Too Fast, Too Old and British

I have owned more than fifty British cars over the past 38 years. Many would say it was a flaw in my character. I currently own just four. My first car ever was a fairly new 1959 Morris Minor convertible, black, red interior and a white top. It lasted through my senior year in high school, freshman year in college and my first year in the army.

Thirty some odd years later I raced a 1959 Bug Eye Sprite that still kind of resembles a Bug eye. It is a fun car with its 948 cc engine tweaked to hand grenade level, red line is 9000 RPM. It has computerized ignition with a zillion volts, roller rockers, special cam, nitrated crank, Carrillo rods, 40 over Venolia pistons, ported and polished head, thru the tunnel headers, oil cooler, Accusump, jell battery, removable steering wheel, special rib cage dog ring gear box, 4.53 rear gear with a Quaife limited slip and double bearing rear hubs, coil over suspension, fiberglass rear fenders and a front end designed to cheat the wind as much as SCCA will allow. I still have less than $10,000 in the car.

A great way to go racing most would say. Yes and no. First SCCA wants all the old British iron to go away because it has no way to gain monetary favors from manufacturers that no longer exist. The problem is that in the production classes, there are very few new cars that can compete except in E Production. F, G and H are still dominated by older British cars with years of development behind them. Even the E Production national champion last year was a Sunbeam Tiger and the dominant cars in GT-5, where the rules favor several Japanese cars, the 1275 Mini is King with both front and rear wheel drive set ups.

If you want to have fun racing at any level the Early British cars have the basic design needed to be fast, handle and can be economical with loads of support from companies such as MiniMania. Just remember, if you plan to race, it is an uphill battle with SCCA and some vintage groups who are getting too many inexpensive British cars dominating their grids and winning. It can be a real disadvantage to be too fast, too old, and British. Sure is fun.