It’s probably Western Canada’s best tailgate party. More than 500 British car owners and thousands of car enthusiasts gathered this weekend at Vancouver’s lush Van Dusen Gardens for the 33rd annual All British Field Meet.
It’s a showcase of roughly 60 different types of British automobiles and motorcycles including Jaguar, Land Rover, Triumph, Rolls Royce, Tiger and many more brands.
This is the kind of place where car owners sip tea, mull around each other’s prized vehicles and swap stories about their beloved British cars.
Martin Aveyard, a Victoria, British Columbia resident, sat on a lawn chair behind his 1972 Triumph Spitfire.
He said he bought the two-seater 24 years ago right out of college. “I was 21, came out of college and…I want a convertible to drive around. I paid $2000 for it,” he told Xinhua.
“It’s mostly stock, but somewhat modified,” he said. “It runs a set of motorcycle carburetors on it. It’s painted in Aston Martin racing green.”
When he bought it, he didn’t know much about British cars. “I drove it for a couple of years and then it fell apart,” he said.
Aveyard spent the next 12 years slowly taking it apart and putting it back together.
“I have a couple of kids,” he said. “I always joked that having kids brought way more focus to the project because my spare time was so limited that when I had an hour, you’re getting a lot done in that hour.” ‘ Aveyard said this is his fourth time at the Vancouver field meet. In all, he’s spent at least $20,000 on his green convertible, he admitted.
But he gets his money worth, he said, adding that he still drives it nearly every day and his 13-year-old daughter forbids him from selling it because “she loves to go for drives in it.”
Most people asked him about the unique paint job, he said, as dozens of people mulled around a long line of similar Triumphs parked on the sprawling lawns of Van Dusen.
Almost on cue, a middle-aged couple wandered over. “What color is that?” The woman asked Aveyard.
When the show launched more than three decades ago, it included about 100 cars. Now they have more than 500, said Joan Stewart, the show director, who took the event over from the original founders.
British car lovers always seem impressed by the vast array of manufacturers from the United Kingdom, she said.
“Look at the range of cars there,” she said. “Can you think of any other manufacturer… where there is such an incredible number of different marks?”
Stewart said the weekend event could culminate on Sunday with a drive on one of the world’s most scenic roads, the Sea-to-Sky Highway from West Vancouver to the resort town of Whistler, where another 120 cars will be displayed in the village plaza.—Xinhua