessert!

The ladies collected in the Reid’s beautiful Great Room as the men retired to Todd’s  Man Cave to discuss his wonderful selection of automobiles. 

Many thanks to Todd & Linda Reid for opening up their beautiful home to host this year’s 4th Annual Harvest Days Cruise-in & Picnic. The day was a little dreary but the fantastic food and camaraderie more than made up for it

9th Annual IFLBCC Halloween Cruise – October 28, 2023

Thanks to Alan Kleinschmidt for arranging the 9th Annual Halloween Cruise to enjoy some fall scenery, a unique snowmobile collection, lunch and then our final stop at Mackinaw Valley Vineyard for a glass of wine with good friends.

The cruise began forming-up at the Bloomington Casey’s General Store on Saturday, October 28th around 9:45 am and departed at 10:15 am for the 30-minute drive to Hopedale.  Hopedale’s Willis Snowmobile Museum has 265 antique sleds and memorabilia to view on three-floors of the building. Fellow Flatlander Dick Hanson has a couple of family heirlooms displayed there also. The museum curators were on hand and were a wealth of information on the evolution of snowmobiles and many of the backstories on how the items on display were acquired. 

The museum tour was followed by lunch at Micki’s Farm to Table in Hopedale, IL around noon. Good food, with a down home feel.  After lunch we will head over to Mackinaw Valley Vineyards for a little taste of the grape, and excellent views from the veranda, before heading home.

IFLBCC “Garage Squad”

IFLBCC members formed a “Garage Squad” to inspect a “Barn Find” that had not been on the road in 35-years!

Our chapter was contacted, through the Austin Healey Club of America website, by a family that recently inherited a 1966 Austin Healey 3000 Mk3.

According to the family: “ . . . the owner lived in Springfield IL and had owned the car since the late 60’s. Legend has it his best friend from Flora IL bought the car on his behalf while stationed in England with the Air Force, so technically you can say he was the single owner. The car hasn’t been driven since the early 90’s but has lived indoors in a metal shed on his property….so it does need a lot of work but all things considered it looks pretty good.”

They reached out to us because they are trying to decide if they want to take on the restoration project or if they should sell it, and were hoping to connect with our club chapter to give them some advice on what it would take to restore it or where/who potential buyers might be.

Illini Chapter Members Gary Brown, Doug Crew, Brian Davis, Richard McDonald and Nigel Keen answered the call! A group of us met for lunch at Motorheads in Springfield before gathering to view this barn find BJ8 Austin Healey that had not been on the road in 35-years!

As expected, it had flat tires, a dead battery and areas of the body had rusted and become “mouse-condos”. That said, the Healey look remarkably solid and complete. We were able to locate all of the ID plates, point out the many pros and cons of the vehicle and provide them with many photographs to send on to potential buyers or restorers.

Hopefully the current owner came away with some answers or at least additional things to consider. 

The Illinois Flat Land British Car Club announces their 2024 Champagne British Car Festival!

ALL Aston-Martin and Austin-Healey cars get the Featured Marque spotlight at the 2024 Champagne British Car Festival on May 31 – June 2, 2024

Registered entrants “Start Your Engines” and your Festival weekend by joining us Friday evening, May 31st  for a Welcome Reception, sponsored by the Illinois Flat Land British Car Club 

The fun continues Saturday morning, June 1, 2024 at our first time ever venue – Davis Lodge at Lake Bloomington. This beautiful lodge will be the hub for all of Saturday’s activities until the sit-down banquet at the Chateau Conference Center.

The weekend culminates with the Champagne British Car Show on beautiful Clover Lawn of David Davis Mansion, Bloomington, IL. 

For more information

Celebrate British Car Week with the IFLBCC!

“Drive ‘Em, Don’t Hide ‘Em” is the mantra of the British Car Week organization ( 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? (   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. 

Springfield Area Highland Games All-British Car Show and Cruise-in – May 20th

The IFLBCC has been invited again to attend this year’s Springfield Highland Games British Car Show – New Berlin, IL on May 20th.

Our group has attended this event twice in the past and has always been a fun day out.

FREE attendance requires submitting a British Car Show Application PDF Application is attached below. The IFLBCC Facebook Event can be found here:

IFLBCC Event Drive:  For those leaving from Bloomington, Brian Davis will lead our drive on Sat. May 20th, from Casey’s on 2017 Fox Creek Rd, Bloomington, IL 61701.  Departure time will be 9:00AM for an approximate arrival time of 11:00 at New Berlin, IL.   The drive avoids all interstate travel and skirts the North and West side of Springfield.  The route is approximately 83 miles, so we’ll need to leave Casey’s promptly at 9:00 AM.  Please note that the Car Show parking will be at Gate 3.

Please visit the IFLBCC Group Drive event page to RSVP –  so that we know how many will be cruising with us.

Post Car Show Meal: After the show, approximately 3 PM, we will be heading to Route 66 Motorheads Bar & Grill in Springfield for a post-car show meal. 

Event Link: Springfield Area Highland Games

Event/Drive Questions:  Brian Davis – mailto:[email protected] 

Event Questions: You can contact Jordan Thomas-Summers by email at: [ [email protected] ] with any questions you have about the event. 

Additional Resources:


8th Annual Halloween “Mystery” Cruise – October 29, 2022

WHAT: A Fall drive down some of Central Illinois’ scenic back roads to Haynes on Main, Mackinaw Valley winery PLUS a “Surprise” stop at a private collection of cars, neon, trains, toys and MUCH more!

FOOD AND DRINK: We’ll be visiting Haynes on Main, 108 S. Main St., Mackinaw, IL for lunch. The group will also caravan to the Mackinaw Valley Vineyard for a glass of wine and excellent views from the veranda. Along the way . . . . that MYSTERIOUS private collection that you do NOT want to miss!

