Saturday, September 15 marked the occasion of the 22 annual British Invasion of Stowe. It is the largest all-british car show in North America, and true to form, after having attended roughly 20 of these, I’ve yet to make it all the way around the Show Field.
In southern Vermont the day started under sunny and pleasant conditions, and when I snapped this picture near the Randolph exit, I didn’t realize it was about the last time we’d see blue skies
for most of the rest of the day. This show has enjoyed an incredible run of luck with the weather, and even though it rained lightly off & on practically the whole day it wasn’t a factor on the show field and I never needed recourse to the L.L. Bean boots in the trunk of my car.
We aligned our promotion (such as it was) with Jason Marechaux and Company from East Coast Collision & Restoration.
If you wern’t able to get close enough to bend Jason’s ear, or was it the other way around ? Tammy’s story boards told the story
You can see some of them behind Jason in the picture above, along with reprints of some of the profiles I’ve written for MESH New England Magazine this year.
If you’re not familiar with MESH, a year ago I wasn’t either, and one of the high points of the day for me was actually meeting Russ & Laura Rocknak who are responsible for this thoroughly interesting and visually stunning publication. Much like these cars which we so admire, there really is no replacement for the look and feel of the printed and lavishly illustrated page.
I put some time in amid the story boards and the gutted Minis which were later to be joined by the panel van which we expended a great deal of effort on earlier this year, and which caused me to do a sufficient double take when I saw it all trimmed out that I thought it might be a ringer. Joe Delaney from E.C.C.&.R. put the finishing touches on it including some stainless steel trim he fabricated which was just unbelievably nice.
The question always arises, “What was your favorite car at the show ?”. A blue Lotus Elite was tugging mightly on my heart strings most of the day, but our friend Peter Caldwell alerted me to this Pre War MG in a corner of the show field I hadn’t gotten to even by mid-afternoon.
I have a weakness for the overhead cam four & six cylinder MG’s of the 30’s with their cam drive taken thru the vertically mounted generator at the front of the engine. It was said, by Abingdon technician H.N. Charles perhaps, that “No overhead MG ever ran right after the first decoke”. Small wonder, I’ve put a couple of these together and you’ve got to be on your game to get your cam timing and valve train geometry right. It’s really no wonder that Morris Motors fobbed the pushrod engines off on MG beginning with the TA, it must have cost a fortune just to build them, let alone keep them properly maintained.
The weather finally cleared at the end of the afternoon as the crowd was breaking up and in search of dinner. We never found the Jaguar Association of New England gathering and headed south instead, stopping at the Skunk Hollow Tavern in Hartland Four Corners for our supper. Don’t be put off by the name, the food and drink were excellent.
2nd & 3rd pictures: Mary White