And Making the Trip in an E-Type and Porsche 911
The Best Way to Travel Cross-Country Is in a Vintage Car
As the founders of Bremont Watch Company, the English Brothers (who are, coincidentally, English) are utterly obsessed with anything involving intricate mechanical engineering and high-class craftsmanship. Naturally, that includes watches, and if you’ve ever seen an example of a Bremont timepiece, you’d know that adoration also falls on cars and airplanes. Peppered across the brand’s entire collection are direct, yet subtle influences to vintage motoring ranging from Spitfire altimeters to the speedometers of old Jaguars.
The hints of Jaguar are no coincidence either. Just before their father, Euan, tragically died in a plane crash, in 1995, he restored the family’s 1970 Jaguar E-Type. But after his untimely death, the car simply sat in a well-kept garage, loved, but not driven. The brothers decided to change that and embark on a multi-leg road trip across America whose first stint started at the Bremont boutique in Manhattan; all said and done, it will cover almost 3,000 miles and end in Texas. To make things interesting, Nick would drive the E-Type and Giles would take his own ‘73 Porsche 911T. When I spoke to them about the trip, they conveyed it the only way they knew how; passionately, with humbling wonderment, and rife with dry humor and wit. How typically English.
Photo by Bremont
We started off in New York, which was quite an experience in the heat. We tried to park the cars near the Bremont Boutique, but no car park would take our cars because they’re right-hand drive and stick shift, so they all confused by it. And, then when we set off we got caught in a bit of rain left over from the hurricane, so Nick got soaked in his car — which was very amusing.
What was quite nice, though, was that Giles 911 broke down before mine. His starter motor broke before it even got off the ferry — so that felt good — the German engineering failed quicker than the British engineering. But that was the only problem Giles had for the whole trip. His 911 was pretty good the whole way. The E-Type didn’t burn a single drop of oil — which is amazing — so the engine was good, but there were a few ancillary issues with the clutch master cylinder, brake cylinders and things like that. Which, most of the time I managed to sort out.
What was amazing though, is that you’ll go into a town like Memphis and you might tweet or send a note out on social media: “does anybody know where we can find a clutch master cylinder for a 1970 Jaguar E-Type?” Then you have all these people getting in touch. It’s very, very special. You meet these car fanatics en route and it’s rather lovely.
We hit the Blue Ridge Mountains. That is an incredible route, and anyone with an old car must do because you’ve got these extraordinary vistas either side of you and these amazing views. We managed to get to Charlotte and take the cars around the NASCAR circuit with a pace car which was quite something. Driving around on the banked turns — feeling a bit like Cole Trickle — with the pace car on one side and my brother in the car on the other side… it was definitely a bucket list item.
And then we had to get to Charleston for an early event the next day and did some exploring after that, around town. And that’s an amazing place. As a Brit, you wouldn’t naturally go off and stay at Charleston, just because it’s not an obvious place. You know, you do New York, L.A., and Florida, but when you go to Charleston, it’s an amazingly beautiful town.
The modern car culture varies, but we found that the classic car enthusiasts, wherever you go, whether it’s in England or America or mainland Europe, everyone has a similar passion for their classic car. It opens up this joint love affair because we all share the same interests.
At their UK facilities, Bremont is reclaiming the forgotten tradition of British watchmaking.. Read the Story