A Mostly British Obsession

Category: The Empire (Page 2 of 5)

Stuff from around the ‘net

Battle of Britain Day

Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire

Went over to watch the Flying Heritage Collection’s Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire fly on their “Battle of Britain” day last Saturday. It was just spitting (appropriate weather for the occasion), but I took the Triumph anyway, to make short work of the long summer ferry lines (motorcycles are allowed to bypass the queue). This proved to be a soggy decision when the skies opened in earnest on the ride back. (“Bah, I won’t need rain gear” was my thought before departing the house. Oops.)
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2010 Vintage Races at Pacific Raceways

German GP Winning Alfa Romeo P3

Had an enjoyable time at the vintage races at Pacific Races on Saturday. I didn’t unsheath my camera all that often but was thrilled with the three vintage Alfas, including the machine Nuvolari drove to victory in the 1935 German Grand Prix, widely considered the greatest drive of all time.
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Toyota Sera and Peacock

I came out of the shop tonight and found that spring has brought out the native songbirds, always nice to see an indigenous species doing well. (That’s one of Jim’s Toyota Seras being eyed by said fauna.)

“Free” Rover Sterling 827

So could I make some pocket money by resurrecting a free Rover Sterling 827 sedan in decent condition but needing tires and a water pump? I’m guessing not. I’ve never particularly been fond of them but from all accounts they’re decent cars. A friend spotted one and asked about it, the owner saying “take it away if you want it.”

The parts themselves aren’t too pricey but looks like the Acura engine uses the cam belt to run the water pump, so there is undoubtedly some fun there. (Looks to be about an eight to ten hour job reading through the procedure, and since it involves removing the timing belt, you might as well do that, too.) The tires are the death knell, really.

I’d be a bit shocked if you could even get $1000 for a decent condition Sterling. So I think I’ll just skip this one unless someone offers me a compelling reason to do otherwise.

A 1931 Visit to the MG Factory

Here’s a short film showing the MG works in 1931, with the proverbial happy couple picking up their new Magna. The spray booth…oy. Word has it paint shop guys never lasted very long, you may get a hint as to why by watching this.

There is no sound, just title cards. The embed code they give doesn’t seem to actually embed the player here (not sure if it is supposed to or if this is just a “quirk”), but clicking on the image above will take you to British Pathe’s page featuring the video.


I went to Bellingham to investigate an MG for sale for a friend today. I discovered the MGB in question was only 8 cars later than my ’63–built on the same day, maybe 60 yards apart on the line. To add to the twilight-zone feeling, the gentleman also had a ’67 GT parts car–painted Grampian Grey (a fairly rare color, for what it’s worth). That car was only a couple of hundred numbers earlier than my Grampian Grey ’67 GT.

Whidbey Island European Sports Car Club, February 2010

1954 BSA A10 Golden Flash

The chill did not dissuade me from getting the BSA out of its den and taking it to the first-Saturday-of-the-month meeting of the “Whidbey Island European Sports Car Club,” which isn’t really a club at all, just an open gathering of like-minded folks at Gerry’s Kitchen in Freeland, Washington. We had a pretty good turnout of interesting machines, such as…
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Another One Bites the Dust

1969 MGB GT

My friend Jeff and I went to look at this 1969 MGB GT last year, when it was for sale for about $2000. The seller was the daughter of the original owner, who had passed away a couple of years prior; the car was used frequently until his death, but from that point sat idle outside. The car was reasonably original, and while you can see usual MGB rot in the doglegs and lower front fenders, it was solid underneath. Wheels and tires were in good condition, and the engine bay looked pretty clean, though it wasn’t running when we saw it. There were a fair number of new looking pieces here and there.
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2009 Isle of Vashon Ride

Thoroughly enjoyed a ride today with my friends in the Vintage Motorcycle Enthusiasts club–it was our annual “Isle of Vashon” outing. For me, this means four ferry rides, which is good, and a trek down 99 through the strip-mall wasteland that stretches from Mukilteo to West Seattle, which is (thankfully) forgettable.
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