British sports cars are ideal cars for the spring, summer and fall in New England. Winter? Not so much, but for the other three seasons the winding rural roads and abundant foliage make for perfect conditions to enjoy your car outside the crowded cities and busy freeways. As the number of repair shops specializing in British sports cars declines through the inevitable retirement of their proprietors, it makes the handful that remain all the more special. Leyland British is one of those survivors, performing service and restoration work for Austin-Healey, MG, Jaguar, Sunbeam and Triumph.
More than 40 years ago, Erick Van Sickle formed Leyland British in the bucolic setting of Arundel, Maine, born out of his love and affection for British sports cars. His longevity made it possible for him to be around for the withdrawal of the original wave of manufacturers, purchasing the entire parts stock from the local British Leyland dealer in 1982, providing his shop with a big surplus of valuable parts, some of which remain today.
Unlike many small shops, Leyland British has its own onsite paint booth, rotisserie lift and inspection pit, allowing the shop to handle both large and small projects with equal ease. Over the years, Erick has continued to collect both NOS and used parts, giving him one of the largest inventories in the country. The shop specializes in rolling restorations, spreading out the work over time to allow a customer to spend more time with a car on the road and making the process more affordable to boot at a pace that fits both time and budget.
If you’re in the area, Erick is always glad to spend time chatting about British sports cars and we recommend taking the time to stop and browse the parts barn for that hard to find piece that you’ve spent years looking for. All in all, a great place to spend a few hours on that New England road trip and one of the last ‘real’ experienced specialty shops.
Leyland British. 114 River Road, Arundel, Maine, 04046