Classic AutoSports Barbeque -11 July 2015
Report and photos Jim Paterson
great drive through Fife and Angus with the top down on my MX5 to
reach Dave Barnett's AutoSports at Inverkeilor to be confronted
with an amazing collection of superb Jaguars and other great makes.
up outside was an eclectic collection of customer and Jaguar Enthusiast
Club member Jaguar sports cars, both modern and classic. From the XK8,
XKR, fixed head and convertible, XJS and XK120 FHC. But hold on, that
number plate on an Ecurie Ecosse XK120 looks familiar. MUS 1 signals
the 1954 XK120, once the road car of Ninian Sanderson, who
together with Ron Flockhart won the Le Mans 24-Hour Race outright in
1956 driving the Ecurie Ecosse Jaguar D-Type 'MWS 301'.
JDHT (Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust) Certificate confirms that Ninian
Sanderson was the first owner and that the car was supplied new via the
Coombs dealership in Guildford and first registered 'MUS 1' in Glasgow.
It has a long provenance and to see it here again in Scotland was a
fantastic surprise. Not sure if owner Darren McWhirter
realised the keys were in the ignition but I was sorely tempted to take
it for a spin. Would have been worth going to jail for!
much more special metal was parked in the yard, including an unusual
BMW. It threw me at first as the usual double kidney grill that marks a
BMW was absent. The badge on the rear gave me a clue, GLAS. BMW bought
out Hans Glas car manufacturer in 1966, and continued this
model, uprating the engine to a 3.0 litre V8 in place of the
2.6 litre in 1967. By 1968 it was 'delisted' from the BMW catalogue so
this 1968 example is indeed one of a rare breed.
stepped back to take more photo's I nearly fell into Christoff Kulli's
1955 C Type Jaguar. What better place to fall into? Jaguar developed
the XK120C, or more generally known as the 'C Type', after their toe in
the water XK120 trip to Le Mans in 1950, A tubular frame, to
reduce weight, was incorporated into the design and the aero screens
mean helmet and goggles are a must for Christoff when the rain comes
I almost overlooked the Aston Martin DB4, owned by
Darren's father, all the way from Elgin, on my way to a selection of XK
120's and XK150 in the yard to see Gareth on the grill for a juicy
burger. As I approached Gareth at the grill I spotted a 1962 XK E Type
lightweight replica, built by the late Brian Wilkinson of Zealia
Engineering. The car is also a Scottish Historic Championship winner. This one is up for sale so could be yours.
TVR is your favourite classic, then Dave is also selling a
customers 1970 Tuscan with extensive competition heritage and
wins. With a Ford 289 Hi-Po V8 mated to a close ratio gearbox this
is a real sprint and hillclimb 'beast'. Call Dave at Classic AutoSports
01241 830557 to find out more on either the E Type Lightweight
Replica or the TVR Tuscan.
Admiring the XK120 FHC, DHC and XK150
parked out in the sunshine alongside a 3.4 Mk1 and E type just made my
mouth water, even more than the burger! However just as I thought
the best had been seen, my eyes could not believe what was inside the
Staring me in the face was a magnificent Bentley Mk
6, in for a major service and fettling. I discovered the two tone
paint scheme is in fact a blue vinyl shrink over the all silver body.
What a great idea, and certainly transforms the look of the car in a
period style,which can be undone anytime.
What is that fastback
on the other side of the shop? An 1955/6 AC Aceca looked resplendent.
Predecessor of the well known AC Cobra this example had been fitted
with an Alfa engine at sometime in the distant past. It is now awaiting
return of an original AC engine of the correct vintage which is being
fully rebuilt. Dave has one of his colleagues do the rebuild due to
lack of his own time with so many cars to work on. Was a blessing in
disguise, as the original aluminum block turned out to be porous. Ouch.
A new block has been cast, and being machined and reattached the bottom
end, liners and pistons fitted etc. The full works. Will be great when it
is mated with the car again. Hope to see it before it drives off with
its happy owner.
Behind the AC, leading to the back of the
workshop were a couple of big Healeys in different stages of
rebuild. On the other side of the workshop a trio of XK's were
approaching completion. Two XK120's, a left hooker in a deep
shining black will be heading to the US from where it came as a
bare shell many years ago, and a RHD in Jaguar British Racing Green
staying closer to home. A fixed head XK150, also in black, completed
Being an MG fan I could not miss the MGA FHC
awaiting restoration. Fully patinated from many years abandoned under
the mid west sunshine it was impossible to see what colour this car
used to be. "It's virtually complete" reported Dave, "apart from
one section of the three piece rear window". Stored in the same family
since 1975 when it was taken off the road, this is truly a time
warp car. If this takes your fancy I'm afraid your too late. One of
Dave's client's caught a glimpse and put his marker on it there and
then. Another one to see when ready for the road.
Just when I thought I had seen it all, the crème de la crème caught my eye. A truly original and magnificent aluminium bodied XK120
being restored, one of only some 200 odd chassis hand built at the
start of the XK120 production, before the change to all steel bodies.
Dave had bought chassis no 120 (Ed 'nice touch, what a
coincidence') which was purchased new by motoring journalist
Henry Manney III in 1950, probably in Los Angeles. Henry wrote for Road
and Track magazine in the US, but traveled across Europe as well.
shell of a car sat right next to chassis No3 in the US, also in a similar state. For
those not aware chassis No3 was the first XK120 shipped to the US and
bought by Holywood film star Clark Gable. The front of No 3 had
been removed and by time Dave purchased No 120 and got it home
to Scotland it managed to acquire the No 3 front end. Dave has worked out tell
tale give aways to conclude this car now has the Clark Gable front end,
meaning chassis No 3 which won concours at Pebble Beach in 2011
probably has the chassis number 120 front end. Fascinating twist for
the provenance trail.
Dave has chosen to finish the car
in Pastel Blue Metallic, only available for XK120's from 1949 to 1952.
Finding the paint code took Dave a lot of detective work, and thanks to
his paint specialist he has managed to have a few tins made up. Another
car I must see when completed. Pity that it will probably be well
outside my budget.
There is always an amusing
highlight, and a car full of Dutch visitors provided this years
surprise and made us all smile. Arriving in a Volvo 244 can be loosely
considered a classic, but covered in corks has to be a first.
crew run Bottelier Laurijssens wine shop in Belgium and recycle bottle
corks that customers collect and return. These are made into cork tiles
and the like. However with screw top wine bottles they are becoing less common.
The car has entered many 'garbage runs' where the car must cost no more
than 500 euro's, so they get plenty of comments from this one. Oh, and
it only runs on Unleaded Bordeaux fuel! Finally the bumper sticker "Botellier Laurijssens uw
topslijter' is the shop and supplier 'altijd iets goeds onder de kurk'
means 'everything is good under the cork'. Well of course.
200 classic owners and enthusiasts visited during the course of the day,
coming from far and wide, and after the Glamis Extravaganza. A great
turnout and everyone thought it was a superb opportunity to enjoy and see
so many classics being kept on the road. Looking forward to next year
already. Thanks to Dave, Hazel, and Gareth for a unique BBQ with a difference..
Updated 14 July