Downtown Moscow turned a bit British for a few hours Saturday as thousands of people — some spilling over from the Moscow Farmers Market — examined about 90 shiny British cars parked on Main and Second streets just north of the Farmers Market.
The Idaho British Car Club’s 2019 Summer Tour attracted 13 visiting British car clubs from Washington, Oregon, Utah, Nevada and Canada.
The club, based in Boise, has hosted a summer car tour every year in the Pacific Northwest since 2002 and the club chose Moscow for the first time this year.
“I can’t say enough about Moscow,” said Liz Mills, a member of the club. “We really, really love it up here.”
The Farmers Market was its typical bustling self on Main Street, from Third to Sixth streets, while British cars were lined up on Main Street from Third to First streets. Cars were also parked on Second Street from Main to Washington streets.
Mills said the Farmers Market and car show complemented each other.
“You don’t see classic British cars very often,” Mills said. “ … These cars are just like little snippets in history.”
One of those classic cars was a red 1971 MGB GT that belonged to Gary Lewis of the Wenatchee British Car Club in Washington.
Lewis said he has five other Britsh cars at home that do not run, but he has owned the 48-year-old MGB GT since 1973.
“This is my baby,” Lewis said.
Lewis had never been to Moscow, but he said he enjoyed the downtown and the rural parts of Latah and Whitman counties during a drive that took him through towns like Harvard, Palouse and Colfax.
Lewis said the Palouse highways were a joy to drive on because of the wide lanes and little traffic.
“It’s fun driving these cars on roads like that,” he said.
Jim Hahn, a member of the IBCC and a Boise resident, sat behind his restored, red 1968 Triumph TR250.
Like Lewis, Hahn said he has other British cars at home — two of them — and he has never visited Moscow.
Hahn said he has owned British cars for several decades.
“People just like the idea of the British cars,” Hahn said. “They’re cute little cars and they’re no longer made, and it’s a lot of fun just to keep working on them.”
Members of the Moscow Polar Bears Girls Hockey association — the only all-girls hockey association in Idaho — sold $1 tickets to visitors examining British cars Saturday. The ticket buyers could then place their ticket(s) in an envelope on their favorite car of the show for the People’s Choice Award. All of the ticket sales went to the hockey club.
Mills said the IBCC would match the ticket sales amount and donate it to the Polar Bears.
Additionally, two Palouse paintings were auctioned off at the IBCC’s Saturday night banquet in Moscow with the proceeds benefiting the hockey club.
Garrett Cabeza can be reached at (208) 883-4631, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.