Shop Profile – Leyland British

British sports cars are ideal cars for the spring, summer and fall in New England. Winter? Not so much, but for the other three seasons the winding rural roads and abundant foliage make for perfect conditions to enjoy your car outside the crowded cities and busy freeways. As the number of repair shops specializing in British sports cars declines through the inevitable retirement of their proprietors, it makes the handful that remain all the more special. Leyland British is one of those survivors, performing service and restoration work for Austin-Healey, MG, Jaguar, Sunbeam and Triumph.


Just a few examples of customer cars at Leyland British

More than 40 years ago, Erick Van Sickle formed Leyland British in the bucolic setting of Arundel, Maine, born out of his love and affection for British sports cars. His longevity made it possible for him to be around for the withdrawal of the original wave of manufacturers, purchasing the entire parts stock from the local British Leyland dealer in 1982, providing his shop with a big surplus of valuable parts, some of which remain today.


The shop is a fixture in the New England British car scene

Unlike many small shops, Leyland British has its own onsite paint booth, rotisserie lift and inspection pit, allowing the shop to handle both large and small projects with equal ease. Over the years, Erick has continued to collect both NOS and used parts, giving him one of the largest inventories in the country. The shop specializes in rolling restorations, spreading out the work over time to allow a customer to spend more time with a car on the road and making the process more affordable to boot at a pace that fits both time and budget.


Some of Abingdon’s finest and great examples of the quality of the shop’s work

If you’re in the area, Erick is always glad to spend time chatting about British sports cars and we recommend taking the time to stop and browse the parts barn for that hard to find piece that you’ve spent years looking for. All in all, a great place to spend a few hours on that New England road trip and one of the last ‘real’ experienced specialty shops.


Leyland British. 114 River Road, Arundel, Maine, 04046

'Shop Profile – Leyland British' has 1 comment

  1. August 31, 2016 @ 9:26 pm Norbert Peters

    It was the fall of 1984, clear skies and sunny days in Kennebunkport, Maine. My girlfriend and I had driven down from Canada, Ottawa Ontario, to be exact, to see the fall colours and enjoy the east coast in a 1974 1/2 rubber over rider MGB. One morning the B would not start, I thought it was a solenoid but no shop in town seemed familiar with that odd, little car. Fortunately the young lady at the front desk knew of a chap in “the woods” who had a few of these type cars on his father’s front lawn. We had the car towed, met Eric, who was a 1 man show back then and he wandered off into the apple orchard where he kept parts cars. Eric returned and fixed the B, no problems. Made it back to Canada without any further issues. Thanks Eric.
    While he was doing the repairs I looked at photo book of a rebuilt 73 B, amazing, the B had T-boned a tree and in the photos looked beyond hope. By the end of the album it was like there was a new B sitting in the shop.
    That memory of his repair of the B is something my wife and I still talk about 32 years later when we reminisce about our vacations. We often wondered if Eric was still in the British car business and we were both glad to read about his success.
    There is still a 74 1/2 B in the garage, (different one unfortunately) but now we are on Vancouver Island so Arundel is a little to far to say thanks for the assist years ago.


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