Wednesday, February 17, 2010

British cars confirm that class will tell

Here are a few more pictures from the 17th Annual British Classic Car show in Boca Raton, Fla. Feb. 14. No Royal Enfield motorcycles were on display, unless you count mine, carefully tucked into what remained of a parking space with a pick up truck and a Vespa.

But British style was on show. There is just something about British cars, and it is not just that they corner well and leak oil. They look great.

Just imagine, for instance, how slightly more ordinary a Jaguar XKE would have been if the back hatch had opened from the top, instead of the side? What a magnificent touch. This was a 1962 model.

I guess I never realized that there were periods in X.K. 140, but take a close look at the lovely logo on the grille of this one. It was a 1955, shown by Andre Heluska, of Coral Springs.

Would it really go 140 mph? When something looks that good, it doesn't have to move to be beautiful.

Sunbeam might be a dowdy name for a little car, but add "Tiger" to it and you have something. This was a 1965 model.

British car companies had a tradition of coming up with great names, and these were on display in Boca. There were the XK Jags, named for how fast they would go, the Rolls-Royce Silver Spur, and a bowler hat on wheels called the Daimler Conquest.

There's even something special about three little letters of the alphabet, when the first two letters are "MG."

And consider "Manyana" here, a 1954 Lotus Mk VI, shown by Patrick Dennis of Delray Beach. He attached a placard that explained that the MkVI was the first Lotus "made in quantities greater than two." Below is a view over the hood. Imagine driving this shiny little Roman numeral.

And here's the helmet you'd wear.

The cup you'd drink from.

And the picnic basket in the boot. Perfect for a Valentine's day outing...

.. in your 1937 Alvis Speed 25. This one was shown by John Layzell of North Miami.

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