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Windsor's 2018 British Motoring Festival 'a roaring success'


WINDSOR, N.S. — Hot on the heels of a successful British Motoring Festival weekend in Windsor, planning is already well underway for next year's bash.

The 9th annual British Motoring Festival highlighted the ever-popular MGB from July 13-15, 2018.

Ron Macnab, the chairman of the organizing committee, was pleased with the turnout for the three-day festival.

“From all reports it was quite successful. Certainly there were a good number of cars, a good turnout of participants,” said Macnab in a phone interview following the event.

“The one thing that we're a bit hazy about is the number of visitors from the public. I'd say we were in excess of 800,” said Macnab.

Last year's festival saw 130 participating vehicles from New England, Ontario, Quebec, and the Atlantic Provinces. Macnab said a total of 150 vehicles were on display at King's-Edgehill School's historic campus this year. Jim Davidson drove 1898 kilometres in his 1994 Jaguar XJS to participate in the festival, and was recognized for driving the furthest to attend.

Macnab said the appeal for owning such vehicles and attending such car shows is for the nostalgia factor.

“For the most part, these are cars that people wanted really badly when they were in their 20s or 30s. It allows them to relive their youthful days,” said Macnab.

“For me, I courted my wife in one of those cars over 50 years ago and every time I see that particular model, I'm reminded of those days.”

Macnab may have courted his wife in a sporty red MGA convertible, but he continues to woo her with a metallic gray Austin Healey convertible.

Macnab said while some people aim to win awards at car shows, his goal is to show off his ride and swap stories with fellow car enthusiasts.

“I take pleasure in putting my car out so it presents itself in a decent fashion and people come and look at it. That's all I need.”

Race car driver Mark Elliott shows off the 1970 Ford Cortina GT that his father, Gerald Elliott, bought in Windsor and subsequently modified. The two-door sedan, made by Ford England, is raced at Atlantic Motorsport Park.
Race car driver Mark Elliott shows off the 1970 Ford Cortina GT that his father, Gerald Elliott, bought in Windsor and subsequently modified. The two-door sedan, made by Ford England, is raced at Atlantic Motorsport Park.

Participants showcase their vehicles

For Derek Wood, of Centreville, it was his first time participating in the festival. He credits his friend, Bill Rupka, of Scott's Bay, for convincing him to attend the Windsor event.

The pair drove to the festival together, with Wood driving his 1951 Austin A40 pickup and Rupka driving his 1952 MG TD.

Wood's pickup was the only one of its kind at the festival.

“It was fixed up 15 years ago and nobody else could keep it going. I've towed it more than any other vehicle I've ever owned but I think I've got the bugs out of it now and it's working good,” said Wood, with a smile.

Unlike many of the collectors at the event, this is the first British vehicle he's owned.

“A guy came and wanted to trade trucks with me. He was too big to drive this one — he was too tall so it was too crowded for him — and I had a Mercury truck so him and I traded even,” said Wood. “This is my first British one. All the cars I've got are American.”

The vehicle Mark Elliott brought with him to the festival turned heads all day.

“My father bought this in Windsor in 1970. In 1974, he turned it into a race car and it's been a race car ever since,” said Elliott, showing off his heavily modified 1970 Ford Cortina GT.

Elliott's father, Gerald, who lives in Enfield, raced the vehicle first before handing the reins over to his son, who continues to compete at the Atlantic Motorsport Park in Shubenacadie.

“This is basically a family heirloom. My daughter is going to be racing it, hopefully, in the next few years,” said Elliott.

The vehicle reaches a top speed of about 220 kilometres an hour. Elliott has several wins and second place finishes under his belt with the British vehicle. He'll be in action again the last weekend of July at the Shubenacadie site.

When asked what makes the vehicle unique, he replied, smiling, “It's just the fact that it's a 48-year-old car in that kind of shape and it goes faster than most Hondas.”

Pleased with event

The three-day festival kicked off with a street party July 13 in downtown Windsor.

“It was very well attended. There were lots of people around looking at cars. It gives the public the chance to talk to the owners and find out about these cars,” said Macnab, praising the downtown eating establishments.

“It was a good, congenial place for people showing their cars to nip in and have a snack or a beer or something. It's a great location.”

The show and shine on July 14, which also featured live entertainment, valve cover races, and British cuisine, was well-attended and the awards banquet that evening was a highlight. The festival wrapped up the next morning with breakfast and a road tour of the local area.

“All in all, I'd like to think it was a roaring success,” said Macnab.

He said planning is underway for the 2019 festival, which will not only mark their 10th annual event but the 60th anniversary of the Mini — which will in turn be the featured vehicle.


And the 2018 British Motoring Festival winners are...

Longest Distance (Presented by BATANS)

Jim Davidson, 1898 kilometres, 1994 Jaguar XJS

Spectators’ Choice

1st Peter Osborne — 1956 Jaguar XK140

2nd Rick Swain — 1960 Morgan Plus Four

3rd John Hughes — 1956 MGA

Best British Motor Cycle

1st Kelvin Danells —1950 Triumph T3 Deluxe

2nd Tristan Edwards — 1995 Royal Enfield

Participants’ Choice

1st Rick Swain — 1960 Morgan Plus Four

2nd Steve Wright — 1958 Jaguar XK150 FHC

3rd Larry Yockell — 1949 MGTC

Featured Marque Chrome Bumper MGB

1st Bill Johnson — 1964 MGB

2nd Terry Williams — 1969 MGB

3rd Dave Munroe — 1965 MGB

Featured Marque Rubber Bumper MGB

1st Rosalie Cox — 1979 MGB

2nd Donna Sutton — 1978 MGB

3rd Jamie Whyte — 1976 MGB

Fastest Valve Cover

John Hughes “Nigel”

Restoration Award (Presented by Harbourside Collision)

Rick Swain — 1960 Morgan Plus Four

Preservation Award (Presented by Village Green Motor Car Company Ltd.)

Allan MacDonald — 1966 MG Midget MkII

The Car I’d Most Like to Drive Home’ Award (Presented by Rick Swain — Classic Motor Art)

Russell Graham — 1951 MGTD

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