Some of my fondest and earliest memories were listening to my dad and his friends regaling each other with their WWII experiences. My father never actually went overseas because of his service working for Terrell Aviation School in Terrell, TX (about 30 miles east of Dallas). Prior to America's abrupt entry into WWII they were quietly training British pilots who could then go back to Great Britain and fight in the King's Royal Air Force.
As soon as we officially became allies with the Brits after Pearl Harbor the school's name was changed to No. 1 British Flying Training School and their work could officially be acknowledged. (Prior to that we were supposed to have been neutral. *wink*) Thanks to these early experiences I became a dedicated Anglophile.
It was just a few years later, when I was 9, that I learned to drive in my dad's tiny little Nash Metropolitan, made in England by the Austin Motor Company. It looked just like this, a nice black over white two-tone. It did 0-60 in 22.4 seconds, almost twice as fast as a VW Beetle. Zoom zoom!
One magazine of the day said, “It is not a sports car by the weirdest torturing of the imagination but it is a fleet, sporty little bucket which should prove just what the doctor ordered for a second car, to be used either for a trip to the movies or for a fast run to a penicillin festival.” (Anyone have any idea what a "penicillin festival" is?) "Our" little car had a 3-on-the-tree transmission (stick shift) which must have been built like a battleship as I somehow managed to NOT destroy it. Needless to say I never got a speeding ticket in it.
Fast forward a few more years and, like all the boys of the day, I was a true petrolhead. But instead of having pictures on my walls of fast American muscle cars, I was still a dedicated Anglophile.
Cars like this Triumph GT 6 had my heart.
A bit less racy, something I thought my dad might actually let me have (but didn't) was the MGB/GT. *sigh*
Totally unattainable, but always number one on my lust list, was a Jaguar E-Type.
There's just something so special about European seat covers, don't you think? *did I say that out loud?*
But dad said firmly no, as did mom, and our family insurance agent, too. I never got my English sports car, which is just as well as I would have had no idea how to keep it tuned and running properly. They needed lots of tinkering, and I didn't have the necessary patience for that. Even back then I had an aversion to maintenance.
These days I satisfy my largely dormant British sports car itch by taking photos of them, which is probably smart as I still wouldn't know how to tinker with them. Never mind that the ones I like are now far north of $100K. :)