800 or So Specimens of British Ingenuity: Enjoying the 2017 All British Day in South Australia

2017 All British Day South Australia

Sunday the 12th of February saw British cars of every marque and model imaginable gather in the Echunga Recreation Ground for the 2017 All British Day. Andrew Stevens has kindly been in touch with the news and some photos from the day, which you can enjoy below!

Thanks to Andrew Stevens. Images by Andrew Stevens

All British Day 2017
Echunga, Adelaide Hills

The All British Day is now firmly established as one of the premiere motoring events in the Adelaide calendar. With its new home at the beautifully manicured grounds of the Echunga oval, and a seemingly direct connection to whichever deity controls the weather in Adelaide, the ABD committee brings in the best of British and a day out for the whole Adelaide motoring community.

For those of us lucky enough to regularly participate in the Adelaide Lotus runs, Echunga is a waypoint on the way to destinations such as Strathalbyn, Meadows, or Macclesfield. Too close to Adelaide and the Stirling turnoff to stretch the legs of the Lotus, but not close enough for a simple trip to get a good coffee. That middle ground makes it a perfect spot to host 800 or so specimens of British ingenuity, and sufferers of the black plague that is Lucas electrics.

Whether it be automobiles, busses, trucks (or should I say lorries), motorbikes or aeroplanes, the All British Day delivered. This year’s featured event was the mighty BSA, which for me brought back memories of learning to ride a 250 Bantam somewhere before my teenage years.

2017 All British Day South Australia

Noticeable amongst the blacks, dark blues, and burgundies of Jaguar, Super Swallow, Vanden Plas and Aston Martin, was a riot of colour and decades of achievement from the corner of the world that is Lotus. In a world where many of the marques on display have dwindled or died (sadly Singer, Austin Healey, etc), the Lotus display was an ode to perseverance and holding true to the core values of Chapman’s legacy.

The CLA display had 16 cars covering the 1950s to current day starting with Mike Bennett’s gorgeous Lotus 12, shortly to be the star attraction at the Phillip Island Historics and Melbourne GP. Running through the mighty Lotus 7 in series 3 form, a couple of Elan +2s (both the 130/5 variant), including Ian Burman’s recent acquisition from NSW, an Eclat representing the front engine brigade, and a couple of wonderfully presented Esprits.

While Michael Bachia’s red Esprit is the envy of every concours participant, special mention must go to Chis Sofokleous who presented the result of a three-year restoration – his pristine white Bond replica Esprit complete with GBR-007 plates and champagne bucket. Unfortunately I arrived after the Bond girls had left, missing out, as did the local press.. and most of the paying public.

2017 All British Day South Australia

All British Day secretary David Baird had deposited both his Lotus Cortina and Talbot Lotus before being dragged away to be the media star and face of the ABD. Come on David, you know that a Lotus Carlton would complete the set. Or a Twin Cam Escort, or.. or..

Of the modern set, we had Series 1 and 2 Elises, Exiges, and two Evoras courtesy of the Kazis twins. Wayne Macintosh missed out finishing his Elan Sprint by a matter of hours, but substituted his immaculate Aubergine Elise, while Lee, Tony, and Darren showed off the various Elise options.

Elsewhere, a couple of Lotus Cortinas, T/C escorts, BDA Escorts, and a subtle purple twin cam-engined Escort Mexico melded with the diverse display.

With an aerial display accompanied by the roar of a static Rolls Royce Merlin, and the wares of specialist restoration, engineering and motoring bookshops, there was plenty to see, do and spend. In one corner the rattle of stationary engines, in another the giant Shannons Bus presenting the best in show prize to a beautifully restored two-tone blue MG TC. If there was a better way to spend a Sunday, it probably wasn’t legal.

So, after a day wandering the best in British, was there one car that I’d like to tuck in my garage ? Well it was a hard ask, despite the presence of an E Type that would have put most operating theatres to shame for cleanliness, ultimately I couldn’t go past a car that debuted at Monaco almost 60 years ago with Graham Hill at the wheel. If you have to ask, then you need to do your research.

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