A feast of of British-made cars and bikes

Car show Aug. 19 at the Filberg Heritage Lodge and Park in Comox.

The All-British Meet at the Filberg will take place Aug. 19 at the Filberg Heritage Lodge and Park in Comox.

The car show is organized by the Old English Car Club – Comox Valley Branch. Owners of British-made cars and bikes are welcome to enter. Gates will be open at 8:30 and the fee is $10 per car owner, with some owners having more than one car or bike.

The general public is encouraged to come and see the largest collection of British-made vehicles in the North island area. For a donation to YANA, people have a chance to have a ride in one of the exotic or collector cars in the show.

As it takes a bit of time to assemble all the cars, the public should plan to come and view from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be music, food and a special booth with many British products available in the beautiful gardens. Bring a picnic and sit on the grass.

Cars are very special. Some people have owned their car from new.

Many of the owners of British cars have “brought their car back to life,” in effect given it a second lifetime. A retired welder, heavy-duty industry worker and a Comox Valley resident whose name is Geoff is one such man.

Geoff happened to go to a garage sale in Campbell River and the widow who was holding the sale said that the trailer full of parts that was sitting in her yard was a 1936 MGT A. His friends insisted that he should buy it as a project to keep him out of mischief now that he had retired. Geoff bought the project car in Sept 2010.

The car was the third MGT A car made when the cars were being built in Britain in 1936 and they only were made until June of 1939.

The MGT A is a true two-seater sports car with running boards, giving it much style. This particular car has been well travelled, as the past owner was in the RAF and after buying the car in 1970 in England he took it with him when stationed in Germany, and then when he immigrated to Canada the car had a time in Prince George before coming to the Valley.

As happens quite often, the owner took the car apart with plans of restoration and just did not get it back together, but as Geoff has commented “all the bits were there when he got it,” imagine at 76 years old!

The restoration work is a long process. Parts have been sourced all over America and England. The block, crank and bearings were shipped back to England to be updated to more modern bearings as the Babbitt bearing used originally could not be restored.

Miraculously this work only took two months with the cost of the shipping and taxes being more than the cost of the new cylinders and labour. One of the people he asked to give him an estimate on some work from California told him “be prepared to wait 12 months and know your bank manager real well!”

Other parts of the car have been slowly coming together with special wood work being replaced using the old rotting wood as templates, just another of the skills needed to restore the car to something of beauty, Geoff works on the car when he finds time.

He hopes to have it completed in the next year. He knows of only two other MGT As in B.C. and he is looking forward to having this one on the road, too.

The people who will have their cars on display at the All British Meet at the Filberg have many stories to tell about their cars. They are very willing to talk to you. In most cases they have spent more on the cars than they will ever realize if they sell them.

There will be some of these cars for sale at the meet for those who would like to join this group of car enthusiasts. The cars are very fun to drive — a great hobby and a fun way to meet new friends.

For information on the event or the club, visit comox-oecc.com.

— Old English Car Club – Comox Valley Branch

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