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: