Tagged British sports car history

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How to Ruin a Car Show

It’s easy. Just tell a proud owner you’re putting their car in this class, when they want to be in that one. I’ve seen it happen before, and likely been responsible myself. After hosting the British Car Festival in California for five years, and now preparing for our second Motorfest next summer, we’re still trying…

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Names to Know – Jaguar’s Sir William Lyons

Sir William Lyons was born in Blackpool in 1901, the namesake of  an Irish father and an English mother. A bright boy, he was curious about machinery and good at school work. His family secured for him an engineering apprenticeship at Crossley Motors where he developed an intense interest in the burgeoning automotive industry. In…

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Car Profile – Austin A40 Sports

The Austin A40 Sports evolved from a series of joint venture projects between Austin and Jensen Motors. Inspired by the Jensen Interceptor, Austin’s Chairman Leonard Lord wanted to sell a Jensen bodied touring car using A40 mechanicals that would serve as a “halo” car for the entire A40 model range. The car was designed by…

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Powered by Rolls-Royce – Austin-Healey 4000

“Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, ‘It might have been.” – John Greenleaf Whittier The Swinging Sixties represented the high-water mark for the British automotive industry. The Jaguar E-Type – introduced in 1961 – was widely considered one of the best sports cars in the world and more affordable…

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1934 Singer 1.5-Liter Sports Tourer

Like Triumph, its Coventry neighbor, Singer Motors Limited started in business in 1874 as a bicycle manufacturer before turning to cars and commercial vehicles at the turn of the century. An established innovator in the industry, Singer brought to market the first practical small car that was an equal to contemporary larger cars (rather than…

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A Special Breed – 1953 MG TD Motto

The MG TD Motto was the result an effort by John Inskip and David Ash to create a car that could compete against the increasingly successful Porsche 550 Spyder and OSCA MT4 in the SCCA’s F-modified racing class. Inskip was the son of a renowned evangelical preacher who eschewed the church in favor of a…

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Strange Bedfellows – The Michelotti MGs

A Michelotti MG? More than one. Really? Most of us never knew about the connection between the prolific Italian designer and MG from Abingdon. In a strange twist, Giovanni Michelotti – who would become famously associated with Triumph for his landmark work on the Herald, Vitesse, TR4, Spitfire, GT6, Dolomite, 2000 and Stag – found…

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Prince of Darkness – Joseph Lucas

I have long admired Joseph Lucas and when you get done with this article maybe you will too. A hard working family man, Lucas was never an English born Diogenes who wandered the streets of Birmingham trying to plot a scheme to keep you in the dark. The fact of the matter is that old…

Putting a Mayflower through its paces at a VTR event
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In the Eye of the Beholder – Triumph Mayflower

No less a personage than Top Gear presenter James May considers the Triumph Mayflower the ugliest car of all time. The first monocoque Triumph was designed by Leslie Moore who was the Design Chief at Mulliners (responsible for much of the coachwork for Rolls-Royce and Bentley) and was given an interpretation of Triumph’s pre-war razor edge…

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