20th Annual British Car Week

British Car Week – May 29 – June 5, 2016
A Classic Car Show For The Road

It’s hard to believe nineteen years have already passed by since columnist Peter Egan wrote his story about Seldom Seen Cars in the May, 1997 issue of Road & Track magazine. This is the story that sparked a chain of events that resulted in the kick-off of the first British Car Week (www.britishcarweek.org/seldomseencars.html) during May of 1997. During this week enthusiasts from all over made a special effort to drive their cars throughout their local communities – in unison – as a response to Peter’s story. This year we will continue the tradition for the twentieth time during May 28 through June 5, 2016.

Back in 1997, when the May issue of R&T first hit the newsstands, this writer/driver was in the midst of having a great time sporting around town in his 1972 Triumph GT6 MkIII. The car was a hoot to drive, and it turned a lot of heads while traveling down the roads of his local community. But the driver of the car was feeling a bit lonely on the road, because he noticed there were no other cars of the same era and origin to be found driving on the roads. “What has happened to all of the great cars we used to see on the roads?” he would often think to himself. He knew they existed because a handful would always show up at the annual local car show, but for some reason many of the other classics that had owners in the area weren’t showing up on the radar.

As soon as the May, 1997 issue of Road & Track magazine showed up in his mailbox, he read it cover to cover. Peter Egan’s story immediately struck his interest. It was all about the very same question of whatever happened to all of the great classic cars that were once commonplace on the roads and byways throughout our communities, but only his story took place in a different part of the country. It was obviously a problem others were experiencing from all over. This is what sparked the idea of creating an annual week that would urge owners of classic British cars to dust off their cars, get them prepped for driving, and get them out of the garage and onto the roads to show them off to the general public who rarely get a chance to see them driving down the roads. Hopefully the owners would continue driving their cars more often for the remainder of the driving season. By getting the cars onto the roads, it would help create interest in the hobby, strengthen all support for the hobby, and it would be a win/win situation for everyone, including those who will appreciate these cars for many years to come.

For those who might enjoy a driving adventure and meeting other enthusiasts from all over, the folks in Arkansas will be celebrating their 5th Annual British National Meet that coincides with British Car Week. The event takes place June 3 & 4 at the Arkansas Aeroplex in Blytheville, Arkansas. They’re hoping to attract as many British car enthusiasts [and cars] as possible in one very British car friendly location. Visit www.britishnationalmeet.com for more information.

If you can’t make it to this event, there are many other opportunities during the week in your own community, including other British car events that can be viewed on the British Car Week events page at www.britishcarweek.org/events.html

So grab your goggles and driving gloves, and top-off your dashpots. It’s time to have some genuine seat-of-your-pants driving fun!

See you on the road…..

Scott Helms