Square “pops” with English hot rods

Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Wade Pilkington shows off the Rover engine in his 1950 Ford Prefect on the square in Lewisburg on Monday. Pilkington and other English car enthusiasts are touring the U.S. to show off their English hot rods.
Tribune photo by Scott Pearson

Drive-ins for antique or collectable cars aren’t unusual for the square in Lewisburg, but the one held on Monday offered a bit of overseas flair.

In addition to the usual 1950s American chrome or 1960s American muscle, the Labor Day meeting featured some English antiques as well.

Wade Pilkington from Norfolk in England brought his restored 1950 Ford Prefect for a tour, along with other English car enthusiasts, of the U.S.

According to Pilkington, his is one of only seven of the model that he is aware of in the U.K.

The Prefect was built between 1938 and 1961 in the U.K. and Australia, although younger generations might know the name from the character in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series instead of from the car.

The visit to Lewisburg also drew the only Prefect that Pilkington had ever seen in the United States to the show as well.

Pilkington drove his Prefect to Lewisburg from the speedway in Indianapolis along with a friend of his who has restored a Ford Anglia from the same period.

The Prefect and Anglia models were popular among British car enthusiasts for modifying into hot rods, known in the U.K. as “pops.”