ALL BRITISH DAY IN SA

THE HOUSE OF WINDSOR ENDURES. THE RICH TAPESTRY OF BRITISH MOTORING MARQUES NOT SO MUCH – A PERFECTLY GOOD REASON TO CELEBRATE ITS COLOURFUL HISTORY

DAVE CAREY

GET YOU FIRED UP ALL-BRITISH DAY – ADELAIDE

THE HOUSE OF WINDSOR ENDURES. THE RICH TAPESTRY OF BRITISH MOTORING MARQUES NOT SO MUCH – A PERFECTLY GOOD REASON TO CELEBRATE ITS COLOURFUL HISTORY

Adelaide’s annual All British Day, held on 12 February 2017, has been going strong for years now and shows no signs of abating, despite the mostly-historic nature of the wares on display.

Seeing all things proper in motoring required little more than a welcome drive into the picturesque Adelaide Hills on February 12. Echunga’s double-footy ovals were full to the fence lines, hosting over 700 cars that weaved the story of Britain’s motor industry from Austin to Wolseley and every sordid detail in between.

The Shannons Super Rig made the journey from the Eastern States especially for the event, the big green Iveco affording spectators a commanding view of the event and the perfect opportunity for a selfie with a Singer.

However, if one was expecting nothing more than endless rows of gleaming Jaguars interspersed with ubiquitous MG Bs (no offence intended; they are the second-highest selling sports car of all time, after all!), one will be disappointed.

MGs and Morgans, Humbers and Hillmans, the best of the Brits took to the oval; among the highlights, the Riley club bookending its 10-strong display with a pair of rare-in-Oz, Mini-based Elfs.

Another high water mark was the white Bond-submarine-esque Lotus Esprit, which joined an immaculate Lotus Eclat to give a masterclass in early ‘wedge’ design.

Personally, one couldn’t go past the mighty Austin 3-Litre sedan, presented in beautiful brown. Born of BMC’s need for a luxury car, but also their reluctance to spend any money, the 3-Litre saw their C-series six inserted fore of a glasshouse and doors that were unmistakably (and perhaps laughably) Austin 1800. Despite the longitudinal six-potter, the big rear-wheel-drive sedan was far from sporting to drive and crucially, never shook off its low-rent, ADO17 origins.

Fortunately, BMC had just taken over Jaguar, which made products that were exactly sporting to drive and had their own doors, so the 3-Litre was put to rest after less than 10,000 were produced.

Unsure how this one reached Australia, but it was beautiful to behold; so wrong and yet so right.

No such BMC shenanigans amongst the trophy winners however, with Shannons Insurance handing their prestigious Car of the Show award to Arthur Ruediger’s 1934 MG ND, a factory lightweight special, one of 25 ever built and recently subject to a full ground-up restoration.

All British Day President Jamie Sandford-Morgan and his team of volunteers did another exemplary job and should be proud; this colourful show continues to surprise and delight.

You would be hard-pressed to find a better-organised show in SA or beyond; although we are not sure how the Aussie-designed Austin Kimberley keeps sneaking past the gatekeepers!