MG Era – Brooklands – March 2011

Of all the car marques that there have ever been, few arouse such levels of interest as MG. With a large number of surviving cars, prices that are in the budget of many an enthusiast, excellent availability of parts both replacement and brand new, engineering that is simple enough for many owners to manage themselves and a whole ethos of driving fun in every car that ever bore the Octagon badge, that should come as no surprise. MG Owners have been enjoying their cars for many years, and the associated Clubs have long and illustrious histories. April 2011 marks the 50th anniversary of the “Triple M” Register, an organisation that was set up for the owners of Midget, Magna and Magnette cars that formed such a key role in the early days of the MG Car Company.  Celebrating this golden jubilee, as well as an event combining the history and heritage not just of MG, but also the Brooklands site, especially when the weather forecast (quite accurately) was for almost unbroken sunshine, promised to be something truly enjoyable for the automotive enthusiast. I decided to go and see for myself.
Helpfully, the organisers had reserved different areas of the location for the different model types, and – for once – people actually stuck quite well to where they were asked to park. The Test Hill was open during the early afternoon, and a number of cars had one or more attempts up this challenging slope. Everyone made it to the top, some rather more easily than others. Best sound whilst ascending undoubtedly went to a number of the ZT260s.

There was a good showing of pre-war cars. There was not a lot of identification on these, so until an expert (James – please!) can help out, many will have to be grouped together.

The 18/80 was quite a large car. and not that well regarded at the time.

K Type Magna, with an unusual saloon body.
These cars were all grouped together in the “Triple M” area of the event.
Other pre-war cars.
These large cars were a mix of VA and WA cars. The first was the prototype for the VA, and has been repainted, in authentic, but not original colours. One of the WA cars went up the Test Hill, which it seemed to find rather difficult.
The T series cars straddled the Second World War period, though it was with the launch of the TC in 1947 when interest really took off, as many GIs wanted a car like this back home in America. There were plenty of TC, TD and the rare TF cars to see.
The Y Series was a sports saloon of the late 1940s and early 1950s, a sort of 3 series of its day. There were several of these cars on show, including the very rare Tourer.
There were a number of Magnettes. One was the Farina bodied Series III car, and unusually, it was an automatic. The others were the ZA and ZB cars from the 1950s.  
A good number of MGA cars, including a couple of the very rare Coupe cars.
The Midgets were joined by a couple of Austin-Healey Sprites, and when you consider that these cars shared much under the skin (ie just about everything!), that seems reasonable.
Plenty of MGBs, as you would expect, with a mixture of cars from the 19 year production run, roadsters and GTs, several of the desirable V8 cars, and one example of both a GT and a Roadster in the LE trim that came at the end of the model run.
The MGC had a short production life, and was generally not well rated when it was new. These cars are now finally finding some favour.
Of the cars that occasioned a sharp intake of breath from the traditionalists, when they first appeared in 1982, there was but one car, a late model MG Metro. No sign of the Maestro or Montego, though there was one of the former, an early 1600 car at that, in the main car park.
Although a large percentage of the original production was exported to Japan, many of the cars have come back to the UK, and there are now reasonable number of the MGR V8 in the UK. Several of them were at the event.  
Unsurprisingly, there were a good number of the MGF and TF cars, with several examples of the re-launched TF LE500 cars that are about to cease production. Numerically, there were more TFs than MGFs, and most of the colours available over the long life of this model were represented.  
There was a huge area allocated to the Two-Sixty Club, and they had filled it. I would guess that there were in excess of 70 of these cars at the event.
There were a couple of interlopers, too, as I spotted two of the very rare Rover V8 cars that were offered for even less time than their MG relative.
There were several of the other recent MGs, the ZR and ZS, too.
There were just 2 of the ill-fated X-Power SV cars.
This Healey 100S was something of an interloper.
Although the organisers had done quite a good job in keeping non-MGs out of the display area, there were some interesting cars parked up in the public car park next door. The only one which I managed to photograph was this Series III Singer Gazelle. A nice period piece from the very late 1950s.
This was an excellent day out, clearly helped massively by the summer-like weather which meant that many of the attendees would likely go home not just with photos and memories but probably also some slightly sore skin.
2011-04-10 18:15:53

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