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Monthly Archives: April 2012

  • Why We Love Our British Car Classics

    You can certainly tell it’s springtime by the number of classic car shows popping up around town and the increased traffic of car enthusiasts taking their prized restorations out for a spin. The weather is making this a calm, warm and rather beautiful spring season throughout most of the country before the heat of summer sets in, and it’s hard to go too far on any given day without ending up ogling a classic on the road next to you.

    If you are a proud owner of a British car, you already know that there is no better time than right now to get your prized possession up to the standard you want to achieve for those driving moments and car displays. At British parts Northwest, we can help you achieve your car to the restoration readiness you desire. We stock and sell new parts for British cars, Triumph, MG, Jaguar and Austin Healey, at reasonable prices with fast, courteous, prompt service to the customer.

    What makes us different than the other suppliers out there? British Parts Northwest came into being as a result of the owner, Greg Sherick; interest in racing a Triumph Spitfire in SCCA sponsored races in Portland, Oregon in the late 1970's. In order to keep the expenses down, Greg found it more economical to purchase a whole car that would have parts to match the needed ones of his "F" Production 1970 Spitfire. The backyard of his family's home in Lake Oswego, Oregon became littered with several cars in various stages of disarray and Cherry, his wife, suggested strongly that he get rid of what he didn't need and the rest of the cars. Greg placed an ad in the Portland paper for "Parting out Triumph Spitfire" and was amazed at the immediate response. Thus was born British Parts which also fit nicely with Greg's service station business at the time.

    From that humble beginning to a larger family business that now includes his son and daughter, the core belief of providing parts at the lowest prices possible and maintaining courteous service remains intact. We stock what we sell, eliminating the middle man, and currently are offering free shipping on all orders over $750.

    Check out our website to see what items ready and available to ship out to you today! Or, contact us by phone or email so we can help your next car project become a reality!

  • Official London 2012 Summer Olympics Cars Revealed

    As hype and interest builds in the summer 2012 games being held in London, an announcement this week about the official Olympic cards has been made with great fanfare that German manufacturer BMW is loaning a 4,000-strong fleet of vehicles to the London games. The cars will be used to transport VIPs and executives between sites using Olympic-only lanes—3o miles of specially designed roads—to help speed transit between venues.

    BMW is providing diesel, hybrid and electric cars, as well as motorbikes and bicycles, for the Olympic Games in London this summer. The fleet mostly consists of 3 and 5 Series vehicles in EfficientDynamics guise, the firm's eco-focused trim.

    ZZ406520AA.jpgThe Olympic Route Network will affect large areas of London - including the Olympic Park in Stratford to the areas around the ExCeL arena and Greenwich Park. With public transport routes disrupted as a result, commuters could grind to a halt during peak times. Emergency services are not immune to the disruptions either. Ambulances will only be allowed to use the reserved roadways when on a 999 call and with the use of their blue flashing lights.

    BMW's hybrid and electric vehicles - as well as pushbikes - will help keep the inevitable rise in pollution around the games down, but will only add to the problem of congestion during the 16-day competition. Disruption to bus routes as a result of the restricted lanes won't help get people out of their cars and onto buses and will cause resentment among some in that executives and officials get chauffeur driven to Olympic venues.

    While it’s always fun to watch the Olympics details unfold, at British Parts Northwest, we are a business that has been specifically created to help you find parts for your British car. We are large enough to serve, yet small enough to care about your British car. As a result, we stock what we sell, so that items you want are in stock and sold directly from us to your door. We specialize in new parts for classic British cars Triumph, MG, Jaguar and Austin Healey at reasonable prices with fast, courteous and prompt service to the customer.

  • Powering Up Your British Car

    A top reason that continues to draw a loyal fan base to European cars is the love of a great, high performance drive. People love the maneuverability and power combined with strong, sleek designs that just aren’t found in American cars. And regardless of the style of British car you own, finding ways to get more power is a common question we get.

