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Friday, October 21, 2016

Here’s Where It All Started

1964 Mini Cooper
That’s me in the foreground. That’s my dad’s 1964 Mini Cooper behind. Beside that is another Mini owned by friends of my parents. I don’t consciously remember this car, but I suspect that’s where my love affair with cars, and particularly British cars, began.

1964 Mini Cooper
Here’s a couple more photos of the Mini. The first is on a ferry headed for northern Germany (we were living in Germany at the time). I’m assuming my parents went to England to pick the car up but it must have been the European model because the steering wheel is on the left.

1964 Mini Cooper
The second photo shows it freshly washed. Gotta admit, it is cute. So was the Mini wagon we had later.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Behind the Wheel of an Austin-Healey 3000 Mk III Phase 2

Ever wondered what it would be like to take the wheel of a classic Austin-Healey? Check out this 360° test drive by Marc Vorgers—you have to pause the video to change the viewpoint. You can find other test drives of both classic and modern sports cars on his YouTube channel.

Friday, September 9, 2016

1928 Classic Bugatti Plus a Rant

1928 Bugatti
Photo by Kate Tompkins
As I said in my last post, when we were in Quebec City last fall, my sister and I spotted a classic Bugatti in the courtyard of the Chateau Frontenac. I’m assuming from the license plate that’s it a 1928. I’ve looked online to try and identify the model, but I’m no expert. It’s not like I’ve seen that many Bugattis. The closest match seems to be a 43 or 43A Grand Sport, unless it’s a Tecla 35A with the wheels changed. You can find photos and specs on many classic Bugattis on the Bugatti Trust website.

1928 Bugatti
Photo by Kate Tompkins
We discussed it with the Morgan owner on the tour bus with us. He said it was possible it was a tribute car, but he did know someone associated with the Morgan tour who had a Bugatti. I don’t think it was a clone, not only because of where it was parked (in the courtyard, in a space clearly marked “reserved parking”) but the fact that its parking spot had been roped off, as if it was something special.

A pretty clear indication of “hands off,” you might think. Apparently not, because in the short time we were there, several women hopped over the rope and posed beside the car so their friends could take photos. Some of them even touched it. Grrr. I’m seeing this more and more often at car shows, spectators roaming around and posing with their hand on the door handle or the mirror, etc. Do they not know any better (it’s easy to scratch paint with a button or belt buckle, and the oil on our hands ruins the polishing job) or do they just not care? Grrr.

1928 Bugatti
Photo by Kate Tompkins
Unfortunately, my best photo has three of these culprits in it, so I’ve cropped and fuzzed to protect the guilty.

Sweet car, though.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Morgans over America

Morgan at Chateau Frontenac, Quebec
Photo by Kate Tompkins
Last September, my sister and I were in Quebec City doing the tourist thing. While walking around, over the course of the day, I spotted several Morgans. Possibly the same car more than once, but given there was a green one, a red one, and a blue one, at least three. Obviously that was unusual, as I’ve only ever seen a Morgan outside of a car show once before and that was at a wedding. Something was definitely going on.

So when we were on the double-decker bus for a tour the next day and the man who sat in front of us was wearing a baseball cap with the logo “Morgans Over America,” we asked him what it was about. Turns out it was a road tour (Morgans Over America VI) by a group of Morgan owners, and we just happened to be there the two days they were in Quebec City.

Oddly enough, there’s not much information on this online, though I did find a BLOG by the organizers of the tour—lots of photos, though several days of the tour aren’t covered. According to the official announcement back in November 2011, the trip would take 38 days and pass through 14 states and 5 provinces. Twenty Morgans and their owners from the US, Canada, UK, Sweden, France, New Zealand and Australia ended up participating. The tour started in Savannah, Georgia, on September 10, 2015, and continued for 5000 miles through 16 other locations, including several in eastern Canada, before winding up in Norfolk, Virginia, on October 18. An average day’s travel was said to be 100-200 miles, so there was lots of time for sightseeing and meeting up with other car clubs. Sounds like my idea of a road trip!

You’d think someone who owns a Morgan would be pretty blasé about classic cars, but you should have seen the look on his face when we told him we’d spotted a classic Bugatti in the hotel parking lot where they were staying. If he hadn’t been waiting for someone else to join him on the bus, I think he would have jumped off and gone to take a look.

The Morgan Sports Car Club of Canada website looks like a good resource for British car events in Canada, not just Morgans.

September 2016 Montreal Area Classic Car Shows and Events

I was busy writing up a post on some cars I saw on an earlier vacation when I suddenly realized it was September and I needed to get this month's car shows posted. Yes, I'm in denial--where did the summer go? So the page is up for this year, but I haven't yet tidied it up and made the links live. Later today.

Lots of stuff on this weekend.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Baie D’Urfe Car Show a British Treat

1932 Hubmobile
Photo by Kate Tompkins
I did manage to get to the Baie D’Urfe car show this past weekend, and I’m glad I did. While it’s not a huge show—I’d say there were just over 100 vehicles—there were quite a few I hadn’t seen before. If you like British cars, then it’s definitely a good show because probably 35-40% of the cars there, if not more, were British. Most of those were pre-1970.

1990 Caterham Seven
Photo by Kate Tompkins
There was plenty of parking for spectators, and food vendors and live entertainment on site. And the cars! Everything from a 1932 Hupmobile to a 1990 Caterham Seven, with lots of variety in between, including a 1967 Vanden Plas Princess 4 litre R, which I’ve never seen before. Hope to have more photos up sometime in the next couple of weeks, once the office cools down (we're having a heat wave).
1967 Vanden Plas Princess
Photo by Kate Tompkins

Friday, August 5, 2016

Car Shows This Weekend

I'll have the list of August car shows up later today (I'm still working on it, as there are several sites to check), but here's what I know is happening this weekend. Thinking about going to the Baie-D'Urfe show myself, as I haven't been out to that one before.

August 6-7 (retro music Friday evening, August 5)
7e Week-End des Anciennes de Rimouski (pre-1990)
10 am
$10 registration
Place des Vétérans, Rimouski, Quebec
Contact Johnny Thériault at 418-732-0139 or J-C Leclerc at 418-750-0414

August 6
Parker Auto Care Open House
10 am to 3 pm
891 Belleview Ave., Ottawa
Contact David Parker at 613-722-0896 or

August 7
6th Annual Baie-D’Urfe Vintage Car and Truck Show (25 years or older, non-modified)
9:30 am to 4 pm
$10 per vehicle (goes to charity)
Fritz Farm, Baie-D'Urfe
Contact 514-745-6278

August 7
Exposition de Voitures Anciennes à Rawdon VAML (pre-1990)
9 am
Admission free for VAML members
Collège Champagneur Rawdon, Rawdon, Quebec
Contact Jacques Chouinard at 450-759-6793 or 450-758-0869, or Jean-Yves Picard at 450-589-7517

August 7
St-Jean-sur-Richelieu - Nostalgie sur roues (25 years or older)
9 am
$5 for spectators, $10 for vehicles (VAQ members free)
Parc Gerry-Boulet, St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec
Contact 514-990-9111

August 7
Volksfest "The People's Car Show"
9 am to 4 pm
$5 registration
Blais Park and Arena, Embrun, Ontario
Contact Shawn Rutters at 613-868-7891 or

August 7
Hot Rod Rally
11 am to 3 pm
PartSource, 1508 Merivale Road, Nepean, Ontario
Contact Holly Maude at 613-572-0017 or

August 12-14

Auto-Show Gatineau