British sports car owners tend not to just drive their cars. They live them. This devotion sparks a camaraderie among owners and has spawned numerous car clubs in the Washington area. Many were formed out of necessity: With parts in short supply club members would swap with one another.

Sharing technical expertise is still a large part of the clubs' routines, but many also publish newsletters and hold car shows. And since the cars were made to be driven, several clubs sponsor rallyes -- road events requiring car, driver and navigator to follow a fixed, predetermined course to get from one point to another.

Some of the clubs in this area include:

The Capital Area Austin-Healey Club. Meetings alternate between Maryland and Virginia and are held the first Wednesday of the month. For more information, write Dave Doyle, 12503 Two Farm Dr., Silver Spring, Md. 20904.

The Nation's Capital Jaguar Owners Club. The club's regular meetings are held the third Monday of each month. The club sponsors a car show, or Concours d'Elegance, each year. It's scheduled this year for Sept. 26 and 27 and also will feature Rolls Royces and Bentleys. For information, write: Robert N. Cressy, 2216 Washington Ave., No. 204, Silver Spring, Md. 20910.

Lotus Ltd. Contact Gary Windham, P.O. Box L, College Park, Md. 20740.

MG Car Club, Washington, D.C. Centre. Washington's MGCC is a direct descendant of the original English club, formed in 1930. Membership meetings are held the third Wednesday of the month. The club also sponsors the annual Braille Rallye, which features blind and visually impaired students as navigators, to be held July 25 in Vienna, Va. The club is actively recruiting sports car drivers and blind navigators for the rallye. For more information, contact Larry Berger, 50 Cherry Bend Ct., Germantown, Md. 20874; (301) 428-0264.

New England MG T Register, Chesapeake Chapter. This club sponsors British Car Day, the largest single gathering of British cars in the country. Members own T-series MGs, manufactured in 1955 or earlier. For more information, write Len Renkenberger, 5 Miller Fall Court, Derwood, Md. 20855.

North American MGA Register. The mid-Atlantic chapter of NAMGAR, encompassing Maryland, Virginia and the District, meets the first Wednesday of the month. For more information, write Terry King, 4717 Tara Dr., Fairfax, Va. 22032.

Potomac Area Chapter of the Triumph Register of America. PACTRA is open to owners of Triumph TR2s and TR3s. TR4 owners are welcome as associate members. Meetings usually are the third Sunday of the month. For information: Joe Silberlicht, 1116 Constitution Ave. NE, Washington, D.C. 20002.

Six Pack. Open to owners of Triumph TR6s and TR250s. For information: Andy Hundertmark, 12531 Greenspring Ave., Owings Mills, Md. 21117.

TR8 Car Club of America. Contact Mike deAndrade, 5112 Wapakoneta Rd., Bethesda, Md. 20816.

TVR Car Club of England. Contact Marq J. Ruben, 4450 South Park Ave., Chevy Chase, Md. 20815.