Friday, October 14, 2016

Post-Battle: Brits at Bakers

It's been a busy, busy month since the 2016 Battle of the Brits. I hadn't yet written up Part 2 of that day, when a few fine British cars motored over to the weekly Baker's Sunday Cruise-In.

For those who haven't heard of it, Baker's is a restaurant near Milford that hosts a truly enormous weekly cruise event every Sunday afternoon in the summertime. The great thing about it is that it's really pretty casual. You can pull in, walk around and check out whatever you want, chit-chat with other car owners, and then head out whenever you want. There's a bit of prize-giving and stuff at the end of the day, but for the most part it's just a stop-in event. You don't even need an exotic or classic car to stop by. There's parking space aplenty for regular cars, too.

Anyway, after last month's Battle of the Brits at Camp Dearborn, also in Milford, I swung by Baker's, and it turned out that several other British car owners made the same stop. It was fun for me to see the Brits sprinkled about the lot because most of the time the Baker's crowd tends towards muscle cars and domestic classics.

Here's what caught my eye.

1950 Studebaker.

1961(?) Corvette.

1948 Dodge.

Here's what a classic Mini looks like among modern cars.

A Big Healey next to a C2 Corvette. Coincidentally enough, there was a fun article comparing a 1966 Corvette to a 1966 Austin-Healey 3000 recently in Hemmings Sports & Exotic magazine. It's a good read: The Evolutionary War - 1966 Austin-Healey 3000 Mk III vs 1966 Chevrolet Corvette: It's Britain versus America when we pit a '66 Austin-Healey 3000 Mk III against a '66 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster.

I have a well-known weakness for the dark green and tan interior. I lust after this Vette every time I see it.

Corvette next to a Lotus Elan.

Monique objects to giant hood-piercing superchargers and flames on cars. But, c'mon. This is COOL!

Beautiful old 1937 Diamond T truck.

Triumph Spitfire.

MGB and a Jaguar XKR Coupe.


1963 Dodge work van converted by Lyn Airvan.

Finally, check out this excellent Ford 4x4 crew cab pickup truck.

More on the truck issue coming soon!

(Foreshadowing. A common literary device often used to retain blog traffic!)

Thursday, September 22, 2016

2016 Battle of the Brits

Saturday was a beautiful day for the 2016 Battle of the Brits, the annual Detroit area British car and motorcycle show hosted by the Detroit Triumph Sports Car Club and the Metro Triumph Riders at Camp Dearborn in Milford Michigan. With more than 400 cars and 500 motorcycles, it's the largest all-British car and motorcycle club in the country.

As usual I brought the FUN MG down to help supplement the numbers for the Windsor-Detroit MG Club. The "Battle" part of the Battle of the Brits is the annual contest to see which marque can muster the most entrants. The MGs have had the upper hand lately, and our streak continued with a 109-96 victory this year.

As is my way, I took too many photos. Rather than split them into different marques this year, I'm just going to invite you along with me to enjoy the 2016 show.

MGBs as far as the eye can see.

The FUN MG in place and ready for judging.

True confession: I just didn't have a chance to wash THE FUN MG beforehand due to a busy and rainy Saturday. So this year's show prep in total was just a bit of dusting and window-cleaning after I arrived on Sunday morning. Despite our unlikely best-in-class victory in the 2014 Battle -- Henceforth known as "The year the really nice early Rubber Bumper Bs stayed home because it looked like rain!" -- the FUN MG isn't a likely show winner. It's really just a driver B, which is what makes it FUN. Still, it's nice to look your best if you're at the show.

It's the sort of event where a '57 Bentley can roll by and nobody gives it a second look.

I ran into former Gale colleague Pete Gareffa. He's retired now, which gives him almost enough time to keep his British motorcycle running.


Triumph TR8s salute the crowd.

Triumph Spitfires join the salute.

A TR6 for sale.

Triumph TR3B

TR2. I liked this one because it had clearly enjoyed 60 years of fun under its wheels.

Okay, so it's not British, but this was a really pretty Alfa Romeo Spider over in the little section for non-British cars that also showed up.


Austin Healeys

Bugeye Sprites

Austin-Healey 100N

Jaguar XK8

Jaguar XJS

F-Type R

Yummy Jaguar E-Types:

Jaguar Saloons and Sedans. I didn't get any good close-ups of the white Mark II in the background of this row because it was always surrounded by a crowd. It was a truly pristine concours-level restoration. It looked as if it was brand new on the lot.

Jaguar XJ6

Jaguar XJ6


Mallard green MGB, a very cool teal color.

One quick stop by the FUN MG:

... and then on to other types of MGs.

An MGF. These were built in the 1990s, but weren't sold in the US. They're now old enough to be imported into Canada.

MGB GT V8 ... a fast MGB!



That's it for the MGs. Now let's move on to a few other marques...



Morris Minor

Jensen Healey

Dang it. I forget what this was called.

Last but certainly not least on the car side, this Shelby Daytona kit car. Pretty dang sweet looking.

I didn't take many photos over on the motorcycle side of the show. But this BSA hillclimber (named "Hardley Dangerous") caught my eye.

Can you see why?

Count the engines.

Yes, it has two engines. They're linked together by a chain drive. The owner started it up while I was standing there. It sounded more than twice as loud as the average bike, that's for sure!

That's it for the 2016 Battle of the Brits. (That's enough!) But the Battle wasn't the end of my British car observations for the day. After the show some of the cars stopped by the Baker's Restaurant Sunday Cruise on Milford Rd., so there are a few more photos yet to come in the next post.

P.S. If you're a glutton for sweet British steel, here are some Battle of the Brit posts from previous years: