Pride of Longbridge – April 2013

Last year I discovered the  “Pride of Longbridge” event, a gathering of cars with a connection – in some cases a little tenuous – to the famous Longbridge works, historic home of “The Austin”. It turned out that the event was first held in April 2006 to mark one year since the collapse of the former MG-Rover Company, and such was its popularity, that it has been repeated every year since. It takes place on the weekend nearest to the 15th April, date that MG-Rover was formally wound up, in Cofton Park, which is a large area of green space across the road from what remains of the old Longbridge manufacturing plant, now used as an assembly plant for the new generation MGs that originate in China. Having enjoyed seeing the variety of vehicles with an Austin, BMC. BL, Austin-Rover, MG and all the other brands and company names linkage last year, I put it on my list of 2013 events, hoping for something that was at least as enjoyable. In 2012 there was some decent spring sunshine, but sadly in 2013 the best we got was early morning grey skies and it started to drizzle around noon, which, coupled with a forecast for heavy rain all afternoon meant that many people started to depart once the clock reached afternoon. Until that point, though, the Park had been absolutely packed out with a vast array of vehicles. My perception is that there were quite a few more cars than last year, though as the ground was still very soft, with some traction issues on some of the steeper slopes, it may simply be an illusion generated by the different layout on site. The marshals did an excellent job at trying to keep models segregated into separate rows, which is no mean feat as they have no idea how many cars to expect, as provided a vehicle has some connection to Austin, BMC, Austin-Morris, Leyland, or any of the companies that were subsumed in this once giant sized automotive manufacturer, then you just turn up and join in. There was a factory display of the latest MG 6 models, and few ice cream, coffee and burger vans were on site to offer their wares, but all that there is of interest on site were the cars and the vast parkland and yet such is the affection for these cars, that it was clear from the number of people milling around, and the number of cars parked out on the road (mine included) that lots of people decided to brave the cold for a morning of nostalgia. Many of those attending were clearly local, judging by the thick Brummie accents, and I would guess that lots had either worked at the plant and/or owned some of these products in the past, whilst others simply wanted to see once more an array of cars which once dominated our roads, but which now are a rare sighting.




 photo P1140771_zpsb594dd47.jpg  photo P1140977_zpsde9bba0c.jpg  photo P1140767_zps491b6948.jpg  photo P1140768_zps1d9173a5.jpg  photo P1140979_zpsbe0728c6.jpg photo P1140976_zpsca61f518.jpg  photo P1140769_zpsb318e50f.jpg


 photo P1140772_zps0090621e.jpg   photo P1140770_zps18ab06c4.jpg  photo P1140978_zps8764d295.jpg


 photo P1140975_zpsa9a63295.jpg


 photo P1150054_zpsfdaab7bf.jpg  photo P1140973_zps8826538b.jpg


No saloon models, but this fabulous Pick Up more than made up for it. It turned out that it has been used by a farmer from 1950 for 10 years then put into a barn for the next 28. Once rescued its new owner, who had been a dealer apprentice at the time the vehicle was new decided  to recreate something that looked like the sort of Pickup that would have been used in 1950 and he has made a splendid job.


There were a couple of these rather unusual cars. They were built by Jensen Motors for Austin, and were expensive when new, which in post war ration based Britain meant that they were sold in small numbers only.

 photo P1140735_zps64471639.jpg  photo P1140891_zpscd44491b.jpg  photo P1140890_zpscd37d270.jpg  photo P1140889_zpsa4d25157.jpg


A bold effort, this, but not a car that enjoyed much commercial success. It was aimed at the Americans, but they found its lazy engine to be too puny for the heavy body and they did not buy it in significant quantity. It is certainly a striking car, though. I was looking at this one when a staff writer for Classic Car Weekly arrived to talk to is owner. He was informed that it has already featured there before, but in 1998 in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the model. I suspect it may well be appearing again in due course, though.

 photo P1150055_zps7dee7ace.jpg  photo P1140974_zps0c3ca0c6.jpg  photo P1140950_zpsb3aefac4.jpg  photo P1140949_zpsa2c922e7.jpg


Although the bulk of Austin’s sales came from much more prosaic cars, they did include a luxury limousine in their range right through to the early 1960s, and this A135 Princess is an example of the sort of offering they had.

