Tuesday, October 6, 2015

2015 Battle of the Brits: Other British Marques

After already posting the most heavily represented marques at the 2015 Battle of the Brits:

... it's time to look at the other brands I saw. Come take a stroll among some of the best of the rest of Britain.

Here's a 1974 Jensen-Healey Mk II.

After legendary British sports car builder Donald Healey parted ways with Austin after they became part of British Leyland, he tried to rekindle the magic of Austin-Healey with small manufacturer Jensen, who had built the bodies for the Austin-Healey 3000. The Jensen-Healey was sold from 1972 to 1976. It was well regarded and became Jensen's best selling car, but never approached the sales numbers of the Austin-Healey models. The difficult gas prices and economy of the 70s brought an end to Jensen in 1976.

Morgans! Morgans! Morgans!

Morgans are hand-built British sports cars with a long history. The cool thing about them is that it seems they figured once they got a British sports car right, there was no need to muss it up with radical design changes. Oh, sure, they'd upgrade the suspension design on occasion and they eventually moved on from four-cylinder engines to V8s. But Monique and I saw a special recently on how they build Morgans nowadays. They still use the same fender mold that they've used for the last 50+ years.

1963 Morgan 4/4.

1963 Morgan 4/4.

Morgan 4/4.

Here's the 1963 Morgan 4/4 next to a 1947 MG TC. You can see how the Morgans are lower and sleeker by comparison.

The black car is a 2003 Morgan +8. Does that rear fender look the same as the two 1963 4/4s next to it? Damn straight it does.

Next up: an extremely rare 1963 Triumph Moss roadster. Moss only made 130 of them before the factory burned to the ground:

It wasn't in my Triumph post for three very important reasons:

1) It was coachbuilt by Moss, not Triumph.
2) It was entered in the open "other manufacturer" class, not the Triumph class.
3) I forgot.

This funky looking shooting brake is a 1965 Ogle Reliant Scimitar GTS concept car. It was purchased by Prince Phillip after the 1965 London Car Show. Later it was used as the course car at the British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch.

There was a Sunbeam Tiger at the show:

Sunbeam Tigers were Carroll Shelby's "Ford V8 in a little British sports car" car after the AC Cobra. They're best known for giving Cobra-like performance at 1/20th the price of a genuine AC Cobra. Sunbeam Tigers featured a small-block Ford V8  crammed into an uprated version of the classic Sunbeam Alpine. They were built from 1964 to 1967, but discontinued after Chrysler bought Sunbeam owner Rootes and discovered that Chrysler V8s were too big to fit in a Sunbeam Alpine. Rather than redesign the engine bay or -- Heaven forbid! -- sell a car with a Ford engine, Chrysler just killed it off.

Welcome to Lotusland:

A 1970 Lotus Elan S4 (red) and a 2005 Lotus Elise (orange).

1968 Lotus Elan.

1986 Lotus Esprit Turbo HCI. Its top speed of more than 150 mph made it one of the fastest cars of the 1980s.


1968 Austin Mini.

1977 Austin Mini.

2013 Mini Cooper S.

Okay, this isn't a British sports car. In fact, other than its utter lack of a roof this is pretty much the opposite of a British sports car. But this World War II era Ford Jeep was cool:

A London cab!

1964 Austin FX4.

Let's wrap up this eclactic post with a particularly tasty morsel, this 1967 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow Drophead Coupe:

Mmmn ... yummy.

No comments:

Post a Comment