British classics triumph at N.Carolina show

Dobson, N.C. — Seeing double — or even triple — is a danger at British sports car (and saloon) gatherings.   There are Triumph TR6s, often the same model year and color; there are look-alike MGs; Austin-Healeys are sprouting like the first dandelions of spring and there are clusters of Jaguars and Morris Minis to turn heads and delight.

And the pastoral Shelton Vineyards here, with the early greening of grape vines and a cunning brook with bridges feeding a quiet pond, provided a movie-like setting for the popular April 19-21 meet.

Vic and Judy Euliss of Burlington, N.C. were keeping out of the chilling spring wind in their 1959 TR-3A, a car Vic has owned since 2002.

“I had a TR-3 as an undergraduate student and wanted to have something like it once, again,” said the former mayor of Graham, N.C. “I bought this TR-3 online and drove it home from Houston, Tex.”

But not all on the same trip. Euliss’s TR-3 developed mechanical problems in Selma, Ala. and he returned to North Carolina without his prize. He later learned that only a wire had come loose. “If I had thought of that, I could have fixed it myself,” he said.

The information posted on the windscreen of Peter Cosmides’ 1974 MGB-GT with small-block Rover V-8 suggested there may be between 15 and 25 of these limited-production cars in the U.S.

Cosmides, of Moorestown, N.J. wrote, “The V-8 motor makes the MGB the car it should have been. . .it provided a very capable and comfortable road car that is quite at home on the highways eating up mile after mile.”

A string of Triumph V-8s had one visitor comment: “I’ve never seen so many 8s in one place.”

“And they all drove here,” responded Helen Van Cott, who with her husband Ray had made the trip from their home in Williamsburg, Va. to northern North Carolina in their TR 8 for the British car show.

“We’ve had our TR-8 a couple of years,” she said. “It has a Land Rover engine and air conditioning but no cruise control.”

Cat fancier Robert Reavis of Greensboro, N.C., set up a small display,  the gothic Cat Cult, on the ground ahead of the 1994 Jaguar XJS he was showing.

“I also own a 1985 Jaguar SJ6,” said Reavis, who has taken it upon himself to protect the reputation of all cats. His own at home is named Little Dio.

He shared his site at the vineyard with Alex Scott, a young Jaguar fan who brought copies of older publications devoted to the car but not the 1982 XJ6 he owns in Greensboro.

The father-son team of Ronald and Robert Childress of Yadkinville, N.C. were showing off their first Jaguar — a subtly curvy 1959 XK 150 which they found about a year ago.

To their delight, there wasn’t a scratch on the car, Ronald said.

“It had been restored earlier but most of it is original,” he said. “About all we did was carburetors.”

The XK 150 has a 220-horsepower 3.4-liter engine mated to a four-speed with electric overdrive, he said. It has a rated top speed of 132 miles per hour, he added.