Home » Car Shows »Cars You Should Know » Currently Reading:

A Most Thorough Survey of Proper Motor Cars at British Car Day 2013

Jay Ramey June 25, 2013 Car Shows, Cars You Should Know 15 Comments

rr vermillion

This past weekend the Larz Anderson Auto Museum held it’s annual British Car Day, one of the top three best attended events during the summer. Each year the Brookline, Massachusetts-based museum holds over two dozen lawn events on its scenic grounds, with German, British and Italian Car Days being the most popular events. Last week Kamil and I browsed the field during the museum’s German car day, finding a good candidate for the Hooniverse Mobile Headquarters in the form of a Mercedes-Benz bus that formerly transported the Swiss hockey team before being converted to a rather swank motorhome. But our finances were tight that day so we settled for a couple matchbox cars and a 1:43 Renault 5 Turbo Rallye RACE car.

This past Sunday the Larz Anderson museum opened its gates in the most cordial, gentlemanly manner to sporting and unsporting British Motor Cars alike, under a merciless sun and 38 degree centigrade temperatures. No Motor Cars ended up overheating to the best of my knowledge, but some small dogs were seemingly stricken ill with bouts of Coma. The selection of Motor Cars was very eclectic, with everything from MGs to Aston Martins to Jaguars in attendance. In addition, there were a number of Jag-you-ares on the field, and a Jag-wire or two.

The 1997 Rolls-Royce Silver Spur Mulliner Park Ward Motor Car above caught my eye, attracting quite a bit of attention from the crowds. Putting aside for the moment the question of just who would order a vermillion over white Rolls-Royce in 1997, this machine oozed quality, and not hydraulic fluids, which is always a plus when it comes to these cars. The weight of the doors alone and the materials used seemed like it would make the doors bullet-resistant even before any actually armor was added. And this is effectively one of the last Silver Spurs built before the debut of the Arnage and the, uhh…Silver Fang? Silver Spoon? Silver Seraph? Anyhow, let’s take a look a what  didn’t break down on the way to the show turned up this year, along with a mystery car at the bottom. Winner gets a jar of original Lucas electric wiring smoke, hermetically preserved since 1983.

vermillion interior

Not bad as far as interiors go, though for the price it could have been a little more roomy. For those who wanted more room, a mini-stretch at the B-pillar was also available, a la BMW L7 E38, with an electric divider window, also by Mulliner Park Ward. Sadly, there was really no such thing as a transitional model, one where the outgoing Spirit/Spur would have the wheels an interior and some other bits from the Seraph. That would have been fun to see. 


An Aston Martin Vanquish, aging very gracefully. Or not aging at all. Aston Martin really hit a home run with the design of this beast, though it’s rare to spot one of these in the US. More a collector car now than a weekend cruiser.


This was a sharp MG Magnette sedan from 1957. Restored in 2003, it is one of less than ten in the state of Massachusetts alone. There are just a few dozen of these in the US and Canada. This car attended British by the Sea just a few weeks ago.

am db4

Always a welcome sight, and quite a rare sight as well, even at concours events. An all original Aston Martin DB4 in a proper paint scheme.


A nice XJS in a somewhat rare color. Many owners have opted to swap out the headlights for European-spec ones, but I think these look fine as is.

series iii

A sharp looking Series III Land Rover owned by Niall Johnson. Assembled in Costa Rica from a kit in 1976, this example was part of a fleet of agricultural trucks on a coffee farm. Thirty years later it was acquired by an American couple who kept a vacation house there, later changing hands once again and moving to Florida. This Series III has the rare 2.25 liter diesel engine. This example is currently offered for sale.

series ii

Another Land Rover, this time a Series II, the last Land Rover whose grille could be removed and used to cook meat over an open fire. I don’t recall why Land Rover backed off from offering this feature on its newest cars. Oh wait, now I remember: Land Rover owners now just buy cooked steaks at Whole Foods.

sunbeam tiger

A nice 1966 Sunbeam Tiger in original unrestored condition, owned by Dana and Marlene Freeman.

lotus elite

A sharp Lotus Elite, a somewhat rare cars on these shores. These were made from 1958 till 1963 you will recall, and were powered by a 1.2 liter straight-four.

countryman 2

Here was a nice Austin Mini Countryman. Just over a hundred thousand of these were built between 1961 and 1969.


Here’s a Triumph TR8 that’s, ahem, been modified somewhat for rallying(?), though I didn’t spot a roll cage in the interior.

mystery car

Here’s the bonus question (should be easy), what car is this vicious hound guarding here?

Winner gets a jar of original Lucas electric wiring smoke, sealed since 1983. Quantity: approx 18oz, density: 100kPa

Browse the full gallery from British Car Day below:

[Images: Copyright 2013 Hooniverse/Jay Ramey]


  • How much for the Series III?

    • Jay_Ramey

      I thought you might be interested: $18,000 OBO. Safari roof, "tico" style roof rack and ladder, Defender rear spare tire mount on back.

      Claimed to have an overhaul in 2008 which included new paint, interior, upholstery, gearbox, rings and bearings, suspesion. On its 4th owner I believe since new.

  • I believe the proper nomenclature is "Silver Hair".

  • Syrax

    I'm nouveau riche, give me a Turbo R any day, but the stance and overall look on that Silver Spur is awesome.

  • FuzzyPlushroom

    It always warms my heart to see a breathtakingly rare and beautiful car wearing New Hampshire plates.

  • dukeisduke

    The chihuahua is showing his her true Chi Warrior stance.

  • stigshift

    Looks like a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow being "guarded".

    • Jay_Ramey

      Well done sir, its a 1971 R-R Shadow!

      Yeah, with those lines and that paint color, there are really only a couple things it could have reasonably been. I am tempted by their prices from time to time, their interiors are just irresistible.

      • stigshift

        For some reason, a Rover P5 came to mind first, but the door shut lines are way off. Guess #2 worked!

  • "…MG Magnette sedan… just a few dozen of these in the US and Canada."

    Ah, they're fairly common, then. That explains why they seem to be just about everywhere around here.

    <img src="http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4030/4707391198_121ec3c355.jpg&quot; width="500">

    • Jay_Ramey

      Yeah, compared to some other things they are common : )

      • You're certainly right about one thing: The white one was from Canada and the black one was from the US.

  • Rover1

    A good week for British cars then, what with this display and the factory Morgan team winning their class at Le Mans, coming 7th overall and beating ALL the Porsches. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1681885-le-man

  • Vairship

    There's a reason why Land Rover stopped making the "grille that doubles as a grill" feature: <img src="http://www.fatheroflions.org/Photos_Adamson_AndTravers/Lioness_HelpingToRepairLandRover_SmCr.jpg&quot; width="600"> Source: http://www.fatheroflions.org/Photos_Adamson_AndTr
    It makes it much tougher to replace a tire when your vehicle smells like grilled meat…

  • Adam

    The Park Ward Motors Museum