Yup, another road trip, this time the annual trek to the Pacific Northwest for a visit with kids and grandkids. As per usual I’ve kept an eye out for classic LBCs, such as Triumphs, MGs, Healeys, etc. Regrettably, as I prepare for my return to St Louis, haven’t seen any other than a possible MGB out in a field of mud down by McMinnville, OR.
However, on the drive from Lincoln City back to Vancouver yesterday afternoon, I saw this: a brand new Jaguar i-Pace EV400…shoot, I assumed Jaguar was developing EVs like everyone else on the planet, didn’t know the company was actually turning them out.
Termed by Jag as an “all-electric performance SUV,” the car has two electric motors, weights 4784 pounds and has a top speed of 124 mph…but no Jaguar “growl.” Driving range is in the vicinity of 230 miles. Starting price? Just a tad north of $73K.
Once again, the third Saturday of September brought out the LBC faithful to the All British Car & Cycle Show at Creve Couer Lake Park. Organized by the MG Club of St Louis, the event drew about 165 cars this year, under perfect blue skies and reasonable temperatures. This year’s gathering celebrated the 60th anniversary of the introduction of the Triumph Spitfire, MG Midget, MGB and Lotus Elan; save for the latter, we had a good turnout of the other three marques/models. AND, SLTOA’s Patty Williams’ 3.5L V8-powered 1971 TR6 took Best of Show!
Figures…spent 2.5 of the last three weeks on the road, two trips (ND/SD/MT/WY/CO, followed by TN) and had a heckuva time tracking down and photographing LBCs. Sooo, naturally, I have to return to St Louis to see one or actually two: Creig H’s F Production Spitfire at today’s Boeing Sports Car Club autocross as well as this MGB, sited in front of Harbor Freight on Manchester.
The search will continue. In the meantime, if you’d like the details of the travails experienced in the upper Midwest and Rockies, see the August issue of Exhaust Notes, which should be out w/in a couple of days.
Day four of the patrol of North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana and Colorado and, regret to say, still no LBCs. Shoot, haven’t even seen a Jaguar, let alone an example of some other classic British make. Ah, but there are still four days remaining in this sojourn, including a couple of days IVO Denver, so I might yet get lucky. Hopefully it doesn’t result in my introducing my bride to my standard driving method of a quick 180 and high-seed pursuit in a rather large SUV.
Having said that, did see the following. At one end of the scale, this fourth gen (1975-1979) Chevy Nova, observed in front of the World Famous Blue Moose Bar & Grill, East Grand Forks, MN, on Saturday. I’ve seen rust-through before but this is something else…still, the owner showed up, climbed in, fired it up and drove away.
At the other end, this immaculate 1969 Chevy Malibu SS w/ a 350 in it, noted at a gas station in Rapid City earlier this evening. Incredible car and I thoroughly enjoyed talking with the father/son ownership “team” about the car and some of the work they’ve done.
Okay, okay, enough of a side-trip into Detroit metal, the search for British metal resumes tomorrow. Stay tuned!
The annual European Auto Show returned with a bang, with another huge gathering at Mini of St Louis and perfect weather. Lots of Ferraris, Lamborghinis, BMWs, Audis, Minis (new and original), Mercedes plus a good number of standouts. For example, Hyman had a Jaguar C-Type on display (wow!) and over with the Porsches was a 904 Carrera GTS, first one I’d ever seen “live.”
Otherwise, a pretty good turnout by the LBC faithful, including other Jaguars, two big Healeys, one bugeye/frogeye Sprite, a Morgan +8, Lotus Esprit and a couple of MGBs. There was a TR4 in the field, I believe David Layton’s; someone said a TR3 was also part of the show, but I somehow managed to miss it.
Finally, in the truly unique category, lined up in a row: a Yugo GV, Trabant and a Reliant Robin (offering three-wheel, er, excitement…the boys from “Top Gear” would be proud!). I’d seen the Trabant at Cars & Coffee, wasn’t too surprised to see a Yugo pop up but a Reliant? Incredible…
Anyway, kudos to Mini of St Louis for putting on another fine show, complete with food trucks. The crowds certainly had a good time.
Good grief, June already and nearly two months since the last post, apologies! Funny how time gets away from you.
As per usual for this time of year, plenty of automotive-related opportunities here locally now: “The Zoo” at Faith Church on Gravois/MO 30, first Friday of each month; gatherings every Friday at the Sonic in Kirkwood, off Big Bend (tends towards American muscle cars and rods, ‘Vettes and the like but periodically we of the British persuasion make regular appearances); both autocross series – Boeing and SCCA – are well underway; Cars & Coffee will make its debut this coming Saturday at Amp Up on Manchester, having vacated Westport due to construction; AND, a lot of clubs are doing drives, cruises, shows and the like. Great time of year and not incredibly hot yet…
On 15 May, a group of the Triumph faithful executed an outstanding 60-or-so mile drive to Maifest at Donau Park, southwest of St Louis off MO 21. Great turnout of Triumphs, along with a few non-TR standouts, including a late 60’s Porsche 912 (I do believe this is the first time we’ve had a Porsche join one of our excursions). Prior to the drive, we lined up all of the Triumphs and the one MG Midget and got photos adjacent to the historic Sandy Creek covered bridge. What an opportunity! Fine day, all around.
Coming up next? Several events to choose from. As always, monitor www.sltoa.org for the dates and details and by all means, come on out and join us!
Two, actually, at today’s St Louis Region/Southern Illinois Region SCCA Majors races at World Wide Technology Raceway: Steve Sargis, Frankfort, Illinois, with his F Production Spitfire, and Jack Schulz of Monett, MO, with his ’70 HP Midget. Steve took his eighth national championship at last October’s SCCA Runoffs at Road America, winning the HP event.
Not a lot of cars on the track this year, but still the racing (and the cars…and several of the drivers) proved highly entertaining.
Which did NOT take place on 17 March, a Wednesday; we went for a quick drive followed by lunch on Sunday, 20 March. Good turnout of TRs and a couple of other cars, appropriately we had a green TR6 and TR8 lead the pack.
The route took us from the PNC bank at US 44 and MO 141 through Lone Elk Park on the north side of the interstate. Yes, we saw elk and yes, we saw bison and no, no very large, furry (and typically cranky) animals came anywhere near the lineup of cars.
The event ended with lunch at Helen Fitzgerald’s Irish Grill & Pub on South Lindbergh. All-in-all, a fine short excursion, with excellent weather.