 photo P1150050_zps2a6105fa.jpg


Austin’s family car from 1952 to 1954 was the large bodied and rather under-engined A40 Somerset. Looking very similar was a 6 cylinder version, the A70 Hereford, too, though when you see one parked up close, you can immediately tell that it is quite a bit larger at the front, with the extra length in front of the scuttle, needed to accommodate the larger engine.  There was one Somerset and a pair of Herefords on show.

 photo P1140912_zps1de22e0c.jpg  photo P1140911_zpse2c753cb.jpg  photo P1140740_zps8e4cb84b.jpg


Entry level model in the Austin range from 1952, and a direct competitor to the Morris Minor, were the A30 and later A35 cars. Several saloon models were joined by a couple of the Vans. These latter had a much longer production life, but relatively few have survived as they tend to be worked hard.

 photo P1140719_zpsa367ea19.jpg  photo P1140718_zps13ad52a6.jpg  photo P1140724_zpsbb8a5172.jpg  photo P1140733_zps33279cd2.jpg


This was the first BMC car to have styling by the Italian Pininfarina, and in Countryman form is also widely credited with being one of the first hatchbacks.

 photo P1140968_zpsd6021a19.jpg  photo P1140967_zps127d372f.jpg  photo P1140789_zps0196a3f3.jpg


  photo P1150039_zpsdbe73f6e.jpg  photo P1150038_zps27fb4178.jpg  photo P1140736_zps60287608.jpg  photo P1140982_zps4aca47e0.jpg


This was the luxury 6 cylinder version of the more prosaic Cambridge model, and these cars featured a higher standard of trim along with more fittings as well as the bigger engine. I have to say that when one of them set off, the noise that came from the car was really rather pleasant – a refined sort of rumble that you only get form a 6 cylinder car. These were among my favourite period pieces of the day.

 photo P1140981_zpsd99084f6.jpg


There were 2 distinct iterations of the Farina designed saloons. The first appeared in 1959, and sported the fashionable rear tail fins on a body which looked rather similar to that on the Peugeot 404 and Fiat 1800/2100. In 1962 a revised version appeared which removed the fins, tidied up the styling and had mechanical changes which included a larger 1622cc engine. The car was available as an Austin Cambridge (A55 and A60), Morris Oxford (Series V and VI), Wolseley 15/60 and 16/60, MG Magnette and Riley 4/68 and 4/72, with the Austin and Morris versions also available in estate format. As the Morris models were made at Cowley, it is fitting that most of those on display at this event were Cambridges, though there were a couple of Oxfords and Wolseleys as well as a Magnette and also an A60 Van.

 photo P1150052_zps77a2b8d6.jpg  photo P1150051_zps9e5d7c9b.jpg  photo P1140954_zpse9e886c3.jpg  photo P1140739_zps3729bcd8.jpg  photo P1140969_zps07c3468b.jpg  photo P1140966_zps9262b7e0.jpg  photo P1140965_zps7685f9cc.jpg  photo P1140964_zps6a5c9212.jpg  photo P1140961_zpsd1a2ecfa.jpg  photo P1150056_zps907faf19.jpg  photo P1150057_zps146ec140.jpg  photo P1140738_zps7b400588.jpg  photo P1150040_zps84a03b22.jpg  photo P1150037_zpsde8c37bb.jpg  photo P1140791_zpsfe630209.jpg  photo P1140790_zps2d14a52f.jpg  photo P1140955_zps2427e1ed.jpg  photo P1140959_zpse7692f8a.jpg


 photo P1140960_zps0056f1e8.jpg  photo P1150035_zpsb6df14a4.jpg


Although the genuine early Cooper models are the most valuable Mini, by some margin, there is a lot of interest in the very early saloon cars, and there were a couple of these, dating from the time when they were badged Austin Se7en and Mini Minor, with at least one example from each of 1959, 1960 and 1961.

 photo P1150002_zps9c4e6f4e.jpg  photo P1150033_zpsaa38e726.jpg  photo P1140904_zps0905782c.jpg  photo P1140903_zpsf6fe2112.jpg  photo P1140898_zpsb0438409.jpg photo P1140793_zps1c092b0f.jpg  photo P1140765_zpsf24adf69.jpg

Whilst early Minis are quite a common sight, the estate versions are far rarer. Last year at the event was one such, a 1967 Countryman which has apparently lived in the same street all its life. The first owners used it sparingly for over 30 years, before giving up driving when its current owner was able to buy it. It has still done less than 30,000 miles and is in both original and excellent condition. This green car was joined by an equally stunning red model this year.