    Before you tweak your British baby with performance upgrades, know that that adding to one area of the engine may mean changes need to be made elsewhere to ensure overall reliability in the long run.


    According to a recent survey made in Spitfire GT6 magazine, here are the upgrades readers have typically done to increase the power of their Spitfire:

    • 26 percent - Headers/Exhaust to allow air to move out of the engine faster.
    • 22 percent - Carburetors to allow air to move into the engine faster.
    • 17 percent - Engine Swap going to larger engines that already have more horsepower.
    • 8 percent - Hot Cam to help the valves bring in and expel more air.
    • 6 percent - High Compression Pistons to increase the size of the "bang".
    • 6 percent - Electronic Ignition/Hot Coil to help the spark (that causes the bang) happen more cleanly and larger.
    • 4 percent K&N Air Filter - allow air to move into of the engine faster.
    • 4 percent Other (Added Overdrive, Supercharger, Disconnected Intake Manifold Heating)
    • 3 percent- Tune Up to help engine perform as it was designed for.
    • 3 percent - Mill (skim) the heads to increase compression
    • 1 percent - Electric Fan reduces the load that the belt driven fan creates on the engine.

    At British Parts Northwest, we stock what we sell, so you can get the parts you want sold directly from us and delivered to your door. If you have questions about your Spitfire or ANY of the classic British cars we support, contact us and we can help you with information so that you can the parts you need and performance you expect.

  • What is the Best Classic Car?

    What is the best classic car? That’s a loaded question, of course, and opinions vary as much as personal colors or best sports team. There are so many considerations when talking about “best” and even what is considered “classic.”

    That’s because the answer of “it depends” truly applies. Are you talking about power? Design? Mechanics? Cost? Quality? Usually, it is somewhat all of the above, and as a result, very subjective.

    According to an article in a past issue of Classic Motorsports, when asked “What is the best classic car?” not one of our enthusiasts had a ready answer. In one way or another, everyone said there are just too many to choose from. “Best classic car for what?” was usually the first response, with “What do you mean by ‘classic car’?” coming right on its heels.

    Defining some categories helped our friends get their arms around our question, but by refusing to define the term “classic car” we kept responses open-ended. The results were eclectic, to say the least.

    Nationalities represented included England, Italy, Germany, Japan and the United States. The years of production ranged from the 1934 Bugatti Type 57 through the 1979 Mazda RX-7, even with the “future classics” excluded. Current value of the picks showed a comparable range, with the least expensive—even outside the “budget” category—worth less than $5000, while the most expensive mentioned were over the million-dollar mark. Horsepower wasn’t a criterion of “best” either, with some of the favorites well under 100 and others over 500.

    Talk show host and enthusiast extraordinaire Jay Leno’s collection represents all the variety. Jay has everything from steamer to gasoline, small to large, slow to fast, and cheap to priceless poised to take him down the road. Each of the cars was beautiful in its own way: some in the sweep of their lines, and some in the craftsmanship inherent in their components. But these were not just static pieces of art.


    “It’s the mechanicalness of them that I like,” Jay said several times. “Once you’ve taken them apart and put them back together again, there’s no mystery; nothing’s hidden.” This lever pushes that valve, that spark ignites this mixture of gas and air, which pushes that cylinder to turn this gear to rotate that wheel. Sure, they’re complicated, but they can be pulled apart and understood.

    Once they are put back together and driven, Jay noted in several different ways, they almost come alive. Artistry, “mechanicalness,” and motion are the elements that link together the variety of cars selected by our friends as the best classics.

    Jay’s responses seem to define why car enthusiasts love tinkering with their cars, and British car owners have a special infinity to doing so—in part because of the preciousness of the parts—and also because they are typically more novelty when on the road.

    That’s where we come in. At British Parts Northwest, we are large enough to serve, yet small enough to care about your British car. We stock what we sell, so that items you seek are shipped directly from us to you. Check out our online catalog of parts—sorted by cars—and see how we can keep your British baby on the road and performance ready!

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