| British Car Festival |
September 12, 2010
Oakton Community College
Des Plaines, IL
What can you say about the best car show of the year, every year, for the past 20 years? The 24th annual British Car Union - sponsored 2010 British Car Festival this year offered 550 Britishcars of every marque and condition. Most were stunning! Some were for sale. Almost any specialty Brit auto vendor you can think of was present for networking or a chat, as were our brothers and sisters from all the other Brit car clubs.
The Brit Car Show always occurs on my birthday weekend, which is 9/11. If that weren’t bad enough (since 2001), the only consolation to getting a year older is surrounding myself with British motorcraft, so I try not to miss it everyyear.
The most they ever had, I am told, was about 800 cars. I am glad they moved it north; the consensus seems to be that the northshore car owners wouldn’t drive to Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills, but the southern suburban, and obviously, the western suburbanites will drive anywhere.
So, Oakton it is, and the day was the best I have ever seen in all the many years of going: perfect weather. I arrived early with the Club pop-up canopy stuffed into my MGB, about 8:15 a.m. for set-up, but I was hardly the first to arrive. That was a full day of glittering chrome, sculpted Brit bodywork, the special smell of gas vapor and oil that Brit cars are noted for, Connolly hide, purring Cats, elegant Rolls, hectacres of MG’s and Triumph’s, and everything from the esoteric and ancient to the modern and new. It was a delight!
Even more delightful, after the last wrap-up, awarding of prizes, and folding of tents, was the after-Fest BBQ hosted by Club member Bob Hanselman at his beautiful home and landscaped backyard in near-by Arlington Heights. Not only was the food great, the company festive and convivial, but Bob gave us an interesting tour of his “toybox,” since he has several fascinating collections in his home, including his train set and vintage toys. His place became quite a neighborhood tourist attraction as passers-by stopped for photos of the quite large collection of vintage and “modern” MG’s and other marques arrayed in a long row on his corner-lot front yard. It was a great time! Thanks, Bob!
Well, a year older, a year grayer, and a few more miles on the clock, I will look forward to the whole show again next year!
(festival photos courtesy of Reinout Vogt)
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