Saint Edwards Park opened it’s gates and grassy knolls to some visitors across the Atlantic ‘pond’ on July 25 as the All British Field Meet (ABFM) held its annual car show and swap meet in Kenmore.
Car enthusiasts, of the UK-variety, clamored for space at the ABFM and for the opportunity to represent what their brand had to offer, even Deloreans representing the Ireland and Aurora Cobras representing Canada came out to the park to partake of British motoring culture.
“It’s been a wonderful day, the rains held of mostly, but being a british car show, that was rather fitting,” said Gary Cavett, the owner of a 1981 Delorean.
“I found my Delorean through Delorean Motor Cars Northwest [DMC Northwest],” Cavett said. “I’ve had it a number of weeks, but I’ve been looking for a number of years. It’s a lot of fun.
DMC Northwest, located in Bellevue, is one of six DMC locations worldwide, most of which are in the US.
Of course, it’s not just about celebrating the cars people from the British Isles have produced, but also about celebrating history and heritage of car culture.
“It was ‘62 when my grandfather bought this car as a wreck – a total – and he designed this body for his car; his design, his sheetmetal work,” said Michael Ibson, owner of a 1960 Triumph TR3 custom.
The car had gone to other family members until it was garaged and found its way to Ibson.
“He did several cars through the years, but this is the one we’ve been able to keep in the family,” Ibson said. “He was an engineer, a garage-based engineer without training, but what’s interesting is the little things he did on this car that I’m finding. Just the little things he would design and build that remind me of him.”
Of course, there’s also car culture, too, and celebrating the work that each and every person puts into their cars.
“I restored it from the ground up, including the bodywork, paint, mechanical – everything,” said John Wolslegle, owner of a TVR Vixen. “Just the joy it gives me, it’s such a unique body style and shape, it’s just a lot of fun to look at.”
Woslogle trailered his TVR several hundred miles to get to the ABFM, but it was well worth heading down the road for the event.
“This is my first time to this meet, it’s low key and a lot of great cars here, so I was very happy that I came,” Woslogle said.
The heritage of British vehicles is long, it’s not just about the nation, but the journeys that these vehicles take us to.
“Since we left South Africa… Since we arrived in Uruguay we’ve done about 60,000 miles because we circumnavigated South America, most of those countries we went to twice,” said Graham Robert Bell, owner of a 2003 Land Rover Defender with a tent on the top, who is globetrotting with his wife, his 16-year-old son and his 10-year-old daughter.
“We really enjoyed most of them. It’s difficult to pinpoint one. Brazil was fantastic, Columbia was amazing, Bolivia was mindblowing and the United States has been something fantastic,” Bell said. “One of my favorite places would be a coffee growing town called Cocarelle in Brazil, the kids went to school there and it was very peaceful.”
While they do miss South Africa, they still have a ways yet to go. They need to arrive in Alaska and head back out before the next month.
“We’re from South Africa, what do we know about snow?” Bell said. “I’m looking forward to the beer at the end of it, to celebrate, but from Alaska the idea is to get the Landrover back around through the US, maybe Mexico, for the Winter.”
He’d like to head back up to Newfoundland, in the Northeast of North America, then ship the Defender to Greenland, then to Europe to tour around for a while.
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For one family, the ABFM was part of the trip, which started three years ago in South America, for others, the ABFM was a celebration of all things British Motoring.
Deanna Isaacs writes an auto column at TheAutoReporter.com.