About the owner
The following story is reprinted from the July 28, 2011 issue of the Wichita Eagle:
If a car can reflect someone’s personality, the many foreign sports cars Dana Britton has owned undoubtedly say something about him.
Fast, fun, stylish — and possibly a little impractical.
“Fixing up these little cars, it’s kind of an art,” Britton said.
He runs SUCarbs.com from Wichita, although the business is designed to attract customers from anywhere through the Internet.
SU stands for Skinner Union carburetors; just about every British sports car contains one, two or three of the carbs, which blend air and fuel for the engine to use. As carburetors age — and many British sports cars prized by owners are at least 50 years old — they make the cars idle badly, run poorly and get lousy gas mileage.
New carburetors for sports cars can run $1,200 a pair. Britton says he’ll strip down and rebuild a used pair for a fourth or third of that, with the carburetors back in customers’ hands in 10 days.
“They’ll make the car run like a champ,” he said.
In buying SUCarbs, Britton said, he acquired some know-how and equipment and, perhaps most importantly, an extremely attractive website.
“I’ve been getting six to eight calls a day, plus e-mails,” he said.
Britton is counting on the market for vintage British sports cars remaining strong. He traces his own interest in them to his mother, who bought a Hillman-Minx sedan when Britton was growing up.
Soon, Britton was taking apart lawnmower engines in the garage.
After a career as a graphics artist, Britton launched Brittwerks, his car business, about a dozen years ago, and Big Ed’s Vintage (named for a famed Triumph engineer), for motorcycles, about five years ago. In addition to cars he’s fixed up and sold to other people, he says he’s owned about 20 European sports cars. A garage full of works-in-progress attest to the fact that he hasn’t lost his passion for the vehicles.
“I’m not a religious man, but I like to think the good Lord wouldn’t take me with so much going on,” Britton said, “so I’ve got a lot going on.”