by Sam Maw
I would imagine that just about when anyone starts to discuss classic British cars that there is a joke or two concerning Joseph Lucasaka “The Prince of Darkness”, oil leaks, or breakdowns. But there is much more to it than those clichés. There are many reasons that people are drawn to the collector hobby, specifically classic British cars. First, many of the classic brits are beautiful examples of craftsmanship. Take a look at the lines of the old Jaguars, Aston Martins, or Austin-Healy's. Those designs have stood the test of time and are recognizable at a glance. Look at some of the trim pieces of a Triumph TR-4, and you would agree that they are industrial art at its best. The wood and leather in some of these older cars are better made than fine furniture. Mechanically, most of the older cars are simple machines, built to last. Many of the owners are able to work on and maintain the cars themselves, When they do need professional service, usually there are mechanics to be found in every area that are trained in British cars, many of whom were worked in the old factories or at dealerships back in the day. One thing I have noticed is that the folks who work on the old cars are passionate about what they do, and do a commendable job for their clients, whether it is a full restoration or a simple tune up. The jokes about these cars and their reliability generally can be traced to poor maintenance. We had a fellow in our car club who had an MGB with over 300K miles on it, just following the proper maintenance schedules. But more than anything else, I think the main reason people are drawn to the hobby is the camaraderie with their fellow owners. I have never met such nice and helpful people as are found in the British car collecting hobby. When we get together at shows like this one, it is a chance to see old friends and make new ones, discuss our cars, help each other solve issues, and share parts and advice. When you visit the Games, make a point of walking through the car show, ask the owners about their cars, as they love to share knowledge about them, and share stories about their passion. Maybe after spending some time amongst the old British iron, you too may be bitten by the same bug that got us.
The Events of Gallabrae
You don’t have to be French to go to Mardi Gras, and you sure don’t have to be Scottish to find things to love at Gallabrae. Love dogs? Then you can’t miss the All-Day Border Collie Invitationals and watch really smart animals (okay, the sheep aren’t too smart) herd sheep and ducks, all to the tune of a whistle. A car, dare I say, nut? Come to one of the most beautiful malls (not the shopping kind, the oak-tree canopied kind) in the country at Furman and check out the antique British cars, some of which you’ve never seen. Have you served in the military? Be at our Opening Ceremonies for the Greenville Scottish Games and let us honor and thank you like you deserve.
Do you have small children? Wee Scotland is for you, and them. They’ll get a passport to admit them to their own Scottish village, and you can enjoy them enjoying us. Teens, young adults, not-so-young adults? Celtic rock bands! Whoa! Like to watch world championship athletics? Got you covered, we have been awarded the World Masters Championship for Heavy Athletes, you have got to see this to believe it. Watch for the Japanese guy in a kilt throwing really heavy stuff.
Are you somebody who just loves to have a great time and grin a lot? Start off Wednesday night with us, Downtown Main St in Greenville for the Highland Fling and stay with us through Sunday. Your face will be sore from grinning so much. We’re adding new stuff all the time, so keep checking back.