All British Field Meet: Politely Parked

It’s safe to say that British cars get the short end of the stick – at least here in the United States.

There are plenty of German and Japanese car meets, even brand specific events, but you’re much less likely to come across something like the All British Field meet, as held at Portland International Raceway last weekend.

Maybe it’s just because Trevor and I are a bit younger than your typical British car fan? For example, my grandpa switched from being a Porsche enthusiast in his youth to retiring in an MG Midget. Either way, we felt a gap, so we headed out to see the Queen’s carriages.


If I am being completely honest, I attended the event almost entirely to gawk at the Minis. However, I changed my focus a bit after being greeted by a stunning patchwork of old British beauties.

The organizers stitched the lawn layout together based on make and model, which is much preferred over the surprising number of events that are laid out like a free-for-all mess of a parking lot.


My first stop was the patch of Jaguar E-Types. Always a favorite, there’s something so seductive about the lines of these cars. Taken piece by piece, they actually have some very odd features – a fishy face, a long body, and bulbous cabin – but when you put it all together it just works so well.


I’ll be honest, in the past E-Types were the only British car I really cared about — well, besides Minis, of course — but the All British Field Meet helped open my mind a little.


At first, I passed by a rather large cluster of small British roadsters several times to access the bathrooms, and they hardly slowed my pace. These cars are fairly commonplace in the US so I’ve never really taken a good look at them, but I spotted Trevor giving some attention to the smiley little cars and, realizing I was becoming a bit jaded, figured I should reassess my stance.


Triumphs, MGs, Sunbeams, and Austin-Healeys are all fairly similar looking, at least to me. I am sure people who don’t especially care about German or Japanese cars also see monotony where I see huge discrepancies between brands.

Come to think of it, my earlier-referenced grandpa with the MG has indeed announced how odd and identical Japanese cars look to him.


Anyway, these British brands might be abundant and affordable, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t unique or exciting little cars. Fun, lightweight, and nimble, they seem to be the British Miata of my grandpa’s era.

So, mental note to self: Just because something is common and doesn’t break the bank (or is owned by a grandpa), doesn’t mean it can’t be cool.


It wasn’t all Midgets, TR6s and other topless cars at the event, though.


A sporty Ford Escort Mk2 cozied up next to a Mini, both appearing rally ready. And I have to say, these Escorts we never got here in the US are undeniably rad; their boxy, highly-functional body lines just look right.


Then, toward the rear of the field was a cluster of vintage Land Rovers, a cult favorite.

If vintage cars aren’t your thing there were a few newer Jaguars hanging around, but let’s be honest – no one was really here for them.


On the topic of honesty, I didn’t head into this meet thinking I would leave with the Speedhunting high that comes along with discovering new and interesting cars. I was just there for the Minis, at least at first.

However, surprise is a powerful thing and I left feeling expanded and excellent (and English), with the afterglow of any good event.

Sara Ryan
Instagram: pockowokosara

Photos by Trevor Yale Ryan
Instagram: tyrphoto



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As a "younger" guy, I would absolutely love an old British car. Namely a Jag XK120, e-type, or Auston Healy 3000, 100-6, or even a hot rod Bentley. However, at this time my disposable income ceiling hasn't quite reached the height that these cars still command. I suspect a lot of young enthusiasts feel the same. They have an irritating feeling of being just a bit out of reach.


I am a "younger" guy at 37. I have been into British cars since before I had my license and worked at a shop specializing in them for quite some time. Let me save you some time. Healey 3000s and 100-6's are horrible cars. Great to look at but thats about it. Bentleys are massively overcomplicated nightmares. Jags are pretty and very well engineered but come with quite the price tag that is borderline worth it. There are still deals to be had with the XJS (classic on the rise) and the XJ6 (prettiest sedan ever built).

The entry cost is low and very reasonable for MGs, Triumphs, and a few other of the big makes. The MGB is the '32 Ford of the British car world. Anything from I-4 to V12 have been swapped in with kits available. IRS? Check. Kit of that. IFS system with modern geo? Check and bolt in ready. Go buy an MGB and change the "would love" to "love".


Yeah, MGs and Triumphs have been seemingly overlooked for a while. Lots of support and a pretty low cost of entry. Lots of the other stuff is quite pricey, though.


This. As a 23-year-old (picked up my Spitfire 1500 at 19), I can agree on the lower entry cost of a Triumph. They may not be the most reliable, but they are dead simple to work on, and if properly maintained, most of the stigmatized "unreliability" seems to disappear.


Not a single full photo of that yellow Lola T70? Disappointing. ;)


Haha it'll be getting its own little feature from the show soon.


Then please disregard my comment and im looking forward to it!


Sure, gloss over the Lola T-70 and focus on the Daimler Dart... Are you mad?


The Lola isn't quite a Lola, but it's still getting its own spotlight later on. Check back.


Somewhere between Germany's brutal efficiency and Italy's flagrant sexiness lies British autos: fun, pretty, practical cars that like to break hearts and water pumps.


Oh man... Love looking at these photos. Makes me wish we had slightly bigger shows of this nature back in Virginia. Last one I remember fondly was Classics on the Green held up at New Kent Winery, but sadly that show is no longer happening. As stated before, Triumphs are a cheaper way to get into British cars, and the green Spitfire looks almost identical to mine, except with smaller wheels. Fantastic pictures as always!


We do have shows like this in Virginia. Britain on the Green, British Car Day, and Hunt Country Classic, just to name a few.


Thanks for the reply! I guess I should have clarified: near coastal VA, as it seems most of the shows tend to be up north or out west. But glad to know that there are a good number happening.


The PNW providing a proper English summer only adds to the ambiance.


Haha for sure. I thought the same thing, although I didn't want to throw my British friends under the bus by pointing this out as they get enough abuse from the weather itself...


I really, really like classic British cars, especially the Jaguar E-Type, Sunbeam Tiger, Jensen Interceptor, Morris Mini, and pretty much any old Aston Martin. My overall favorite, though, is probably either the Jaguar XJ220 or the Sunbeam Tiger. I have actually worked on a Sunbeam Tiger prject car, and yes, they are complicated, but not overly so, and I enjoyed myself thouroghly. And hey, who doesn't like a '70 Ford Escort?


I really like classic British cars. My favorites are probably either the Jaguar XJ220 or the Sunbeam Tiger, the latter more for its appearance on the Get Smart movies rather than the fact that I had a project one I worked on. And I can now truthfully say that I even like tinkering with classic British cars.


Came here for vintage Lotus', left very disappointed. I may be biased because I grew up in a classic British household, specifically Lotus', and I have a '74 Europa myself, but I'm 24 years old and have loved the quirkiness of small, lightweight British cars for as long as I can remember