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British Parts Northwest Blog

  • Timeline of the Austin Healey Sprite

    The Austin Healey is one of the many British cars that we carry hundreds of parts for. Production on the Austin Healey began in 1952 and there were several different models, including the Sprite. Today's blog will feature the Sprite, a compact, open sports car, which was introduced in 1958.

    1958- Production began on the Sprite Mark I, a small car with "bugeye" headlights and a distinctive front style.There were 48,987 Mark Is made in 3 years.

    1961- Production on the Mark I ceased and began on the Mark II. The Mark II had the same size of engine as the Mark I, but offered more power and a drastically different body style. There were 31,665 Mark IIs made in a duration of 3 years.

    1964- The Mark II production came to an end and production began on the Mark III. The Mark III was slightly larger in size compared to the I and II and also boasted a larger engine (1098cc). There were 25,905 Mark IIIs made in 2 years.

    1966- Production on the Mark III ended and began on the Sprite Mark IV. The Mark IV was the longest produced of the Sprites (1965-1971) but had the least amount of models made, at 22,790. It was very similar in body style to the Mark III, but had a much larger engine of 1275cc.

    1971- The Healey connection was discontinued, leaving the last 1,022 models named the Austin Sprite. Production on the Sprite also ceased this year.

    See Also: Timeline of the Jaguar E-Type
    Timeline of the MG MGA
    Timeline of the Triumph Spitfire

  • British Cars Built for Racing

    British Parts Northwest Classic Car Racing

    Vintage Sports Car Racing is something that many British car enthusiasts may find of interest.  There are several classic British cars that were built specifically for racing and we wanted to highlight a few of those cars.

    Austin Healey- The Austin Healey was one of the most popular British racing cars. It was raced by the Donald Healey Motor Company in Europe at Le Mans and in Sebring in the U.S . The last Big Healey to win an SCCA National Championship was the class E Production Austin-Healey 100-6 driven by Alan Barker at the Daytona ARRC in 1965. You can find parts for several Austin Healey models here at BP.

    Jaguar- There were multiple models of the Jaguar that were involved in racing, including the C-Type, D-Type, E-Type, XJ13, XJ-C, XJ41 and XJ42. If you are the proud owner of an E-Type, you can get parts for your car, right here from our website!

    Land Rover- There are a couple of modified Land Rovers that have competed in off-road racing, specifically the Dakar Rally and the Camel Trophy.

    MG- In the MG family, the MGA, MGB, and Midget (MG Midget Racing Coupes) all had models that participated in racing. The MGA had considerable success, racing extensively in the U.S. There were MGBs that were specially tuned for racing, which achieved success including a Grand Touring category victory in the 1965 Monte Carlo Rally. There were 3 Midgets that were ordered by MG racing driver, Dick Jacobs. The cars were campaigned from 1962-1964. We have parts for the MGA, MGB and the Midget, in addition to other models of the MG.

    Triumph- The Triumph Spitfire and GT6 both had models that were built for racing. We proudly carry parts for both of these Triumph models, in addition to other Triumphs!

  • Timeline of the Triumph Spitfire

    1971 Triumph Spitfire MkIV

    The Triumph Spitfire is a two-seater British car that was first introduced in 1962. There were five models of the Spitfire sold during the production run. Here is a timeline of the life of the Triumph Spitfire:

    1962- The expensive and small Triumph Spitfire 4 (Mark I) was introduced. The Mark I was a 4-speed manual with a 1.1 L engine. There were 45,5753 of the Mark I model produced.

    1964- Production on the Mark I came to an end.

    1965- Production on the Triumph Spitfire Mark II began. The Mark II was very similar to the Mark I, but it had a more highly tuned engine. There were 37,409 Mark IIs produced in 2 years.

    1967- Production came to an end on the Mark II and began on the Triumph Spitfire Mark III. The Mark III was quite a bit different from the Mark I and II. In addition to variations in the body style, it also boasted a larger engine (1.3L). 65,320 Mark III models were made.

    1970- The Triumph Spitfire Mark IV was introduced and production ceased on the Mark III. The Mark IV brought the most comprehensive redesign to the Spitfire, with changes to the front and the rear of the car. The base price of the Mark IV was £735 ($975.12). There were 70,021 Mark IV models produced.

    1974- Production came to an end on the Mark IV and began on the Triumph Spitfire 1500. The 1500 had a larger engine (1.5L) than the previous models of the Spitfire. It was also the heaviest of the Spitfire models, weighing in at 1,750 lbs.

    1981- Production came to an end on the 1500, ending all production of the Triumph Spitfire.

    We proudly carry over 500 parts for the Triumph Spitfire, which you can purchase right here on our website or by calling us at 503-864-2001!

  • Give the Gift He Really Wants!

    Christmas is just around the corner and you are still stumped for ideas. You got your British car enthusiast a tie last year...and a pair of socks the year before. But this year you want to give him something that he could really use and REALLY wants. How about a gift certificate to BP Northwest? After all, it is a very practical gift and it will bring the car restoration one step closer to being done, which means you get your side of the garage back. What do you have to lose?

    We offer thousands of parts for several types of British cars including Austin Healey, Jaguar, Triumph, Land Rover, MG and Mini!

    For a special offer on gift certificates this year, like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter!

  • Timeline of the MG MGA

    The MG MGA is a British made sports car that was in production from 1955 to 1962, when it was replaced by the MGB. The design of the MGA was innovative from that of the older vehicles and boasted an uncommon feature, no exterior door handles.

    Here is the timeline of the MG MGA:

    1951- Designs begin on the MGA.

    1955- The MGA is officially launched and production of the MGA 1500 begins. The 1500 was the largest produced model of the MGA, with 58,750 made.