 photo P1140942_zpsbfbb22ab.jpg  photo P1140941_zpsd3b0b42a.jpg  photo P1140940_zps642f8f7b.jpg  photo P1140929_zpsfced3dcc.jpg  photo P1140928_zps1efb07e0.jpg  photo P1140927_zpsa43f032f.jpg  photo P1140926_zps1e773d6b.jpg

The Van and Pickup models are now the rarest of the Mini derivatives, but there were examples of both at this event.

 photo P1150015_zps71db761a.jpg  photo P1140766_zps95f1210b.jpg

There were relatively few “regular” models from the late 1960s onwards, with a couple of Clubman Estates, and although my camera failed to capture it, a lone 1275 GT.

 photo P1140900_zps053b7fce.jpg

These 1100 Specials were the first limited edition car, produced in 1979 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the car. Available in the two metallic colours presented here, they combined the 1100cc engine from the Clubman with the original body shape.

 photo P1140899_zps5c8d8d1f.jpg

From the 1980s until the end of production, a vast array of limited edition cars were produced and representatives of many of them were on show, ranging from the Mini 25 produced in 1984 to celebrate the 25th anniversary, the  Italian Job cars in honour of the car’s starring role in the film, to the Jet Black, the Surf, the Open and several Cooper cars from the time before the model became very ocused on the Cooper in its last years of production.

 photo P1140732_zps6be38abb.jpg  photo P1140794_zpsa7c80fd4.jpg  photo P1140914_zps67a81364.jpg  photo P1140910_zps77d9a46f.jpg  photo P1140909_zps22dfd9c6.jpg     photo P1140902_zps9962af0a.jpg  photo P1140901_zps9ea6928d.jpg  photo P1140897_zps49b7117c.jpg  photo P1140804_zpse7e13ebb.jpg  photo P1140794_zpsa7c80fd4.jpg   photo P1140792_zps1dfa7937.jpg

There was even an ERA Mini, that very powerful and spectacularly unreliable model produced in small quantities in 1989/1990.

 photo P1140802_zpsd5b29b8f.jpg

Rarest Mini of them all, though, was this, the Beach Car. This car was found in “the tunnel”, an area under the main road which connected parts of the old Longbridge complex together, and which became a place where all sorts of odds and ends were stored. The idea was that this design, of which a few Austins and a few Riley Elf prototypes were made, would have appeal in the sunnier parts of Europe, but it was not pursued. A Riley version was rescued at the eleventh hour from a Greek scrapyard about 18 months ago, so it was really good to see this one as well. Needless to say, it was probably the car attracting the most attention of anything on display all day.

 photo P1140948_zps07dc8268.jpg  photo P1140947_zps176951f0.jpg  photo P1140946_zpsa220ab4e.jpg  photo P1140945_zps353415dc.jpg  photo P1140944_zps152726d8.jpg  photo P1140943_zps4b523583.jpg


Britain’s best seller from the 1960s until it was usurped by the Cortina in 1972, most of these cars rusted away long ago. Available in Austin, Morris, MG, Wolseley, Vanden Plas and Riley versions, they sold in their million. The MGs were popular as a sports saloon and there were a couple of these present, including one of the last ones built, as well as the more prosaic 1100 and 1300 saloon cars. There were a couple of the sport/luxury Riley Kestrel versions as well, a short lived model that was killed off when BMC died to end the famous Riley name in 1969, and there was also a Wolseley 1300 model. and the top of the range Vanden Plas 1300.

 photo P1140763_zpsb814fa24.jpg  photo P1140880_zps27a401ef.jpg  photo P1140811_zpsdb0d6f03.jpg  photo P1150004_zps61a21d70.jpg  photo P1140963_zpsb371c5ab.jpg  photo P1140962_zps9dd55189.jpg  photo P1140764_zps3f8963bc.jpg  photo P1140894_zpse71df7f4.jpg  photo P1140983_zpsea38cf80.jpg  photo P1140921_zpscd84157a.jpg  photo P1140920_zpsc19913c1.jpg


Never achieving the level of success of the smaller Issigonis cars, the Land Crab has its followers today. There were examples of the Series 2 and Series 3 cars at the event, both Austin and Morris badged models, and also a couple of the plusher Wolseley variant. These were initially badge 18/85 but after the 1972 facelift, at which time the 6 cylinder E Series engine became standard fitment, the Six. The amount of space in these cars, which are little larger than a modern Clio 4 is little short of incredible and ample evidence of how poor the packaging of current designs has become.

