25 April 2010

Portland's 2010 Spring Autojumble

One of the sure signs of spring in Oregon is the Club “T” MG Autojumble, an all-British swap meet now in its 14th year. British car enthusiasts gathered around an old Portland office building on April 25 to pick up new projects or to offload others they’ve given up on finishing. Collectors also continued to bring their cars to test the market.

This year’s event drew about two dozen dealers and collectors with stalls, ranging alphabetically from British Auto Works to Vintage Motorbooks. Outside in the 60-degree sun were about 20 cars for sale, including a partly restored 1934 Humber Snipe padded roof, side-mount sedan for $9,995 and a 1948 Austin Devon for $1,700 (both on trailers). There was also an unreasonably straight and shiny early ’70s Land Rover 88 with a soft top and a 1980 black and silver Limited Edition MGB with 25,000 miles for $12,000.

A 1958 olive green "survivor" Jaguar 3.4 Mk1 sedan seemed a particularly good buy at $25,000, especially with wire wheels, four-speed and a California black plate.

Other interesting finds included a rare orange (they called it Topaz) ’73 Triumph TR6 with 13,000 miles, a green 1980 TR7 Anniversary Edition and a mid-’80s Jaguar XJ6 for $2,000 – the last two for masochists. On the other hand, a sound baby blue 1958 TR3 roadster with overdrive and wire wheels was offered for $14,995.

Attendees drove in another 20 cars of interest, including an immaculate 1955 Austin Healey 100S in trademark purple and white belonging to collector Bob Ames. An early ‘60s pale green Ford Cortina that actually hadn’t been painted Lotus colors was also in the parking lot, along with a superb gunmetal blue Series 1 Jaguar E-Type coupe with Oregon’s favorite “Pacific Wonderland” plates.

Collectors offered a wide range of parts inside the chilly concrete parking structure. Gearheads could find starters, generators, old bumpers, and new reproduction chrome for MGs and Triumphs – even a louvered Moss Motors Healey 100 hood (list $1,295, your price: $975).

The hood sat next to a barn-find ’53 Healey 100 with the cylinder head removed. It could have been yours $16,000, the first of many checks you’d be writing and probably a just 30 percent deposit on the finished product.

As one stallholder said to a customer: “Take your pick! When I leave all this will be in different piles: steel and aluminum for Schnitzer Steel, and junk.”

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