The Battle of the Brits is an all-British-car-and-motorcycle show that takes place every Fall. It's hosted by the Detroit Triumph Sports Car Club and the Metro Triumph Riders clubs. This was its first year at Camp Dearborn. It's a judged event that attracts cars from all over the Midwest, especially Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana.
I didn't set out to photo-document this one because I reckoned I'd be busy (more on that below) and I was still buried under my hundreds o'Concours photos. But Monique and I did snap a few shots. So here are a few pretty British cars to end your work week:
MGTs and MGAs.
Do you want to know what a million-dollar-plus AC Shelby Cobra looks like? Here you go. This is the only Shelby Cobra that originally came in this metallic green color. The current owner is only the second owner. He even has the original bill of sale (top.)
The original price? $6,390. Plus an additional five bucks for registration, of course.
1957 Jaguar XK140.
Alas, I don't know the year or specific model of this MGT. It's a beauty, though.
One of the stars of the show, a 1937 MG SA Tickford Drophead Coupe. It won both the People's Choice and the President's Awards. The restoration of this was amazing. It had been reduced to a rusty old hulk at one point. The owner did the restoration himself and it took something like 20 years. Truly an astonishing car.
MGAs. These are some of the prettiest sports cars ever made, right up there with Jaguar E-Types and mid-60s Corvettes.
Morgans. In a lot of ways these are the ultimate British sports car. The Morgan Motor Company was founded in 1910. Monique and I recently watched a special on how they make the current Morgan Aero Coupe and among the many traditional handcrafted manufacturing processes that amazed us, they use the same wooden block to shape fenders that they've used for the last 50+ years. New Morgans have been only sporadically available in the US since 1971 due to emissions and safety standards.
The Flying Tiger-ish fellow at the top is a 2013 Morgan three-wheeler. They qualify as "motorcycles" and so are exempt from the airbag requirements that keep the four-wheelers from coming back to the states in substantial numbers.
Did I mention how beautiful Jaguar E-Types were above? There were at least a dozen of those beauties at the show. My favorite of them was this deep red coupe. I talked to the owner a bit. The restoration is now almost 30 years old and he plans to repaint it next year. I thought it still looked great. (And I thought I looked great in it!)
Truth be told, though, my usual headroom issue cropped up and this small coupe turned out to be a bit of a tight fit for me. I reckon my inevitable E-Type will have to be the larger 2+2 coupe or a convertible. Or I suppose I could go have a couple of vertebrae removed. It might be worth it.
Jim Smithbauer's MGB. I love the bright yellow of this thing against the black trim and interior. If you want to see it in person, it'll be on display Sunday in Ypsilanti, Michigan, at the Orphan Car Show.
And now for the real reason I didn't take a bazillion photos ... the FUN MG was in the show, too! This was our first car show as an entrant. (Well, for practice I showed the FUN MG in the employee-only car display at our end-of-summer picnic at work a couple days earlier, so I suppose I should say this was the first judged car show I've ever been in.)
I didn't have any illusions about winning anything, since the FUN MG includes fun modern low-profile wheels of the sort that judges hate, plus a paint job that's become increasingly dubious on closer inspection. However, the "Battle" in the "Battle of the Brits" is a contest to see which British car club can muster the most entrants. The Windsor-Detroit MG Club had a nice winning streak going over the last few years, so I reckoned I'd include myself as one of the numbers in the MG column.
It was interesting to prep for a car show like a semi-real competitor. I wrote up a little fact sheet for the windshield, vacuumed the rugs, and gave the car a good waxing the night before, so the FUN MG was looking its best on Sunday morning.
How did it stack up among all the other lovelies? You be the judge:
And now, our final photo of the day -- after the show the FUN MG and I were back to what we do best: cruising down the road on a sunny afternoon!
Thanks for stopping by Concours Week on the ol' Patio Boat. As I said above, there are still a few more batches of photos for me to sort out, so don't be surprised if we see another outbreak of classic cars in this space sometime soon.