Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Visit to the 2014 Battle of the Brits

Today the FUN MG and I went for a ride to attend the annual Battle of the Brits hosted by the Detroit Triumph Sports Car Club and the Metro Triumph Riders. The Battle of the Brits is the biggest British auto and motorcycle show of the year and features hundreds of classic British cars and motorcycles in a beautiful wooded setting at Camp Dearborn in Milford, Michigan.


I arrived reasonably early during the setup, so the FUN MG got a front-row seat for the festivities. This is the only car show I enter, mostly just to add another car to the total for the Windsor-Detroit MG Club, since "most cars entered" is the big trophy among the clubs. In truth the FUN MG is a driver, not a show car. But I try to take it reasonably seriously, so I always give the FUN MG a good cleaning and vacuuming beforehand. It's usually looking its best on the Sunday morning of the show:



Of course, all of the cars are looking their best. That's what makes is a great show for looking around at the other cars.


And look! Great-looking MGBs are far as the eye can see! There are so many MGBs in the show that they are divided into four categories to reflect the major changes in the car over the years: early chrome-bumper MGBs (1962 to 1968), late chrome-bumper MGBs (1969 to 1974), early rubber-bumper MGBs (1974-1/2 to 1976), and late rubber-bumper MGBs (1977 to 1980.) The FUN MG is a 1976 car, so it was entered in the early rubber-bumper category.

Let's go for a walk around the show. We'll start with the MGBs:










Austin-Healeys:



Old Minis:




Let's stop back by the MGs. There were lots of MGAs to be seen:







MG Midgets:





Let's visit some older MGs. Here's a 1954 MG TF with a 383 Chevy V8. I can't really say how much of this hot rod is original MG TF and how much is kit car. But I can predict it goes really, really fast!



Here's a 1947 MG TC:



Here's a truly old MG, a 1930 M-Type, one of the earliest mass-produced MG sports cars and one of only a couple hundred left in the world:




Not surprisingly, I spent a lot of time with the Jaguars. We'll start with one of my all-time favorite cars, Jaguar E-Types:




This 1970 E-Type was simply yummy. I have a well known weakness for British Racing Green with a tan interior. Frankly, I believe everybody should be relieved I didn't try to hot-wire it and steal it in the middle of the show.

On with the E-Types:




Dang, that V12 is a lot of engine crowded into the front of this car!

Here's a 1954 Jaguar XKSS, the rare passenger version of the D-Type racing car.



And here's a 2015 Jaguar F-Type Coupe. Amazingly enough it looked as if it fit right in among all the E-Types, a real tribute to its styling:



Here are the Jaguar sedans and saloons. There were a couple really beautiful Mk II saloons, but for some reason the brown car -- a 1976 XJ6-C, a hardtop coupe version of the XJ6 sedan -- caught my eye:




The were quite a few more modern Jaguar sports cars there, too. Here's an XJS Convertible:



XJS HE Coupe. The HE stands for "High Efficiency" and was a special higher-powered model:



Here's a 2002 XKR. What I liked about this is that it has the same 370-hp 4.0 liter supercharged V8 as my supercharged XJ8 Vanden Plas, but it's been shoved into a much smaller convertible. That engine in this car is a tight fit. I know how fast my big sedan is with this engine, so this convertible must really move:




Hey, what's this 1976 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible doing out on the field?!



Ah, that explains it. Carry on.

Speaking of the Triumph Sportscar Club, it's about time we saw some Triumphs. Let's start with some Spitfires:



Triumph Stags:



TR6s:




TR4:



And now, a confession. I walked among the British motorbikes, and they were very cool, but I didn't take any pictures of them. So, instead I'll take you back where we started with the FUN MG and a long line of MGBs:



With all my wandering about I didn't get over to the judging tent in time to find out if the Windsor-Detroit MG Club had indeed defended its "Most Entrants" title, though to my eye it looked as if we probably carried the day.

However, I was in time to hear the judging results for the MGs. And guess what?

First in class for early rubber-bumper MGBs? The FUN MG!



Victory! Victory! Rah-rah-rah!
Victory! Victory! Sis-boom-bah!


Congratulations, little MG. I always knew you had it in you!