1999 Palo Alto All British Car Meet

Click on each image for a larger version.

A bevy of MGs join Triumphs, Austins, Rovers, Jaguars, and other variegated British cars, mostly sports cars at the 1999 edition of Palo Alto, California Brit Car Day.

The Golden Gate Lotus Club is well represented this year. 48 stunning Lotus sports cars spanned the range from full race, to vintage racer, to Seven, to FWD M100, to 179 mph Esprit V8s. This year Europas and Esprits seem to dominate the attendance with perhaps fewer Sevens and original Elans than last year's event.

For me and many others the highlight of the event is a RHD Elise brought over as a daily driver by a U.K. engineer working in the U.S. The buzz is understandable for one shining and extremely rare example of these outstanding cars running on North American roads. White Elan in front of Elise is from Kiyoshi's stable. Part of the Jaguar club can be seen in the distance.

The white full-race Europa seen to the right of the Elise above has a Cosworth BD making about 250hp. It's intake is elaborately reworked to pipe air from the front of the car through the cabin back to the engine. A Motec computer controls the fuel injectors and the exhaust is custom welded. The dry sump equipment is not visible in these images.

Tom Griffiths, who also owns an original Eleven, brought his black former John Morton 23B once again this year. Tom says the 23 is further restored but not running yet. (Thumb in the lens is not part of the restoration.)

The details of the 23 are mainly for my benefit as I build out my Xanthos 23 replica.

As he describes in his Chapman Report coverage of the event, GGLC President Scott Hogben's Seven has made significant strides since last year, even beyond fenders now in green.... Next year we'll be expecting a bonnet, Scott, in matching green. :-)

British Car Day is a heart-warming treat for fans of these interesting, soulful, and occasionally quirky cars. Cheers!