Remote Parking and Lessons in Transportation

We’ve been running a contest on Facebook asking people to send photos with their British sports cars from back in the day. Some are cute, some are funny (particularly those from the late 60s and early 70s) and others provide an interesting glimpse into the past. One such photograph was sent in by customer Mark Shipley and what it tells us about our cars as transportation is poignant and even a bit saddening.10380861_10201997821178429_4319670534728634451_o

For those of us on the West Coast (and diehard fans from around the world) the location of both pictures is obvious. It’s the parking hill at Laguna Seca Raceway during the Historics.

The first photo (sent in by Mark) is from 1993 and was taken shortly after completion of the restoration on his E-Type.

The second photo is mine and was taken after a 6 hour drive up the coast in 2008 in my 3000.

What makes Mark’s photo so special and mine so disturbing?

Well for starters he must have gotten there very early or stayed very late because the hill is almost empty, but more importantly, check out the surrounding vehicles.

Next to Mark is a SWB 911 (likely a 1965 or 1966) that is now a real six-figure car. There is a beautiful Pagoda behind him on the hill with an Alfa Romeo GTV behind that. A 635 CSi (just like the one driven by Bruce Willis in Moonlighting) was really just a used car then but the 1979 or so 911 SC Targa and Alfa Spider were cool then and even cooler now.

P8160576 copyEven today you will see the occasional classic car out in remote parking but the days of the hill filled with great classics has likely passed for good. The 911, E-Type, GTV and Pagoda are worth too much (in the eyes of many owners) to risk damage from the mammoth SUVs parked inches away while good examples of the 6 series and Spider are getting harder to find.
Nonetheless, it showed the difference between then and now when those cars were just cars, while many consider them now something more valuable than that. This weekend when you go out for your drive do something ordinary – pick up some milk, stop in and get flowers for your significant other – just do something with your car as regular transportation.

There are those of us out there (regardless of age) who used our cars as daily drivers (rain or shine, hell or high water) and your car will appreciate the chance to go back in the day to remember when they weren’t investments or trailer queens, just daily transportation.

'Remote Parking and Lessons in Transportation' have 4 comments

  1. July 1, 2014 @ 10:34 am Charlie Haynes

    In this theme, I have just converted my 1963 MGB to negative ground and have the Moss alternator kit in my garage ready for installation. In addition, I will replace my 1980s skinny tires for a bit more contact area, install a modern radio/CD player, and do a cylinder head job, replacing one (or more) suuspect valves.
    Daily transportation, here we come!.


  2. July 10, 2014 @ 9:09 am Martin Dabrowski

    I’ve always had the attitude, “why own a car if you aren’t going to drive it?” My 1959 Bugeye Sprite is a daily driver and always has been. Not perfect but it’s a fun car to drive (2 person go-kart) and I’m constantly being asked about it. My small contribution to advertising the LBC hobby.


  3. July 23, 2014 @ 11:45 am Phil Bateman

    I bought a brand new 1976 Triumph TR6 in early 1977. It was my only car, my daily driver. I loved that car for almost 12 years. Now I’m the proud owner of a 1974 TR6. It’s a strong driver but it needs alot of TLC! I don’t think it will be a daily driver like my 76 was, but I plan to drive it as much as possible. Those were the days!!


  4. August 1, 2014 @ 4:56 pm Scott Fracis McGrath

    You’re part of the solution.

    There are reasons why a lot of those cars are climbing into the six-figures. I got rid of both my GTV and my Pagoda years ago years ago because of the costs associated with maintaining them and because I wanted more. When it came time to decide which one went to make room for the new, the ones that were dependable and easy to keep on the road stayed. Moss has done a great job of keeping my MGC running well for more than 30 years and a quarter million miles and you sell pretty much every part I would/could ever need (or I know someone else from whom I could get them reasonably). Because of this, (and the fact that we have two competing Cars & Coffee groups in S. Florida and numerous cruise ins year round) she gets driven at least twice a week. Thank you for keeping me out of that group who is too scared to drive my car for fear of what might happen to it.


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