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.
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.
Even 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.