Revving up British classics

Darlene Wendels / The Collegian The annual British Car Roundup featured British car makes and models such as Triumph, Jaguar, Lotus, Morris Garage, MINI Cooper and other car makers from the early to late 20th century.
Darlene Wendels / The Collegian The annual British Car Roundup featured British car makes and models such as Triumph, Jaguar, Lotus, Morris Garage, MINI Cooper and other car makers from the early to late 20th century.

Darlene Wendels / The Collegian
The annual British Car Roundup featured British car makes and models such as Triumph, Jaguar, Lotus, Morris Garage, MINI Cooper and other car makers from the early to late 20th century.

Restored British cars descended upon Old Town Clovis on Sunday morning for the annual British Car Roundup hosted by the Central Valley British Auto Club.
The event is a celebration of all marques and models of British cars and is held every year during the last weekend of September with approximately 100 entrants and restored British automobiles entering the show each year.

“It’s designed so that the public can see the cars and the members get a chance to show the cars off,” said Martin Connolly, the club’s president.

The show opened at 10 a.m. and concluded in the early afternoon. Competitions occuring throughout the day were broken up between the cars’ marque, model, manufacturers and classes. All of the classes entered into the competition were eligible for the “Best of the Show” award.

The day was busy with traffic coming and going all day, and that the kids who came were excited to see all the different colored vehicles being presented, Connolly said.

“We just want everyone to see the history of the vehicles, and how the cars have evolved over the years,” Connolly said.

The U.S. has a tradition of celebrating British cars, with makes and models being inspired from the British models, Connolly said. The event hosts cars from an era as early as the 1920s. The MG (Morris Garage) sports car was the car that launched the sports car in the U.S., Connolly said.

Some members of the Valley British Auto Club are from Britain and naturally gravitated towards the cars when they were younger, like member Richard Thornberry whose wife told him that he needed to get a hobby.

“I said, ‘well, I’ll get a motorcycle.’ She didn’t like that idea so I went with a sports car,“ Thornberry said.

The car he bought was a ’71 Morris Garage B-series (MGB) sports car in British racing green.

Thornberry, had been a fan of the body style of the cars since he was in high school and, because his best friend had been involved for a long time in British cars, it was a natural fit.

Thornberry thinks the Roundup is great for the community and is an opportunity for owners to get the cars out of their garages and for others to come and see that the cars run, they drive well and to see how much fun they are.

“It gives people awareness that these things out there. Otherwise they sit in garages, or they go by on the road and people say ‘what the heck is that?’ ” Thornberry said.

Modern cars, Thornberry said, just don’t have the character of something from the ‘50s, ‘60s or ‘70s.

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