A few weeks before our trip to Great Britain, we visited the 31st Annual Central Florida British Car Club show in Winter Park. I’ve been attending British car shows for many years, even with no British vehicle in my garage.
My first British vehicle was from the last couple of years that MGs were still being brought into the United States. It was a good looking, low mileage MGB. It wasn’t long before I realized why it was a “low mileage” vehicle: I couldn’t keep it running. I once pushed it close to a mile back to the house after it wouldn’t start at a convenience store.
Working 60 hours or more a week and not being very electrically inclined, I gave up. The car has been sitting in a friend’s garage all these years, still not running. One day it will be one of those low mileage “garage finds” for somebody.
Next came a couple of Midgets, a Sprite and an Austin Healy 3000. The Midget and Sprite continued my British frustration. One Sprite I swapped for an old Honda motorcycle, and the other I sold while it was still running. But it sold for noticeably less than I had spent on it.
The 3000 was a different story. It was a much different vehicle, with six cylinders instead of four. Built in far fewer numbers, they weren’t common. After about a month, I drove it for the first time. It was a very powerful car! Just as I started to drive it regularly, a little waterfront townhouse came on the market, a repo needing some TLC. I had always dreamed of living on the water, and this would be the only way I could ever afford it.
I sold the Healy and a few other toys for the down payment. Later, I was able to sit in my new townhouse and watch the boats sail by in the Intracoastal Waterway.
I ran the ad for the 3000 in a national magazine. Someone I worked with read the ad and purchased it from me. It was his wife’s favorite car of all time. A win-win situation, I had my down payment, made a little money, and he had a happy wife.
My old 3000 still sits in that friend’s garage. All these years later, it’s still never being driven. One day it will be another of those very cool garage finds for somebody.
This year’s show was once again held at Mead Garden. It’s a beautiful setting, with vehicles displayed under the shade of the ancient oak trees.
There was an excellent turnout. The usual MG crowd: TCs, TDs, TFs, As, Bs, and even a few Midgets. A couple of Austin Healey Bugeyes, and close to a dozen 3000s.
Triumphs were well represented, with almost all TR series on display. The same went for the Jaguars, from the 1950s to the present, all parked side by side.
Lotus, another marque recently brought back to life, was hidden along the back row. We saw a few vintage models, plus several later models, including the new Evora, a fine looking vehicle.
Lots of Morgans, but no three-wheelers or aeros this time. A Rolls, a couple of Bentleys, a Morris Minor, a Marcos, and a couple of vintage Austin 7s. A lone Land Rover Discovery looked more like just a used vehicle, but it was still British. It was joined by two Range Rovers from a local dealership.
Throw in a pair of Sunbeam Tigers, a hand full of late model Aston Martins, and an single Elva. Add a few vintage British motorcycles, and a nice display of Moulton bicycles, and the mother country was well represented.
Next time I blog about cars, I’ll tell you story of the third vehicle I sold, one that still sits in another friend’s garage after all these years. And no, it’s never been driven either.