The 23rd British Car Festival was the most successful in the event's history. Organised by the South Alabama British Car Club, the event took place in the quiet bayside village of Fairhope and this year celebrated 60 years of the Triumph TR.
Most of the cars on the field were driven to the event with one 1980 Triumph Spitfire making the trek from Atlantic Beach, Florida.
In addition to the celebrated TRs, the entries included six Sunbeam Tigers, a Beardmore taxi, an Armstrong Siddeley Star Sapphire and a Leyland double decker bus.
Here are some of the show highlights, picked and described by Rodney McDonald, a former president of the South Alabama British Car Club:
Owned for ten years by Tom Schmitz of Lillian, Alabama, this 1959 Austin-Healey Sprite was the subject of a restoration soon after it was purchased. This Primrose yellow roadster is “a ball to drive” according to Tom.
This 1965 TR4 was fresh from a multi-year restoration and it was making its British Car Festival debut. The Wedgewood Blue TR is owned by Sandy and Sam Walter of Mobile, Alabama.
Armstrong Siddeleys are not at all common in the US and this is the first one at this event. This highly original 1960 Star Sapphire was recently purchased by Todd Wall of Fairhope, Alabama. Todd related that the car was originally owned Armstrong Siddleley executive Selwyn Sharp.
Any car with a dicky seat is a star attraction at a British car event and this 1949 Triumph 2000 was a crowd favorite winning the People's Choice award. Owned by William Silhan of Pensacola, Florida for 21 years, this restored car was the last production automobile to offer a “mother-in-law” seat. Silhan said: “It’s a 1949 car but it looks like it’s from the 1930s.”
This 1965 Sunbeam Tiger is owned by Jim O’Brien of Fairhope, Alabama. O’Brien has owned the restored British Racing Green roadster for 13 years and he drives it monthly. When asked what he likes most about his Tiger, O’Brien said grinning: “The big Ford V8.”
This Warwick Grey 1967 Jaguar 240 shows a little over 50,000 miles and is unrestored. Mike Darby of Silverhill, Alabama drives this right-hand-drive car regularly on the roads of southern Alabama. Darby says his 240 is “comfortable and fast.”
The next British Car Festival is scheduled for Saturday 25 October 25 2014.