Spring Fling

It’s a beautiful Saturday morning; the kitchen is illuminated by the rising sun, the aroma of freshly ground coffee beans fills the air and bacon fat sputters atop a sizzling frying pan. As the elixir of caffeine starts to filter through my veins, the excitement for the latter half of our morning beings to grow; today is Toronto Triumph Club’s (TTC) Spring Fling 2019 stop-off in St. Jacobs.

What is Spring Fling, you ask? The event is an organized weekend of Triumph and MG focused rally’s, games, meals, garage visits, sightseeing and, at the peak of my enthusiasm, a local car show. For TTC members who choose to participate in the entire weekend long event, a welcome gift, dash plaque, door magnet, banquet, awards and door prizes are provided for a very reasonable entry price. All of this is atop the most valuable asset of the event, which of course is spending time with the wonderful group of people that make events like this possible.

Speaking of the group, the British car community has to be one of my favourite collections of people to be around. Fueled by the raw passion and soul of our unique vehicles, these individuals all share the same pride in ownership and thrill of the drive which creates an intoxicating stream of continuous inspiration. In addition, many of the friendships that have been crafted through this niche club have extended well past the joy of the automobile and formed into lifelong relationships. Everyone is real and the theme of community is strong, I like that.

Then there are the cars themselves. One of the most charming traits that British cars yield is the ability to attract interest in those who have no vested interest in cars whatsoever. Conversing with my girlfriend and event-mate Kylene who normally falls into this category, she compared these vehicles to the old Volkswagen Bus and Beetle. They’re different than the modern “cool cars” of our time; they’re cute, quirky, fun, nostalgic, free spirited, approachable and they have a personality. Simply put, they’re special.

The diversity of charming vehicles exhibited throughout the parking lot made this show particularly interesting. A remarkably clean right hand drive, mid-engine MG F sat poised on one corner of the lot, while an extremely well built GM 2.4L Ecotec swapped Triumph Stag sat ferociously on the other. I have seen bits and pieces of this Stag build pop up through various social media outlets, however none of these photos do the car any justice compared to seeing it in person. Whether it be the high quality components, the top shelf finishes or the exceptionally tasteful modifications, this Stag is a vehicle which the owner should be very proud of.

I made it a goal of mine to try and capture at least one photo of all the cars at the event, even if is just a simple three-quarter shot. Speaking from a personal perspective, seeing your own car on a publication of any kind, whether personal or an established outlet, is always an exciting experience. While the GT6me audience is extremely small, I hope these photos give at least one owner a smile.

The BGT holds a special place in my heart and this particular example has to be one of my favourites. These vehicles share very similar proportions and purpose as the GT6 and as such, were often regarded to be a direct competitor. Naturally, with only a hint of bias (okay, maybe more than just a hint), these cars are a winner in my books. The owner of this masterpiece has very subtly modified the vehicle, delivering a near OEM appearance with a tasteful and understated stance that really makes the car stand out from its respective peers.

Everything is better when Mr. Bean gets involved! Various British pop culture figures could be found hiding in the sea of British racing green.

A focal point that never fails to impress during British car meets is the assortment of delicious engine bays, where pride in ownership and manufacturer is immediately apparent. Finished with bright chrome plating, exposed air filter cartridges and assortments of patinaed brass, these engines are pieces of mechanical beauty. Speaking with several owners throughout the afternoon, many of the vehicles present have been modified to either squeeze out as much power as possible from the factory engine or to increase the vehicles reliability.

Have you ever witnessed a Triumph TR6 sputter to life using a remote car starter? With modern technology becoming more affordable and user friendly by the day, I’m certain that many of you may respond with “yes”. However, the aftermarket units that can be found at local automotive stores pale in comparison to this period correct solution. Undoubtedly my favourite display of the day was Bob’s genuine CIL dynamite blast box which he brilliantly converted for use as a wired remote car starter. Not only is the blast box itself the definition of classic-cool but the system worked flawlessly to start the vehicle during every demonstration he put on that day… and as you could imagine, there were a couple.

This MG is another screaming example of why the British car community is so much fun. The combination of the vintage leather suitcase, plaid golf bag and wooden clubs gives this TD such a great dash of personality which is hard not to love.

As detailed in one of my very early blog posts, British interiors are one of the primary reasons of what originally captured my interest in British cars. Who doesn’t want to feel like they’re piloting a vintage aircraft while simultaneously enjoying high tea at a five-diamond dining outlet? Grab the driving googles and wispy scarf, these vehicles are screaming to be driven.

I am sad to admit that my attendance was limited to just the car show itself. With the Triumph no where near road worthy and having to play catch up on other personal projects, full participation just wasn’t a possibility. Here’s to hoping that my GT6 can one day be included in the exceptional group of cars joined together in St. Jacobs this year, it would be an honor.

Sean

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