Tuesday, September 9, 2014

British Car Show (2014): The Miscellaneous & Oddities Post

The British Car Show has become a regular event for me and Hotshoe.  It is like a cruise night, in that we see many of the same cars year after year.   But we almost always see something rare too.  The car count was very good this year, doubtless in part because of the superb weather.  There were about 20 "big" Healeys, 30 MGA's and MGB's, 40 Triumphs and Lotuses.

Even the parking lot is fun.  Besides this very nice Giulietta (vanity plate ALFA 61), we saw some interesting 'Vettes
and a Ferrari 430 in Fly Yellow.

Above and below: speaking of the parking lot, this was in it (not in the show)!  The engine is an S&S ("improved
Harley").  To my eye, it is the prettiest modern Morgan 3-wheeler I've seen: no silly graphics--nothin' but the car.
That is, if a Morgan three-wheeler is a car...

A row of Rolls.

At the other end of the spectrum, a Mini panel truck.  Not imported to the U.S. (as far as I know), and even more rare
than a Mini "woody".

A rare-ish Jag XK-140 MC.  The MC model featured the C-Type high-performance cylinder head, which raised the
horsepower from 190 to 210.  Either was a big number from a 3.4 liter six in the mid-1950's.

The first one I've seen with my own eyes: an MGA Twin Cam head.  Originally developed
for the 1.5 liter class at LeMans, it was later offered for sale in the MGA at a hefty price
premium.  It had a reputation for burning valves, leaking oil, and warping--which blew
head gaskets.  Other than that, it was fine.  ;-)  But based on my visual inspection of
this one, it also weighed 3X as much as the pushrod head.  In the 1950's, British
manufacturers persisted in the use of cast iron even for DOHC heads, after the
continental carmakers had graduated to aluminum.

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