 photo P1140762_zps26d778a6.jpg  photo P1140761_zps773ffa7d.jpg  photo P1140918_zps3a0f9403.jpg  photo P1140760_zps6138cdf9.jpg  photo P1140759_zps306bb43a.jpg  photo P1140990_zps1eadb0ac.jpg  photo P1140917_zps64803178.jpg  photo P1140980_zpsde0acb10.jpg  photo P1150011_zpsddf2530d.jpg  photo P1150010_zps868d4fef.jpg  photo P1150009_zps6b42a832.jpg


 photo P1140958_zpse0230127.jpg  photo P1140957_zps0ed56fc3.jpg  photo P1140956_zpsba4a20d9.jpg  photo P1150036_zps73935d27.jpg  photo P1150034_zps791cbdf9.jpg


The what? That seemed to be reaction of most people, and the fact that there were 2 of them parked next to each other only increased the sense of bafflement. I talked to one of the owners, and he told me that they have now tracked down what has happened to about 16 of the 30 or so prototypes that were ever made. Several of them are overseas, with a couple in South Africa and New Zealand and one in Australia. So what is it? You could say that it was another British idea before its time, if you compare it to the Suzuki LJ80, but the reality is that this was an Issigonis driven development initially requested by the military who wanted a vehicle that could be carried air-borne and then used in hostile terrain for reconnaissance work. At the time, the Land-Rover was too heavy, so this machine was developed. It is based on ADO16 (1100) components, so it is larger than a Mini Moke and has selectable all wheel drive. In the end, it was deemed to be too expensive, as it would likely have cost nearly as much as a Land-Rover, so development effort when on an air-borne version of that instead, but production was close, as even handbooks were created. The green car is the only military spec Ant on the road. The white one is the road going car and features larger (13″) wheels, more trim and equipment. There is one example in the Gaydon collection, but to see two at once is very rare indeed.

 photo P1140731_zps5c585c4e.jpg  photo P1150062_zps020da43a.jpg  photo P1150061_zps7acc9e72.jpg  photo P1150060_zps7c22ab65.jpg  photo P1150059_zps8a23a47c.jpg  photo P1150058_zpsd74ec057.jpg  photo P1150043_zps0a66f30d.jpg  photo P1150042_zpsd0122a70.jpg


Last year there were just three Maxi on show, but this year, there were less than that, with just two cars attending. The earlier of the pair, a Harvest Gold 1750 model, looked to be absolutely immaculate and the later Sandglow 1750 was also in a nice condition.

 photo P1140842_zps4f2bf847.jpg  photo P1140841_zpsc03627e4.jpg  photo P1140840_zps0eea15e1.jpg


Much to many people’s surprise, the Allegro achieved a certain cult status a long time ago, and one of the real enthusiasts for the car is a friend of mine, Rev Colin Corke. He has owned this 1100DL model, one of the very first produced for 18 years now. It has featured in many magazine articles over the years. He also brought along an even rarer car, one of the first 1750SS models, which he had painstakingly restored a few years ago. This was a very rapid car in its day, with a 0 – 60 time of just over 9 seconds, and even now, he says, surprises many drivers.

 photo P1140727_zps2c9c7396.jpg  photo P1150065_zps32b8f00c.jpg  photo P1140728_zps8dfb6160.jpg

There were several other Allegros, including a couple of Vanden Plas models, though no Estate cars this time. They were presented in a series of very period colours: Harvest Gold, Sandglow, Vermillion, Russet Brown, Denim Blue, Nautilus Blue, Tara Green and Citron. Would anyone buy a car in these shades if they were offered these days, I wonder?

 photo P1140729_zps280345b5.jpg  photo P1150064_zps2769bda1.jpg  photo P1150063_zpse86d2b05.jpg  photo P1140908_zps338cc40f.jpg  photo P1140907_zps8b5daf6a.jpg  photo P1140906_zps26eda821.jpg  photo P1140905_zpsd63679e3.jpg  photo P1140939_zps8a3c6f02.jpg  photo P1140938_zps70cd8207.jpg  photo P1140937_zps806fe372.jpg  photo P1140936_zpsd312d40c.jpg  photo P1140935_zpsc6299fb2.jpg  photo P1140934_zpsf22fd430.jpg  photo P1140933_zpse4db31b3.jpg


