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Sunday at the Depot

August 7, 2011
P200 between VWs

A P200 between two original VW Beetles (Orin O'Neill photos)

I find I don’t go to the Bellingham Farmer’s Market much. The $7 heritage tomatoes and other similar items are beyond my budget. And finding a place to park the GTS can be difficult.

No such problem on Sundays. This particular Sunday saw the annual Sunday at the Depot classic and special-interest car show in full effect. More or less.

I went to this last year, shortly after moving to Bellingham. There were a lot fewer cars this year. (I know all the Mini/MINI people were in Colorado Springs for the national event; not sure about the others) And most of the ones on display were for sale.

Want a G-Wagen?

So were some of the vehicles parked on Railroad Avenue. A Honda Silver Wing was being advertised as a “great first bike!” I would beg to differ.

P200 with sidecar

This P200 was used in a promotion by KJR Radio in Seattle when it was new. I’m told its current owner picked it up for $1,100. I’m also told it’s for sale, but not at anywhere near that price.

Packed for a road trip

The P200’s owner also had this VW Beetle on display. When I was in high school, this is what you’d be thinking of using for that epic road trip to college back east, or wherever. In high school I was rather keen on VW Beetles (one of these required chrome Porsche wheels shod with Michelin X radials, an extractor exhaust and EMPI camber compensator, of course), but have never managed to own one. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m going to be one of those rich guys at a Barrett-Jackson auction who buys one with the aforementioned goodies for $50,000.

A REAL mini

The British had an affinity for bite-size automobiles that predates Sir Alec Issigonis’ landmark Mini (upper & lower case) by several decades. This is an Austin Seven (which, oddly enough, is one of the brands the Mini was sold under). The teddy bear is a passenger.

BRG TR3

Several examples of the old-skool British Sports Car were on display. This Triumph TR3 is particularly nice. THIS is British Racing Green, folks. It is not metallic, and it is dark. Back in the days when international auto racing was a game for wealthy dilettantes, each race team represented a particular nation, and each nation had a color. Britain was this green, Italy red, Germany silver. The U.S. was white with blue frame rails. That was a long time ago.

Under the hood

There were a few Ferraris on hand (the yellow one was a Dino, which was powered by a V6 engine, and therefore not a proper Ferrari). When this one was new, it was usually a good idea to legally adopt your Ferrari mechanic, because that would be cheaper than paying him to perform the (very frequent) scheduled maintenance. New Ferraris are rather docile daily drivers, in spite of performance capabilities far beyond this example.

A nice 1991 BMW

There were several PRO3 BMW race cars on display. And this rather nice stock 1991 3-series. The PRO3 racing class is one of many designed to allow club racers to put together a low-maintenance, cost-effective race car for a relatively small investment of time and money. Emphasis on “relatively.” There’s an old saying: How do you make a small fortune in auto racing? Start with a large fortune. The Bimmer (“Beemer” refers to a motorcycle) pictured here is too nice to think about turning into a race car; you’d want a beater for that.

Audi A4 Avant

The car hobby has recently discovered station wagons. First all the 2-doors got scarce and expensive, then the 4-doors. Station wagons are relatively cheap, and pretty much all the same parts will fit. Early Audi A4s are inexpensive and there are tons of performance parts, making them very attractive to the tuner crowd. I must admit, one of my Powerball-jackpot fantasies would be making an appointment with Chip Foose for a consultation about the Fourth Estate. Ford Escort wagon, baby, YEAH!

1966 Washington license plate

In one of my dresser drawers is a 1975 green Washington motorcycle license plate, which I intend to put on something appropriate, like a Vespa P125X or P200E (or possibly a Honda CB350F). The plate above is attached to a British Racing Green 1966 Triumph TR4A. Which was for sale, BTW.

1956 Washington license plate

This plate was on a 1956 Austin-Healy 3000. As you can see, back then the plate was renewed with a metal tab. To this day, the state of Washington refers to plate stickers as “tabs.” The letter ‘A’ means it was issued in King County (Seattle); ‘B’ was Pierce County (Tacoma), ‘C’ was Spokane County, and so on. They don’t do that any more.

Hope you had a good weekend. Favicon

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5 Comments
  1. mark morris permalink
    August 8, 2011 4:15 am

    Orin,

    Great post! Looks like a fine day was had by all. Those cars are pretty cool. Thanks for the info on British Racing Green. I just figured it was a tradition thing. Any more pictures?

  2. August 8, 2011 12:55 pm

    As a matter of fact, yes:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/orinoneill/sets/72157627387474012/

  3. August 9, 2011 9:04 am

    Orin,

    A Ford Escort wagon? The last time I saw any affection given to an Escort it was by my neighbors – a family of Mexican immigrants. (All around genuine, friendly group of people, though with questionable taste in customization.) They painted their hubs red – with spray paint, and changed the color of the gas door, in addition to putting… sparkers? that hung out past the wheels, among other, sweet mods I’ve already forgotten.

    Brady
    Behind Bars – Motorcycles and Life
    http://www.behindbarsmotorcycle.com/

  4. August 9, 2011 12:07 pm

    Brady, back when I owned a race car the budget was tight, so unless something made the car faster or easier to work on, the money didn’t get spent. The 1991-96 Ford Escort has good Mazda Protege bones and LXs sold on the West Coast came with the 1.9L SEFI engine that powered my race car (a non-interference engine, BTW). I picked it up for less than the price of an Asian scooter a year or so ago, and I figure it has a good 50-60000 miles of useful life left. I even blog about it on occasion…

  5. August 12, 2011 7:48 am

    That P200 somehow looks like it is ready to deliver a big bomb. Probably pretty good at slipping through the wind, though!

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