British Euro Auto Tour
1989 to Present
Back in 1989 we were very fortunate to have the forward looking, car loving guy by the name of Roger Guzowski decide that it would be a lot of fun to get his car loving buddies together for a weekend cruise. At that time there were a lot of “Friday Night” car shows and each club had their own shows as there are today. Since Roger had a lot of experience with managing the Triumph Club’s Triumphfest annual event, He made the decision to expand His ability to start an event that would include all of His favorite marques. One very early decision that Roger had was this new event would not be car club specific, would include any vehicle made in England or Europe and His personal goal was to unite drivers in an event based upon camaraderie and love of the open roads.
In that early endeavor, Roger has certainly hit a home run. Janice & I were very lucky to call Ronnie & Roger friends. We worked with Roger on the “All British Car Day” show with a bunch of other talented individuals. And during these meetings Roger approached Janice & I about His idea for a car tour. We had a bunch of meetings looking over maps and wondering if anyone would have the same enthusiasm for this event. We talked to a bunch of guys we knew and by word of mouth spread the word. We thought we would make up some tee shirts and maybe a special license plate, photo copied some directions and set the date for April 1989 and see who might show up. And show up they did. That first year we had 35 registrations and the rest as they say is history. We use to drive up Yarnell Hill on the way to Prescott but everyone wanted a longer route so we added the extra length to highway 92 and Skull Valley and then into Prescott. We always started just off of Dunlap Rd in Phoenix and off to Wickenburg. We use to park on Union St. & Cortez in Prescott but several years ago were invited onto “Whiskey Row” in Prescott. Each year it’s a challenge to get the required signatures of the merchants on “Whiskey Row” for their approval to block off Highway 89A and acquire that special street for our lunch break. After lunch in Prescott, its over the Mingus mountains, through Jerome and into Clarkdale / Cottonwood. In 2005 during our stop in Cottonwood, our then Governor joined our tour and had a great time admiring all the cars and sitting in Lance’s Lotus. It was during that visit that the B.E.A.T. drive was named an “Arizona Treasure”.
It was in 1998 we lost Roger and a very short time later, his wife Ronnie. To those of you that knew Roger & Ronnie, you were indeed fortunate to consider them as friends. The whole car community of Phoenix lost a good friend and its in Roger’s memory that Janice and I continue His dream.
Should you have a memory or story regarding Roger or one of the tours that you wish to share, please let us know. Just send an email or use our Guestbook (on the menu at the top) with your “History” point of view, story for sharing with your friends.
Gentlemen, start your engines……