Re: 5th Annual British Car Drivers Week - May 19 27, 2001
This is a reminder that British Car Drivers Week is alive and well, and
continues to take place during the last full week of May just like every other
year since it began in 1997. Many thanks to all the British car enthusiasts
within the British car community for helping to do their part to promote our
very special cars, the hobby, the clubs, and the very crucial businesses that
support our hobby. If you know of any British car clubs that are not
participating, maybe you can send this message their way. After all, a very
important part of their duty as a service to you and the hobby is to promote
the marque, isn't it?
As many of you know, I have been promoting this week since its debut. The
timing was right for me because during the time the idea fell onto my platter
I was heavily involved with my British car projects. I was buying parts,
researching from subject-related books and magazines, joining clubs, etc...
It didn't take very long before I was realizing how these cars - which were
once a common household name - were slowly becoming an unknown. I'd go for
weeks during the summer months without spotting any older British cars on the
roads in my part of the country. I'd make a run to the local auto parts store
and ask the clerk for a simple part for my car. Not only was this person
unable to find a reference for a simple spark plug or oil filter for the car,
they hadn't even heard the name associated with an automobile!
Try walking into your local fast-food restaurant and place an order for a
double cheese Hong Shao Rou with a side order of Chao Qin Chai, then observe
the interesting look on the workers face. This is very similar to the look
one might receive at the parts store when asking for an oil filter for their
British car Inquire about a part for an old Ford, Chevy, or Chrysler product,
and you'll receive a "now you're speaking my language" kind of look.
Domestic or not, British cars were once very popular in the United States and
most of the names were widely known, but thats not necessarily the case with
our younger generation. Am I dating myself?
British Car Drivers Week is more than just an annual local field event for
show and tell. It's an annual week that enables the British car-driving
enthusiast to take the show to the streets of their town and allow their
favorite car to be seen and appreciated on the road and in the public eye.
The enthusiast who knows the importance of preserving and promoting something
that is of historical value to the world of automobiles. These cars are an
icon that represents an exciting motoring period that we can help keep alive
by promoting while driving and enjoying our cars at the same time. It is an
appreciation week just like any other date you might find listed on your
favorite calendar found hanging on the wall. Its a reminder to all of the
people who are not typically exposed to these cars, that our hobby is alive
British automobile development can be traced back well into the 19th Century,
and their early developments were a valuable asset which helped shape the
modern automobiles of any origin being produced today. However true this
statement is I dont know for sure, but I was once told that if public
libraries were filled with books on subjects populated strictly by their
importance to the world, more libraries would have to be built because
automotive related books alone would fill the entire existing libraries, and
then some! As I have witnessed recently, a lot of our British car related
books are slowly becoming out of print. New enthusiasts become new readers
thus the need for second and third printings.
Finally, feel free to take advantage of the British Car Week web site. It is
a free service for anyone interested in publicizing a British car related
event, business, club, or personal web page. It is not only used for
publicizing the annual week, but all aspects of the hobby throughout the
entire year. People browsing the Internet often visit the site and find it a
useful tool for finding their way to other interesting sites relating to the
British car hobby. It caters to all British marques, so its a great place
for newcomers to learn more about their British car interests. Our trained
staff are sitting at their stations continually striving for new ways to
improve the site and welcome new ideas.
As always, top off those dashpots, grab your goggles and driving gloves, its
time to have some fun!!
Have a fun, safe driving season..
Scott Helms Curator/British car enthusiast
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