A couple of the rather rakish ADO71 Princess models on display.

 photo P1140915_zps5ffcb5b3.jpg


This year there were 3 of this short lived large hatchback on show.

 photo P1140801_zpsd05c5af1.jpg  photo P1140989_zps85ee7546.jpg  photo P1140988_zps93631e1f.jpg  photo P1140987_zpsd61476e6.jpg  photo P1140986_zps99af1f3c.jpg  photo P1140985_zpsa8837507.jpg  photo P1140984_zps18c46e83.jpg


Although the Metro and Rover 100 have not perhaps the best reputation these days, you would never have guessed that from the vast number of these cars on show, and the enthusiasm of their owners, who ranged from a number of keen youngsters, many of whom had clearly modified their cars, to those which had been in the family for some considerable time. There was a good mix of the original “A+” engined cars and the later K Series models, with examples from the first few months of production as well as some of the later variants of the first generation Metro, and then the 1990 model K Series cars including the GTi 16V “warm hatch” models.

 photo P1150047_zpsef576fc3.jpg  photo P1140856_zpsb3ab9030.jpg  photo P1140924_zps47944e6a.jpg  photo P1140854_zpse09fe948.jpg  photo P1140931_zps77a064d2.jpg  photo P1140930_zpsddb0a0a4.jpg photo P1140852_zps93319196.jpg  photo P1140855_zps60f220bb.jpg  photo P1140853_zps9648af93.jpg  photo P1150049_zps7dec4a71.jpg    photo P1140758_zps234990cc.jpg  photo P1140849_zpse3dc9088.jpg  photo P1140858_zps57e53e43.jpg  photo P1140850_zps8443c05b.jpg  photo P1140847_zps320d8ce1.jpg  photo P1150046_zps60dae180.jpg  photo P1140925_zps3770f46a.jpg  photo P1140846_zps222e4a4a.jpg

Among the display were some MG models, as well, from the early models to those that were made late in the production life when the graphics had changed.

 photo P1140857_zpsedbc13e9.jpg  photo P1140848_zpsde5d4e02.jpg  photo P1150048_zps24a9bff2.jpg

The Cabrio was a rare beast, but of course one of these arrived, too.

 photo P1140851_zps73315df8.jpg


It’s not just the MG versions of the Maestro which retain some affection, as there were several of these cars ranging from an early 1.6L through to late model City and Clubman cars, along with a couple of Vans. There were several MGs, mostly the 2.0i models, but there was one of the earlier R Series engined 1600 cars and there were a couple of the very rapid Turbo cars.

 photo P1140864_zps286efc19.jpg  photo P1140863_zps6891fe61.jpg  photo P1140888_zps19dc9df2.jpg  photo P1140887_zps5fc95a0f.jpg  photo P1140886_zpsed2ad416.jpg  photo P1140866_zpsed114a8b.jpg  photo P1140865_zps523c4e6c.jpg  photo P1140913_zps4436c247.jpg  photo P1150003_zpse3809a6b.jpg  photo P1140996_zps9b93e4b1.jpg

At first it looked like there were going to be no Montegos at all at the event, but late in the morning a pair arrived together, one saloon and one estate, and these turned out to be the only representatives of a once strong selling family car range that did attend. This is a big contrast to 2012 when there were a lot of saloons on show.

 photo P1140995_zps2c0a593f.jpg  photo P1140994_zps0c5f7c45.jpg  photo P1140993_zps328f82ad.jpg  photo P1140992_zps5cb1533e.jpg  photo P1140883_zps8b1c06ca.jpg



 photo P1140878_zps260f414c.jpg



Although this is a product from Cowley and a direct rival to the cars which Austin were producing in the 1950s, the ever popular Minor was well represented at the event, with Saloon, Tourer and Traveller models on show, with one of the very early 1940s car joined by mostly later models.

 photo P1140952_zpsef35f42a.jpg  photo P1140722_zps6f688885.jpg  photo P1140953_zpsdc7fb770.jpg  photo P1140972_zpsd50a30c0.jpg  photo P1140951_zps5e2d60d9.jpg  photo P1150053_zpsaee8c55c.jpg


Derided by most, but loved by a few, there were far fewer Marina at the event than last year. A couple of saloon models were joined by a 1.8 TC Coupe and a couple of Vans. No sign of any of the later Itals at all .

