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Saturday, September 19, 2015

The British Invasion Car Show

A whirlwind weekend so far for us. I got out of work early on Friday and pulled the kids out of school to head up to Stowe, VT for the 25th Annual British Invasion car show. We got into town around 5:30, checked into the hotel and headed downtown to eat and look at the cars that were on display during the Stowe Main Street Party. Some nice cars but I unfortunately forgot my camera and I was sure I would see them the next day.

After a fitful night of sharing a bed with my oldest, we were up and at the event field by about 9:30pm, about 30 minutes after the show started. LOTS of cars there. I would say that the Austin-Healeys and TR6s were the cars in most abundance. However, there was just about everything you could think of.

We walked around for the better part of three hours. Unfortunately, there were only 3 roundtail Spitfires there, all Mk3s. They were fine examples, however. The rest were squaretails, with one being a survivor with the original paint and striping...pretty nice.

All in all, I am sorry to say that I was disappointed with the show. I will temper that, however, with my obviously unreasonable expectations of a good amount of Spitfires, especially any older ones, and several parts vendors, with a bunch of NOS parts. Like I said, there were maybe only a dozen Spitfires, all but 3 of which were MkIVs or 1500s. And the only vendor there selling some NOS stuff was a guy that I remembered from the British by the Sea show and he really didn't have anything that I was looking for.
I will say, with the fact that Spitfires seem to go for "dime-a-dozen" prices, they sure are under-represented at the shows. This is the third car show I've been to now, with two being what I would consider sizeable (the British Invasion, according to one announcement I heard, is the largest British-only show in the U.S.) and outside of the very rare cars, I'd say that the Spitfires were the fewest and far-between. Now, there could be a few reasons for this; people don't want to spend the money on these cars because they aren't worth the time and effort to get them into a show condition; people just don't consider them show-worthy in general; there just aren't too many good examples of these cars left and we are going to wake up one day and realize it!

All that being said, there were some VERY nice cars there, especially in the Concours d'Elegance. There were also several cars there that I had never seen in person and a few that I hadn't know existed in the world. I did get a few old magazine/newspaper ad reprints, a Triumph ballcap and T-shirt and my wife found a few blankets that are made from something called Bronte by Moon wool. I guess this is pretty nice stuff...my bank account thinks so, anyway.
So, while I was disappointed for my own selfish reasons, I was able to share my LBSC passion with my wife and kids on a much grander scale while also enjoying the beautiful town of Stowe, VT that hosted it.
And, if nothing else, it motivated me to continue work on the car to be able to represent the older Spitfires as future shows!

Now, for some pics.

One of the TR3s (of two) in the concourse judging. Afraid to touch it!
The interior of the above TR3. Hazy through the rear soft top window.
A Daimler? This was a new one to me...gorgeous car, though.

Unrestored, original paint and interior, 16,000 mile Austin Healey. Wow.
The boot, with spare, of the above car. Can you read the tag on the spare tire?
Another survivor...MGA twin cam. Original and only owner, never restored.

Jag D-Type.

Beautiful E-Type. Love the paint color.
Gremlin found!!

Very clean Mk3. 
A trip to VT would not be complete without a covered bridge.

According to Wikipedia, it is listed in the Register of National Historic Places. I think the family got nervous when the GPS called out "Turn left on Slaughter House road and you will arrive at your destination".

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