Britain motored into a small corner of Fauquier County for a few hours last weekend, bringing strolling bagpipers, wicker picnic hampers and tartan car blankets to drape over chilly shoulders.
The MG Car Club of Washington held its seventh annual rally at Svea Farm near Marshall on Sunday, attracting 175 classic cars representing 21 British manufacturers. The farm is home to Bill and Barbara Scott, owners of Summit Point Raceway in West Virginia.
US Airways Chairman Stephen M. Wolf, a neighbor and car lover, zoomed in for 20 minutes in one of his elegantly restored vintage Jaguars. He has a 10-car garage to house his collection.
Tim Rogers drove his 1996 dark green MG-F from McLean.
"It's the only one in the States," he said, explaining that his job on the defense staff at the British Embassy allowed him to bring the car to this country even though it doesn't meet U.S. standards. "These cars are very popular in England but not seen around here. Sadly, I'm not able to sell it." He'll ship it back when he returns in a year.
Michael Ford, a printing company executive from Alexandria, brought his white 1962 Triumph TR-4, a restored version of his very first car. He has spent thousands of dollars and thousands of hours perfecting every inch of the engine and body of his little car. He did not win a prize.
"These cars are not anything near what you put into them," he said.
Prizes for the afternoon included no money. Instead, there were awards for oldest car, a 1933 Rolls Royce owned by John Bays, of Springfield, and longest distance driven, by Jim Watson, of Alcoa, Tenn., 450 miles with his 1974 MG Midget.
Craig Cummings, of Alexandria, won the Ambassador's Choice Award with his 1969 MGB GT. It was presented by Robert Peirce, counselor to the British Embassy. The Queen's Selection trophy, sponsored by Thomas and Talbot Real Estate in Middleburg, went to a 1937 MG VA Saloon owned by Bron Prokuski, of Fairfax.
Not everything was British. Although the lunch in previous years offered traditional favorites such as meat pies and sausage rolls, the fare of the day was Virginia barbecue and baked beans.