In a recent thread on the Saloon forum I said:
Next week the “Brigadoon” group is gathering once again in South Jersey and I will be taking my 52 XK-120 FHC, gonna be quite a ride.
Last Friday, Adrian Curtis, my brother John, and I took off in our 120’s from the Boston area and headed to Mike Eck’s house in South Jersey for the 18th gathering of old Jag friends known as Brigadoon. We primarily took highways, went over the Cuomo Bridge, and wound up on the Jersey Turnpike for the last leg of the trip. The total distance on Friday was 360 miles for me, 420 for Adrian (he came from NH), and 340 for John. We all met at Westboro Plaza on the Mass Pike at 7 AM and started the journey south.
We travelled at 70-80 MPH with occasional runs at 85, pretty much demanded by today’s traffic. Our cars had no problem with that pace, both my car and my brothers have B heads and run comfortably at that speed and RPM. Adrian has a standard head in his 53, but still had no problem. We all have 3.54 Salisbury rear ends which run 3500 RPM at 79 MPH, according to Waze software. No problem.
The main weakness of the car is the brakes, we all have standard drum brakes, which are adequate, but nothing like today’s antilock disc braking systems. So we left room between the cars and the car in front of us to avoid catastrophe.
In total John and I covered 775 miles in three days, Adrian covered 1000 miles. The Brigadoon event was on Saturday at Mike’s house and there was no significant driving. Old time List contributors Rick Holland, Rich Neary, John Brady, Adrian Curtis and Mike Eck were all part of the gathering, and we traded many stories and experiences. Here is a picture as we arrived on Friday:
Mike Eck’s 120, which he bought in the 70’s is on the left, Rick Holland’s is the red one, which he bought in college and drove across the country in the early 60’s (it still has a sticker on the window that he got while driving through Mexico). Adrian’s is the blue top DHC, my brother’s is the tan top DHC, and mine is the FHC.
Here are the cars at our rental house:
This was the first real test of my FHC on a trip over 200 miles, the longest distance I had previously covered in three seasons of driving it. It performed with no issues, got 20 MPG, burned no oil, leaked no coolant, did not overheat, and the engine remained clean, having front and rear crank seals. We drove in some rain, the wipers worked fine, and the windscreen leaked (which I will address).
Here is a picture of the gathering on Saturday, Mike invited the local Brit Car Club, and a few people came in spite of the rain.
I wore noise cancelling headphones, my FHC has dual exhaust and would have been unbearable on a trip of this length. I now have confidence in my car and have really developed an appreciation for anyone who really drives these cars. It’s a great experience, creating a stir every place we stopped. No jokes please about the enclosed trailer, a mower crew was working there.
I look forward to my next long trip, and will share my experience once again.