Why An Old British Car? To get a good answer, you'll need to take a trip to any one of the many British car events that take place throughout the driving season and ask any British car owner this question:
These artfully designed, quaint and everlasting fun-filled classic examples of automotive history are no longer just a means of simple, affordable, fun-filled transportation for people to use and abuse as they once were during the old days when they were still rolling off the assembly lines in Great Britain. Most of the classic British cars you'll see on the roads today have been carefully restored and maintained to high quality reliable standards, and have become treasured examples of collectable classic automotive history. During the 20th Century, a person would have purchased a British car as a means of enjoyable everyday transportation for driving to and from work or school. Some cars were high spirited enough to be used not only for the weekday commute, but also for the race track on weekends to be raced against others with great success!
Unlike today, it used to be common to see these cars driven in the rain, sleet, snow, ice, and anything else that Mother Nature could conjure up. If the bucket seats had become too drenched during a rainstorm, it wasn't necessarily because the hood (convertible top) was left in the down position. In many cases, it was because the hood had more rips and holes in it than an old cotton battery rag. The owner would simply pull a dry towel from the boot (trunk) and wipe off the seats the best they could. However, this was not a cause for concern, because the heat generated from the engine and transmission, and the breeze created while driving, would eventually dry the rest of the interior before the next rainstorm. The car would be used for enjoyment purposes, but not necessarily maintained for the long haul. Once all of the wear and tear deemed it unreliable to its owner, it would be rolled and parked somewhere out of the way for Mother Nature to deal with. Quite often the owner had good intentions to rescue the car at a later date, but in most cases that did not happen. If it did happen, it wasn't always soon enough!
Today, the cars that have survived their well used early days have become highly sought after pieces of motoring history. This is especially true to those who recognize their simpleness, creative attractive styling, and unmatched seat-of-the-pants driving experience they provide. The more serious owners typically own more than one car, and have built their lives around them. In some cases giving them personal names! There are now many British car clubs all around the world. Reading material, Internet sources and quality remanufactured parts are in abundance. In fact, some car models can be built almost entirely from the ground up, simply by choosing the part numbers from catalogs.
But most important is the exhilarating driving experience. Working your way into a snug leather bucket drivers seat, and then turning the ignition key or pushing the starter button to create a chain of events that will provide hours upon hours of unforgettable entertainment. When you engage the starter - it energizes the whirling starter motor - which causes the starter gear to connect to the flywheel - which turns the crankshaft - that tugs on the timing chain - which turns the camshaft - that rotates the distributor shaft - which opens and closes the points - that causes electricity to flow through the ignition wires - which creates a spark at the tips of the sparkplugs - that causes an explosion inside of the gas filled cylinders - which forces the pistons to move - and then while the engine continues to run under its own power, puts the wheels in motion. If everything else is functioning - as you're pretty sure they will - you will hear the wonderful, unmistakable British car burbling chorus choir echoing out of the tailpipe.
After relishing the moment, you then take a glance at the gauges to make sure all of the indicators are pointing in the right direction. Everything appears normal, so you fasten yourself in, grab onto the steering wheel and look beyond the bonnet to see that all is clear ahead before takeoff. With the clutch pedal to the floor, gear selector knob in first, you rev the engine to hear the beautiful sound from the exhaust tailpipe. With a grin of approval on your face and shiver of excitement, you slowly release the clutch pedal to begin your way on a splendid journey down any long forgotten trail that will take you to who-cares-where in an automobile that only wants to please its driver. Gladly, your only concern is the anticipation of what pleasures the trip will provide just beyond that next twisty turn. If you are one of the faithful, I promise there will be plenty of pleasant surprises in store for you further down that open road. Life doesn't get much better than this.
Copyright 1997-2015 ~ Scott G. Helms for British Car Week