By Paul Williams
This fall I went to the British Car Day at Bronte Creek, located just outside of Oakville, Ontario. This is a great end-of-season bash for owners of LBCs, and the good news is that there were about 1000 cars on display at the Bronte Creek event. This was the 15th annual British Car Day at Bronte and apparently, it’s never rained. The Toronto Triumph Club organizes the event, and now go so far as to guarantee that it won’t rain on the day, but their luck’s got to run out sometime.
This is a one-day Sunday event. I stayed at a hotel in Toronto, then drove down to get there around 9:00am. It starts at 10:00 and there’s no pre-registration. You show up, give them ten bucks, get your kit and drive to your assigned spot. It’s all tightly organized, with various marques and models each having a specified area.
There were so many cars I couldn’t begin to properly see them all. Unlike many other events, there were lots of family saloons, like the Hillman Minx, Sunbeam Rapier, many Minors, Rovers, Cortinas, Anglias, Humbers, even an Austin Atlantic. Not only did there seem to be an example of every British car, there typically was a choice of colours for even the rarest models. There was only one Aston Martin Lagonda, though. It was white.
Several vendors set up shop for the event, but those selling T-shirts and hats didn’t seem to be doing much of a business. On the other hand, the parts people were doing fine. I bought a nice used centre console for my MGB for $5.00. Can’t beat that.
The Toronto Triumph Club has some pictures of the 1997 event. It looks much the same as this year’s.
An alternative, and extremely popular British Car event is the British Invasion at Stowe, Vermont. This event attracts Canadians from the Martimes, Quebec, Eastern and Southern Ontario, as well as US participants from the Eastern states. Typically it runs in mid-September so you can’t go to Bronte and Stowe. This is more of a major weekend show, with activities scheduled from Friday to Sunday. Pre-register and sign in on Friday evening and you’ll get one of the best pre-registration packages going. One year I got an umbrella, a year’s supply of Meguires waxes and polishes, a camera and a pile of coupons and literature. Not bad. And of course, at Stowe you get the fine mountain scenery.
I suppose if you’re really keen you could pre-register for Stowe, get your kit and do the reception on Friday evening, participate in the show on Saturday, drive down through Niagara Falls to Bronte on Saturday evening, and do the Bronte show on Sunday. In a TR3.
Cheers for now!