Aston Martin DB MK III
Aston Martin DB MK III. Click image to enlarge

Story and photos by Coulson Askew

Photo Gallery: 2007 Vancouver All British Field Meet

Vancouver, British Columbia – Slate-grey skies and heavy showers greeted the parade of classic British cars as they assembled on the lush green lawns of Vancouver’s VanDusen Gardens last Saturday morning – but that didn’t deter over 500 classic car owners from as far away as Oregon from bringing their beautiful classics to the 22nd annual edition of the Vancouver All British Field Meet.

Streams of classic MG’s, Triumph’s, Austins, Minis, Healeys, Lotuses, Sunbeams, Rovers, Aston Martins, Jaguars, Bentleys, and Rolls-Royces took their assigned places at picturesque Van Dusen Gardens on Saturday morning. Proof that God is an Englishman was confirmed as the Sun emerged just as the general public arrived to view the assembled cars, accompanied by the music of the Little Mountain Brass Band belting out classic British melodies.

This year the featured marques were Aston Martin and the Austin Healey “Bug Eye” Sprite. For many Canadians, their first experiences in sports cars were behind the wheel of the fun to drive, affordable Sprites and Midgets. These cars created a whole generation of sports car enthusiasts that continues to this day.

Aston's DB9 Vantage and DB6
Aston’s DB9 Vantage and DB6. Click image to enlarge

Aston Martin was well represented by an interesting array of cars: John Fairclough from Bradner, B.C. brought his black 1934 Aston Martin Ulster. From the Bertelli design era, it featured a 1.5-litre single overhead cam four fed by twin SU carburetors with a dry sump lubrication system producing about 80 horsepower.

Other Astons included a beautiful DB MK III, a DB6 Volante, one of only 140 made; a DB7, and finally rounding out the lineage, 2007 models of the Vantage and the DB9.

The MG marquee was also comprehensively represented including a handful of TC’s, one featuring a belt driven supercharger feeding its SU carb, TD’s up through MGA’s and B’s and C’s.

AC Ace, 1962
AC Ace, 1962. Click image to enlarge

A rare and beautiful AC Ace powered by a Bristol engine commanded a great deal of attention. Of course, this is the car that was the genesis of the Shelby Cobra era.

However the show stopper for this reporter had to be the 1911 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost owned by Marny and John Pierson of West Vancouver. It is the oldest Royce in Canada, and immaculately presented, it epitomized the Edwardian era of style, elegance and attention to detail. Powered by a straight six of about 7 litres it cruises comfortably at 80-85 km/h. The coach work is by Hooper & Company of London, England as a Saloon Limousine.

1911 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost Saloon Limousine
1911 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost Saloon Limousine. Click image to enlarge

For many of us over 40, the cars on display evoked memories of our love affair with British cars and the glory days of the British motor industry. But while this event has traditionally featured classic British cars, more and more new models have been appearing at the show. This year, these included the Lotus Elise and Exige, Aston Martin Vantage, Jaguar XK, Bentley Arnage, and Mini Cooper and Cooper S. Hopefully, this new generation of future British classics will keep the flame alive for a younger generation of British car enthusiasts.

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