    1958- Production begins on the MGA Twin Cam. The Twin Cam featured a 1.6L engine and a double overhead cam. It was built for high performance.

    1959- Production of the MGA 1500 ends and the MGA 1600 production begins. The MGA 1600 was the second largest produced model of the MGA, with 31,501 made. There was also a De-Luxe version of the 1600 which were made with leftover special wheels and four wheel disc brakes of the Twin-Cam.

    1960- Production of the Twin Cam and 1600 models ends and the 1600 Mark II is produced. The Mark II had a larger engine and a higher ration rear axle, designed for a more relaxed drive at high speeds. There was also a De-Luxe version of the 1600 Mark II, with 290 roadsters and 23 coupes produced.

    1962- Production of the MGA 1600 Mark II ends.

    The MGA also “starred” in a few movies, including Blue Hawaii, Animal House and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.

    See Also: British Cars in the Movies, Timeline of the Jaguar-Type

  • [Video] Cruisin' Through Deer Creek Canyon in my Spitfire!

    Hey guys, it's Travis the BP guy. Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I took my 1972 Triumph Spitfire out for a ride in Deer Creek Canyon, Southwest of Denver, CO. It was a wonderful and beautiful drive and I just wanted to share a video of it with all of our favorite customers! Enjoy!

  • Insuring Your Classic British Car

    Owning a vintage car is a dream that a lot of people have, whether it be for recreation, hobby or just to have one. Along with this dream comes a lot of work and responsibility, including finding the proper insurance for your classic car. Luckily, there are specialty plans that are specific to the needs of a classic car owner.

    Collector's insurance is a special policy that is often times better and less expensive than a regular car insurance policy. The coverage is based on an "agreed value", meaning that you and your insurance provider establish an amount for the replacement cost of your car. This is often times cheaper than the "actual cash value" used on regular policies. Also, the deductibles for specialty policies is usually lower and in some cases, there is not a deductible at all.

    Before selecting the type of policy you want for your British car, make sure to shop around for the best prices and coverage. In addition, you should remember that in order to get all of the benefits of collector car insurance, there are a few restrictions. These restrictions are as follows:

    1) Age restrictions- most specialty auto insurers require policy holders to be 25
    2) Driving record- in most cases, you must have no moving violations or car accidents for three years prior to applying for a policy
    3) Current insurance- because vintage cars aren't supposed to be used every day, almost every collector car insurer requires proof of a registered, insured car for every day use
    4) Storage- when not in use, your car must be stored in a locked garage or other secure facility
    5) Mileage restrictions- most specialty auto insurers restrict the amount of mileage (usually to 1,000-5,000 miles annually)

  • Timeline of the Jaguar E-Type

    The Jaguar E-type is one of the best looking British cars ever made and was initially designed as a rear-wheel drive in two-seater form and as a two-seater convertible. There were several versions of the E-Type that were made and we are going to break down the timeline of how they came to be.

    1957- The first prototype concept version (E1A) was developed. The car was used solely for factory testings and was never formally released to the public.

    1960- The second E-Type concept (E2A) was created. This car was completed as a race car as it was thought by Jaguar at the time it would provide a better testing ground.

    1961- Production began on the Jaguar E-Type Series 1. The Series 1 was initially introduced for export only in March of 1961. The body styles for the Series 1 included 2 door coupe, 2 door 2+2 coupe and the 2 door convertible.

    1962- The limited edition Low Drag Coupe was introduced, in efforts to create a car more in the spirit of the D-Type racer.

    1963-1964- Twelve limited edition Lightweight E-Types were produced as an evolution of the Low Drag Coupe, designed for racing.

    1968- Production on the Series 1 came to an end.

    1969- The Jaguar E-Type Series 2 was introduced. It featured:
    -open headlights without glass covers
    -wrap-around rear bumper
    -re-positioned and larger front indicators and tail lights below the bumpers
    -better cooling aided by an enlarged "mouth" and twin electric fans
    -uprated brakes.

    1971- Production on the Series 2 ended and began on the Series 3. The Series 3 had a new 5.3 L, twelve-cylinder Jaguar V12 engine, uprated brakes and standard power steering.

    1974- Production on the Jaguar E-Type came to an overall end.

    More than 70,000 E-Types were sold in it's lifespan and was ranked first on The Daily Telegraph's list of "100 Most Beautiful Cars of All Time" in March of 2008.

    At British Parts Northwest, we carry hundreds of parts for the Jaguar E-Type, in addition to other models of Jaguars, Austin Healey, Land Rover, MG, Mini and Triumph.

    Related Post: Jaguar E-Type Vehicles Amongst Most Coveted Beauties

  • [Video] How to Change Your Valve Cover Gasket

    If you start to see oil leaking out from under the gasket of your British car, you will know that it is time for a new valve cover gasket. Luckily, we offer these parts for Austin Healey's, Triumph's and MG's, just to name a few.  Also this is an easy process for you to do right at home and this video will walk you right through!

    To see more tutorial videos, please visit our YouTube channel!

  • We're Here to Support Your British Car Restoration!

    Our company revolves around having love for restoring British cars and we are here to support the love that you all have for British cars as well! In order to provide this support, we not only offer thousands of parts for Triumph, MG, Jaguar and Austin Healey, but we also provide you with educational material to ease the process of taking care of your car.

    A main concern for British car owners right now is how to winterize their vehicle for the winter. Luckily, we put together a blog for you last year that will take you through each step to do so! See those steps here: How To Winterize Your Classic British Car

    We have put together several tutorial videos that will walk you through the process of taking care of maintenance issues that you may come across. You can view these videos on our YouTube channel.

    Last but not least, we also offer social media platforms through Facebook and Twitter in which you can contact us with questions, comments, concerns or just to tell us about the journey that you've had with your own British car!

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