British Muscle Car Owners Honor Fallen Enthusiast

Oct 30, 2019 1 min read
British Muscle Car Owners Honor Fallen Enthusiast

This just shows what big hearts muscle car owners really have.

An epileptic seizure claimed the life of a 20-year-old British man recently, leaving his family grieving the loss. The late Leonard Birtles was an American muscle car enthusiast, something which seems incongruous on the other side of the pond. Knowing this, his mother appealed for a muscle car to follow Birtles’ hearse to the funeral. Instead of just one, 25 American muscle car owners responded to the plea.

The call for help from Birtles’ mother was answered within just a few hours by enthusiasts not only from England but all over the world. They were volunteering their vehicles to honor one of their own. Of course, because of the logistics of getting cars to the island nation in time for the funeral, those in attendance were all local. Still, the turnout was nothing short of amazing.

American muscle cars aren’t exactly common in England and other parts of Europe. The stereotype is that they’re too large and loud, plus handle too poorly for European streets. In reality, there are plenty of indications that quite a few Europeans seriously admire the brash styling and relatively accessible performance muscle cars provide.

Not surprisingly, virtually all the muscle cars which attended the funeral were Ford Mustangs. Considering Ford has been making considerable efforts to increase international sales of the iconic pony car in the past several years, its popularity and in turn sales have skyrocketed. In fact, over 13,000 Mustangs were sold in Europe for 2017 and the car has been the best-selling sports coupe globally for four years in a row.

Before he died, Birtles wanted to become a mechanic. He told his mom that the Shelby GT500 was his absolute favorite car, fantasizing that one day he would own one. Because he developed epilepsy at 13, he was never able to get a driver’s license.

Source and images credit: BBC

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