There’s something charming about a bright red restored 1970 MGB cruising down Airport Road on a sunny summer day with the top down. And there’s even more charm in a dozen or more similar cars, MGs, Triumphs, Jaguars and Austin Healeys, all manner of colors making the same trip.
British car enthusiasts gathered more than a dozen times in 2009 in the first year of events for the new Headwaters British Car Club. Club vice president Tom Hodgson said the club is based in Orangeville but has members from all over, including one from Alliston.
“We opened it up to all older British cars,” Hodgson said. “We go out for a couple of hours, have a run, enjoy the countryside. It’s beautiful here.”
While Airport Road is a joy to drive, Hodgson said, Hockley Road “with all the bends” is his favorite. “We’re in a really good area for nice drives.”
With help from his son, Hodgson restored his red 1970 MGB almost 20 years ago.
“Most of us are restoring them. Mine… was a mess, all rusty,” he said. “I enjoy the open driving, and tinkering with them.” In return, he’ll be helping his son fix up an original Mini Cooper. “You just keep adding the bits until you get there,” he said. “It’s the car you wanted to have when you were young. You’re grabbing a piece of your youth. Before, it just didn’t fit in my life.”
There are an equal number of MGs and Triumphs in the club, with a few Jag E-Types and an Austin Healey. There’s a friendly competition between the MGs and the Triumphs.
The club meets every month of the year, and will have guest speakers over the winter with a mechanic in the spring talking about tune-ups and getting the car ready for the road. “In June we’re going to join all the motorcycles and see if we can raise money for (Hospice Dufferin),” Hodgson said.
The Headwaters club has made appearances at the Tottenham car show, in Elora and at the Brampton car show.
For only the second time since 1992, the major meeting of the North American MG clubs is being held in Canada. It’ll be in Belleville in June and Hodgson said it’s likely members of the club will make the trip out.
The Headwaters British Car Club began in the fall of 2008 when a group of four people met to discuss establishing a car club in the Orangeville area. The club now has more than 27 active members. For the coming winter, the club is meeting at the Black Birch in Hockley Valley. The club collected more 150 pounds of food during trips, which was donated to the Orangeville Food Bank.
For more information, visit www.headwatersbritishcarclub.org.
By Matthew Talbot