The Search/False Starts
My wife blames Automobile Magazine's car-collecting addict, Jamie Kitman. He's the one who planted this vintage-British-car idea in my head, during the 2005 edition of America's British Reliability Run, for which Kitman shipped seven of his vintage British cars to Michigan for the annual rally for charity. I drove all seven, and the Blackwells were hooked. Sure, countless vintage American monsters have awesome style and power, but there's just something about the more nimble, more fuel economical, and less expensive British cars that I couldn't resist.
After months of browsing eBay, Craigslist, hemmings.com, traderonline.com, and other cars-for-sale Web sites, I finally found The One, thanks largely to the assistance of countless people whom I relentlessly pestered, including Kitman; Automobilers Sam Smith, Don Sherman, Marc Noordeloos, Richard Eccleston, and Joe Lorio; Richard Truett from Automotive News; Stuart Fowle from Motive Mag; Reliability Run kingpin Blake Discher; University Motors' MG impresario John Twist; members of the Sacramento British car club and the North American MGB Register; and a host of other friends and family. False starts varied widely in price, condition, and location and featured two '69 MG B/GTs, a '73 B/GT, an '80 Triumph Dolomite Sprint, a '67 Triumph TR4-A, a '66 Triumph Herald, two '67 Sunbeam Alpines, a '70 Alpine hardtop, a pristine '59 Hillman Minx (not pictured), a '74 Hillman Imp, and a Mark 2 English Ford Cortina.
Photos courtesy of car owners.