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MARYLAND BRITISH CAR SHOW - June 27, 1999     

The 1999 Bristish Car Day was held at Bowie, Maryland at Allen Pond Park.  Having once lived in nearby Crofton during the mid-seventies finding the show was not difficult. aided by the nice signs strategically placed along the way.  The day was hot and humid, but that did not stop the throngs of car lovers, who are used to adversity.

< A representation of the many Sunbeam Alpines present

Most prevalent was MG - it was an MG "lovefest" as everywhere was littered with MGBs, MGB-GTs, MGCs, MG-TDs and even one Magnette.  With the many MG vendors present, one could probably build one from scratch!  Having "been there - done that" with my own 74' 'B', they weren't a distraction.  But there were some nice cars seeling in the $6500 range, including a very nice GT that was really tempting!

< Who can't easily fall in love with the cute Metropolitan? 

The cars were distributed all around the Pond in organized fashion, according to marque.  Represented were:

  • Austin
  • MG   
  • Triumph
  • Rolls Royce
  • Jaguar
  • Rover
  • Jensen
  • Healy
  • Land Rover
  • TVR
  • Sunbeam
  • Metropolitan
  • Zephyr
  • English Ford
  • Bricklin

A lovely 1935 Morris 8 Tourer restored and maintained to perfection>


Sadly, not a Hillman could be found.   The closest being in the Sunbeam group a single solitary 1966 Sunbeam Imp.  This, to me, was as expected - unfortunately.  Had Jan Eyerman been able to attend with his Cricket. it would have been the solitary mid-sized compact (whatever) Hillman/Rootes car there.

The Imp, with current Maryland tags and registration is a 58,836 mile car in outstanding condition - just barely a notch below concours.  It is owned by Alister Bell, seen seated in the lawn chair immediately behind the car in the picture at left


Here is another shot of the car from the opposite side.  Actually, it gave me great pleasure to see the car, because it was my first person-to-person contact with one.  Also, I know many out there in Internet land have requested a feature on Imps, and this gave me the opportunity to do the snaps.   Another bonus is my purchase of a Sony Digital Mavica FD-83 just the day before.   The results speak for themselves.  Got the camera to document and record the restoration of the 59' Minx sitting in the garage.


The imp is in my favorite color combination, bright white exterior and light blue interior.  The Imp was of ill-fated design, though extremely innovative for it's time.  The four cylinder single OHV motor is slanted to fit the car and propells it through a transaxle not unlike the American equivalent found in the Corvair.  The only exception is that this car is water cooled.  It reminded me of my 1970 Fiat 850 Sport Coupe in many ways, with the smallish radiator off to one side with fan attached.  This car has been brought into the present with electronic ignition and other refinements.



The interior is truly tiny, but extremely well designed - and maintained by the present owner.  It was surprising, to me, to find the dash having the woodgrained insert - it made the car feel luxurious compared to my 59' Saloon and it's single central dash pod of metal.  Up close, the car resembles a large toy - and for that reason, I can see why it can be so endearing to those who have one, not to mention the novelty and rarity of these cars. 

<(Had to show at least one!)