WHERE: The cruise will begin forming at the Circle K station, 2302 W Market St, Bloomington, IL 61705, Saturday, October 29th at 10:00 am. We will depart Circle K promptly at 10:15 am. If you can’t make the cruise, please feel free to join us at Haynes on Main for lunch!

After lunch, a group will drive to Mackinaw Valley Vineyards for a little taste of the grape. When leaving the Vineyard, those who want to head back can take Rt 9 to Bloomington. Those who want more adventure, you can follow us back along Old Peoria Road and more scenic roads.

WHEN: October 29th, 2022. Lunch at Haynes on Main, Mackinaw, IL will begin approximately 12:00 PM.

WHY: To enjoy some fall scenery, our “Surprise” private collection stop, lunch and then our final stop at Mackinaw Valley Vineyard, 33633 State Rt. 9, Mackinaw, IL with a glass of wine and good friends.

RSVP: RSVP is important so that Haynes on Main can get set up for us. If you have any questions or comments about the event please email Alan Kleinschmidt at [email protected] or call Alan at 309.824.6490

Haynes on Main Facebook:

Mackinaw Valley Winery:

CBCF Route 66 Atlanta, IL Cruise-In

Join the FUN!  We’ve created a Route 66-themed Poker Chip Run and Pop-up ALL British car show destination to showcase the restaurants and attractions on the Mother Road in our area.

We’re anticipating 30-40 British cars will be cruising down old Route 66 on Saturday June 4th, 2022 to our ultimate destination . . .Historic Atlanta, IL.

Atlanta’s tourism office ( ) will be rolling out the red carpet during the Champagne British Car Festival’s All British car street show. They are opening up their museums, shops and restaurants especially for our Saturday visit.

While you’re there, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to visit the Route 66 attractions that are all within easy walking distance of our downtown car show.

We plan to have opportunities for a group photo shoot and maybe even individual shots in front of the iconic Atlanta Route 66 billboard.

Click the link to view their digital guide to Atlanta, IL!

We’ve Got a SUPER Car Collection For You!

JOIN US on Saturday morning, June 4, for a cruise-in to Historic Atlanta, IL where Arch St. will be blocked off for a Pop-up All-British Car Show. Enjoy the Route 66 and Pinball museums, a stop at a SUPER private automobile collection and the Poker Chip Run contest.   A Pre-ordered box lunch in Atlanta’s Museum Ballroom is optional to be SURE include that when you register. This short drive on old Route 66 has several photo opportunities

Saturday evening’s Pub Night festivities include a cash bar and catered hors d’oeuvres throughout the evening in the DoubleTree’s open-air courtyard. Saturday’s CBCF Poker Run Awards will be presented during the event. Live music by Jim & Tommy (of The Bygones).

2nd Annual IFLBCC Harvest Days Cruise-in & Picnic – Sugar Grove Nature Center (Funk’s Grove)

WHAT: Join us for the final IFLBCC Cruise-in and Picnic at the Sugar Grove Nature Center in Historic Funks Grove! The Sugar Grove Nature Center (SGNC) pavilion and firepit provide the perfect Fall setting for a safe and “socially distanced” gathering.  

  • The pavilion has lots of picnic tables and can be partially sheltered if necessary.
  • SCNC provided privies are available nearby. 
  • Due to COVID, we will not be providing or sharing food items.
  • Please bring whatever you would like to eat & drink, along with table service for yourselves.
  • Weiner roasting sticks will be available for use at the FIRE PIT!  (Tip: Bring camping chairs?)

From the SGNC website:

The Grounds, Trails, and Imagination Grove are open daily from dawn until dusk, as are the Picnic Shelter, Corn Crib, and Privies. Imagination Grove will not have nets, containers, or toys available for public use. You may bring your own, but please take them with you, along with any trash or other items that you have brought. We suggest you bring your own hand sanitizer and please practice social distancing.

WHERE: Sugar Grove Nature Center, 4532 N 725 East Road, McLean, IL 61754 – Directions

WHEN: Saturday, October 16th, 2021 from 2:00PM to 5:00PM

WHY: To enjoy some fall scenery, an afternoon lunch and some Natter ‘n Noggin around the fire with good friends.

BONUS: Weather permitting (and interest) a drive is being planned . . . . .so BRING THOSE BRITISH CARS!

RSVP: If you think you’re coming, please click GOING on the IFLBCC Halloween Weiner Roast event:

Sugar Grove Nature Center:

Illinois Flat Land British Car Club

Join us on Facebook:

IFLBCC Brunch Cruise

WHERE: The Brunch Cruise will be forming at the Circle K station, 2302 W Market St, Bloomington, IL, Saturday, July 3rd around 10:15am. We will depart Circle K promptly at 10:30am 

WHEN: SATURDAY, July 3, 2021

WHY: We will leave the Circle K at 10:30am and travel Old Peoria Road to Irons Road, to US Rt 150 and on to Busy Corner in Goodfield for Brunch. They have their outside seating open and Saturday promises to be a GREAT day to be outside. 

After Brunch, we will travel the backroads to Mackinaw Valley Winery for adult beverages and spectacular views from the Veranda! (Bring your own cheese and crackers or they have them available for sale)

RSVP: Please RSVP by clicking “Going” on the Club’s event link on Facebook or simply reply to this email with the number in your party that will be attending. 

If you have any questions or comments about the event please email Alan Kleinschmidt at [email protected]  or call Alan at 309.824.6490    

We hope to see you ALL on Saturday!

Mackinaw Valley Vineyard’s website:

IFLBCC Facebook: