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Classic Velocity Blog

Britalia Weekend

Classic Velocity

Not far away from me is a place where the regional MG club has held an annual car show for years (see The British are Coming). It is a nice place with lots of shady areas in the summer, and a pavilion. I have wondered over every year mostly because of the proximity and the fact that there is vintage iron to the tune of 200 to 300 cars, and a handful of motorcycles. Although MGs are by far the largest contingent, the show has become a magnet (get it?) for all things British. The MGs do make up at least half of the cars in the show with an entire field dedicated to them. Almost every example can be found on that field from TDs to TFs to midgets to Magnettes to the always popular MGAs and MGBs. 

The Triumph TR crowd always has a strong presence with examples from TR2 to TR8. Jaguars are also out in force with examples from XK120s to XJS. At the other end of the size scale were Bugeye Sprites like so many jellybeans. There's probably no place in the region where you can see as many front hinged hoods all open kissing the ground. It is particularly striking to see 10 XKE hoods (sorry bonnets) open in this fashion. Not to be left out are the beautiful Austin Healeys along with Sunbeam Tigers and Alpines. Minis occupy a coveted shaded corner of the park although this year they were not quite out in the numbers that they usually are.

And then there are the very interesting cars that usually are only out in small numbers. They include marques like TVR, Aston Martin, Land Rover, Bentley, Rolls Royce and Lotus. This year I was captivated by two vehicles in particular, a Land Rover military vehicle, and a Lotus Super Seven. Talk about opposite ends of the spectrum! I am not sure what happened to the motorcycles this year, but a lone Norton Commando was on the field.

The day before the MG show was another beautiful day and for the first time an Italian car show was organized in the same location. There were probably 1/10 of the number of cars present, but the quality was superb. There were five or six Ferrari's including the beautiful black 250 GTE. There was also a fairly robust group of Lancias. A lovely Aurelia, a very nice Flamina coupe (which I believe won 2nd in show behind the Ferrari), and a Beta coupe. These may be common fare to those who frequent the Italian car show circuit, but it has been a while since I've seen some of these in the flesh outside of a museum.

Alpha Romeo was mostly present by way of Spiders. Whenever Italian marques gather, I am always hoping to see some GTVs, although there was a very nice blue Montreal present. Fiat was represented mostly by X-19s, and a dealer who brought a pair of new 500s in Abarth flavor. Overall, it was a very good first effort and it will surely grow next year. The best part is, it is making this particular June weekend into a very nice combination of vintage shows close to home. What more could a gear head ask for?