British Car Week History 101


Somehow you've found your way to this web site. Maybe it was linked from another web page, or maybe you read about it on one of the Scions Of Lucas British car e-mail lists.... Click Here For Scions Of Lucas ....maybe it was by word of mouth from a friend, or even possibly by reading about it in a British car magazine or club newsletter article. Either way, you may have little or no idea as to how the British Car Week idea first came about. For your education, I'll explain how it all began......

The March 1997 issue of Road & Track magazine included an article written by columnist/British car enthusiast Peter Egan titled "Seldom Seen Cars". The main subject of the article was about how the author no longer see's old sports cars driving on the roads. Whether it be British, American, German, Italian, French, or other, they are becoming more and more scarce. A very scary thought, wouldn't you say?!?

Within the contents of the article Peter Egan wrote about his younger days in Southern California:

"On any Saturday or Sunday, if you hung around a cafe on the Pacific Coast Highway or Mulholland Drive and watched the traffic go by, you'd see one of almost everything in a given hour's time: Cobras, Speedsters, MGAs, TCs, E-Types, Woodie wagons and so on."

Then later in the article he writes about the present time where he resides in Wisconsin:

"Now in 1997 I could make a fairly long list of cars I rarely-or never-see in daily use anymore, at least not in these northern climes: Lotus Elans, TR4s, early Alfas, Morgans, Bugeye Sprites etc."

Geography may have a little to do with this but having spent all of my life in the Northern climes, I would definately agree with Peter Egan. It is becoming very rare, and even more rare as time goes by, to see any older model sports car of any marque driving down the road.

This article grabbed the attention of Scions Of Lucas Austin-Healey list member Peter Schauss, who decided to compose a letter regarding this subject to the members of the Austin-Healey list.

In this article Peter Schauss writes:

"I assume most of you have seen Peter Egan's column in the March issue of _Road and Track_ magazine, in which he laments the fact that he never sees the old sports cars on the road anymore. I believe this calls for a response from us and I have a suggestion;

Let's designate a week in late spring as "Drive your sports car week". During this week, we would all make every effort to drive our LBCs as much as we could, even to work for those of us who feel safe doing so. The idea would be to get our cars out on the road where people can see them. My vote would be the middle of May, say May 12-18. This should be late enough that the snow will be melted almost all parts of the country. Also it should give those of us with winter projects (like the sills and rockers on my MG) to have them completed.

Let's get our cars out of our garages for a week and let the rest of the world see what MGs, Triumphs, Austin-Healeys, Jaguars and all of the rest of them look like."

Peter Schauss

Needless to say, Peter Schauss's idea stirred up many discussions on all of the Scions Of Lucas mailing lists concerning the future of our beloved cars and how we could promote them with a British Car Week. We then started contacting club newsletter and magazine editors about the idea and the enthusiasm of all the British car owners got the ball rolling.

In three short months, with the help of mass communications on the internet and in some cases the United States Postal Service, we were able to get the word out in record time to celebrate the very first annual British Car Week during the week of May 12, 1997. A job well done by all!!

With the continued efforts of all British car enthusiasts, the Vintage British Car Drivers Association will continue to promote British Car Drivers Week and do its part to promote the British car hobby.


Peter Schauss and his Son, driving their pride and joy
Flying TR4 at the top of the page compliments of J. M. Wagner Sales

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