Langley tinkerer’s touch brought to British car show

Colin Cuvelier fell in love with Marinas back in high school, and has been a collector since.

by Bob Groeneveld/Special to the Langley Advance

A local Marina enthusiast will be on the LAMB with other British car buffs in Fort Langley later this month.

The Langley Area Mostly British Motoring (LAMB) Club is presenting its 13th annual St. George’s British Motoring Show at the Fort Langley Community Hall on Sunday, April 22.

Two of Colin Cuvelier’s Marinas will be among the 80 cars, trucks, and military vehicles expected on exhibit from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cuvelier has been mechanically inclined all his life, and has had a special interest in British cars since he was in high school in Aldergrove.

“My shop teacher [Kevin Moore] had a big influence on me when it came to British cars,” he recounted.

He has been a member of the local British car club for several years, but the blue four-door Marina he’s been restoring for 20 years, along with a newly acquired convertible Marina, are his first entries in the show.

Marina is not a familiar name for cars around here. They were sold in the U.S. for a few years in the 1970s, and just a few years more in Canada, but they never caught on this side of the Atlantic, despite being the third bestselling make in the U.K. at the time, Cuvelier explained.

“They were not very well loved in North America,” he added.

“The Japanese cars were coming, and they were more reliable, they were cheaper, and the marketing didn’t suit the Marina very well.”

In Britain, Marinas “were marketed as a car you could tinker with on the weekend and drive it to work all week and then you have to tinker with it again… but in North America that doesn’t work.” Cuvelier explained. “Here, you hop in the car, hit the key, and you go.”

But the tinkering appealed to Cuvelier.

“I had my first Marina when I was 14 years old,” he said. “I’m 42 years old now, and I’ve always had at least two Marinas sitting in my yard.”

His 1973 blue four-door doesn’t get out of the yard often.

“It only gets driven a couple of times a year, because of time and, well, [I’m] too paranoid.”

His other car headed for the show in Fort Langley is a Morris Marina convertible.

“It’s one of only 30 ever made, and it’s the only one in North America,” Cuvelier said.

“When I got it here, I converted it to left-hand drive, using all the original Marina parts that I have. In essence, even though it’s converted by me, it’s the only left-hand drive Marina convertible in the world.”

It took a year to get that car from England to Langley. He tracked it through the Panama Canal and up the coast, north past him. And, as his anticipation heightened, back down to Seattle where he picked it up.

He wished they could have dropped it off in Vancouver.

Visitors to the St. George’s show will get to share his excitement, and that of dozens of other British motoring enthusiasts who will show off their Jaguars, MGs, and Triumphs, as well as the working man’s makes, like Hillman, Vauxhall, Morris, Cortina, and Austin.

“We decided it was time to feature cars that we grew up with as mom and dad’s vehicles,” said John Walden, president of the motoring club.

There will also be a silent auction open to the public. Net proceeds from the show will go to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Langley.

The show is free to the public, but there’s a $20 fee to include vehicles in the show. Visit

Net proceeds from the show will go to Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Langley.

Just Posted

Giants hand Victoria their first lost of the season

Langley’s WHL team went head to head with the Royals for the second day in a row, beating them 3-2.

VIDEO: Rollover closes down Willowbrook Drive in Langley overnight

Mounties are working to find the cause of a crash early Sunday morning on the Langley-Surrey border.

Winning streak comes to end in Victoria for Langley-based Giants

G-Men fell in overtime in first of two games against the Royals on Vancouver Island this weekend.

VIDEO: Langley brothers campaign to help refugees get bikes

Program enters third year, adds homeless

VIDEO: Diwali celebrated in Langley

Muriel Arnason library marks 15th annual event

Secret supper clubs test appetite for cannabis-infused food ahead of legalization

Chefs are eagerly awaiting pot edibles to become legal in Canada

Students unhappy with SFU’s response after violent incident in class

Professor, students say a man threw chairs and hit a female student

Enbridge to begin building road to access pipeline explosion site in B.C.

An explosion Tuesday knocked out a 91-centimetre line

Man struck by car in Burnaby: reports

Pedestrian was taken to hospital

Andrew Scheer on revamped NAFTA deal: ‘I would have signed a better one’

Conservative leader says he wouldn’t have signed USMCA

Matheson will have NHL hearing after Canucks rookie Pettersson hit

The 19-year-old Swedish centre appeared woozy after the hit

Police looking into VPD-involved collision that sent 3 to hospital

The independent police watchdog has been notified

Police investigate after woman stabbed in Vancouver

Report came in about a ‘disturbance’ in the Killarney neighbourhood

GUEST COLUMN: A better way to manage B.C.’s public construction

Claire Trevena responds to Andrew Wilkinson on NDP union policy

Most Read