Reno British Car Club Honors James Phelps with Renkenberger Award

Photo for Reno British Car Club Honors James Phelps with Renkenberger Award

Reported by Gene deRuelle.

Jim served eight years as President of the Reno British Car Club. During his tenure he put forth untold hours coordinating activities, setting up meetings, leading tours through the Sierras, and generally being available to anyone in need of assistance. Jim and Muriel, his beloved wife, kept the spirit of the hobby alive through some really trying times. He restored “Miss Daisy,” his beautiful Varitone Magnette, and has driven the car over 50,000 miles since completing the restoration. He drove it as far as New England and up into Canada, all with Muriel and “Oscar Mayer,” their miniature Dachshund. I think more people here in the west know Oscar better than Jim.

Jim recently lost Muriel to an evil type of cancer, but Jim and Oscar still make the rounds, and the meetings, and the tours. He is still available to anyone who needs help with their MGs and is a fountain of information on the subject. When I wanted to convert my Varitone to front disc brakes, Jim insisted that I bring the car to him. He did the job with me watching, as I was not familiar with the Magnette brake system. It was 105 degrees in the garage, but that didn’t even slow him down. The fee? I had to buy lunch. That’s just how he is.

I worked for over forty years in the motion picture and television industry, and I met every kind of person you can imagine, and some you can’t. I have restored old airplanes and old MGs, but until I moved to Reno and met Jim Phelps, I really didn’t know what a wonderful person was. I am proud to be his friend. We share a lot in common. I also lost my wife to cancer. But day in and day out, no matter what the problem, I know I can turn to Jim for the solution. He is an outstanding example of what it means to be a leader and a friend.


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Last updated on August 8, 2011.