By Leonard Emanuelson
Nothing pumps up our enthusiasm like attending the VARA/Moss British Extravaganza—so many cars, so little time. In spite of threatening weather, a bumper crop of British sportscars attended. BM editor Tom Morr and myself hit the ground running, literally melting down the batteries in our digital Nikons. The event coverage in this issue is just the tip of the iceberg. (We wanted to include Buttonwillow action in this issue and were able to delay our deadline with the printer a couple of days.) Much more eye-candy from the event will be seen in future issues.
For example, look for a full story on Jim Gregg’s extremely rare 1957 Austin-Healey 100 factory works rally car, a survivor of only a handful of cars ever built. John Barnard’s stunning two-tone green ’48 MG-TC was another showstopper that we shot for the full feature treatment. Also look for a section called Quick Takes in the Fall ’03 issue. This section will include vignettes and two or three photos of spectacular cars at the Extravaganza. Profiled racecars will include Terry Baker’s ’57 MGA and Debbie Elkind’s ’67 Sprite. Spotlighted show cars are a mix of concours restorations and a few that are spiffed up with a little judicious chrome and polish. We intend Quick Takes to be a potpourri of ideas that could be applied to your car.
Speaking of which, we’re also interested in your car. We need quality photos of your car for our Readers’ Cars section. Several readers have responded to our request in the Spring issue; unfortunately, web-quality photos aren’t high enough resolution to look good on the printed page. Please read the photo requirements at the end of the Readers’ Cars section and use a decent digital camera or do it the old-fashioned way and mail us your best color prints or slides.
You’ve also undoubtedly noticed that BM is now including more tech information for the care and feeding of your British car. Kelvin Dodd creates our tech Q&A column, and we honor him for that this month with the esteemed leather cap and goggles. If we ever run out of raw material for tech stories, Kelvin can come to the rescue with any one of his nine project cars that are in various states of (dis)repair. Kelvin and the rest of Moss’s British brain trust—Ken Smith, Harry Haigh, Eric Wilhelm, and Giles Kenyon—help ensure the accuracy of all technical matters in BM.
In addition to meeting personable vintage racers and colorful Moss customers at Buttonwillow, an event highlight was when Harry Haigh tossed us the keys to his newly supercharged MGB. Not only did Harry entrust his pristine ride to us big-block heathens, he stood trackside, waving his arms and screaming for us to go faster. (Little did he know that we were already on the edge, sliding off the damp track surface.) However, I won’t forget the sheer joy of pounding through the gears and listening to the supercharger whine as we terrorized other cars on the lunchtime parade laps.
We have more than a few ideas how to entertain you (and ourselves) in upcoming issues.