Monday, March 6, 2017

An Anglophile at heart....


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.  :)

S


11 comments:

  1. For a short period, maybe a year, I had a '67 Alfa Gulia Super, 4 door, looked like a boxish sedan, but it fooled a lot of the same era English sports cars. It had a bent distributor shaft which made it stutter at around 3K rpm, so I had to keep it over or under 3,000 rpm. Guess which I (then 23) choose....red line was around 7K as I remember.

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    1. I remember that car....it was definitely a sleeper. So you're saying it was either parked or going 7,000 rpm? LOL! Was it difficult to maintain? And weren't Alfa's notorious for rust?

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  2. I once saw one of these cars with a bumper sticker saying: All of the high quality parts flying off of this car are made of the highest quality British craftsmanship.

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  3. Classy cars. The only ding is that crappy Lucas wiring.

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    1. Yeah, I've heard Lucas Electrics sucked.

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  4. I had a '71 MGB for about a year and still remember the joy of driving around with the top down. I, too, am an Anglophile, having grown up only 50 miles from Canada.

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    1. 50 miles from Canada...would that make you an Anglophile Lite? ;)

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  5. I loved my Opel GT and for some stupid reason ended up with a very nice GT-6. I had a ton of fun in that car and only problem was multiple side draft carbs, that never stayed in sync. It served me well for several years and then I taught it to fly. That was her demise and I have regretted that accident many times since. Nice to see your pictures though.

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    1. I always liked the styling of the Opel "Mini Vette". I think one of the aftermarket add-ons you should have gotten for your GT-6 was a downforce wing. ;)

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  6. I just satisfy my British cravings by eating Cadbury chocolates. Close enough.

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