 photo P1140885_zps629c9b38.jpg  photo P1140884_zpsdf3b92e0.jpg  photo P1150008_zps33ee0d27.jpg  photo P1150007_zps8e63d01f.jpg  photo P1150006_zpsaa1d79ec.jpg  photo P1140723_zpsa7d43ba0.jpg



 photo P1140896_zpsddf68640.jpg  photo P1140895_zps65bae48f.jpg


This model retains an enduring popularity, as it is still relatively affordable, mechanically simple enough to fix if things go wrong and with good parts availability. There were a few examples on show at this event. most of which were MGBs, but there were also a couple of the 6 cylinder MGC models.

 photo P1150027_zps814c7d26.jpg  photo P1140932_zps2cbcdb6b.jpg  photo P1140916_zpsa2c879ca.jpg  photo P1140805_zpsfcca8bae.jpg photo P1140843_zps23e5bd81.jpg photo P1140876_zps861a0491.jpg  photo P1140730_zpsb867a3ed.jpg


 photo P1150041_zps0e2db8e0.jpg  photo P1140873_zps8c6e406a.jpg  photo P1140877_zpsf787cf27.jpg  photo P1140874_zps8729348b.jpg   photo P1140922_zpsa88f60c4.jpg


There were a couple of examples of this 1990s update of the much loved B, though the red car that was present eluded my camera.

 photo P1140879_zps551e467b.jpg

MGF and TF

There were large numbers of the popular mid-engined MG, of course, with plenty of Fs, the later TF and even quite a few of the Chinese model TF LE1500 cars.

 photo P1140741_zpse4109c69.jpg  photo P1150014_zps842a50d2.jpg  photo P1150013_zps7913debe.jpg  photo P1150012_zps35d6f56c.jpg  photo P1140744_zps3dfb999b.jpg  photo P1140750_zps8839c39d.jpg  photo P1150025_zps4253ff28.jpg  photo P1150023_zps3986c6c1.jpg  photo P1150022_zps24f12b38.jpg  photo P1150021_zps24fdf1b9.jpg  photo P1140836_zps421cc672.jpg  photo P1150020_zpsdb8b4742.jpg  photo P1140746_zpsc41d108d.jpg  photo P1140748_zps9df09149.jpg  photo P1150017_zps351f1830.jpg  photo P1140757_zps79c93786.jpg  photo P1150016_zps04f4e91e.jpg  photo P1150024_zps15ddfcba.jpg  photo P1150026_zps1c02823e.jpg


You could see a row of freshly built MG6s in the background, as the Cofton Park venue adjoins what remains of the Longbridge plant, and there was a manufacturer presence associated with the display of these cars, but there were also several privately owned MG6 Hatch and the Magnette saloon cars. Although they have been on sale for a couple of years now, these are not cars you see on the road very often, and I heard more than one person say that he had never seen so many as were present at this event, and I would have to agree.

 photo P1140726_zpsd40da954.jpg  photo P1140725_zps4a7a7871.jpg  photo P1140721_zps68bb5833.jpg  photo P1140720_zps72d38a4c.jpg  photo P1150032_zpseeb731d2.jpg  photo P1150031_zpsf307f019.jpg  photo P1150030_zps2b7ed8e1.jpg


One Point Five

 photo P1140734_zps3d58165d.jpg



 photo P1140970_zps66ccbc10.jpg  photo P1140788_zps6f46fb4d.jpg


Someone commented that this used to be thought of as a large car, but looking at it now, it really does not seem so. I guess that they are right, but the person who aspired to one of these in the 1960s and 1970s probably now has their sights set on a 5 series BMW.

 photo P1140737_zps4a83842b.jpg  photo P1140997_zps03145404.jpg  photo P1140881_zpsff454f78.jpg


There were fewer SD1s than last year, and almost all of them were high end models, mainly Vanden Plas cars. All of them were post-facelift cars.

 photo P1140862_zps5d067954.jpg   photo P1140860_zps4da1279d.jpg  photo P1140859_zps6f3c21b2.jpg  photo P1140814_zps7756addb.jpg  photo P1140813_zps5d870824.jpg  photo P1150045_zps1c829d1f.jpg  photo P1140999_zpsd857c848.jpg


There were only a small number of the XX cars, the joint venture with Honda that produced the Legend and the first 800, and they ended up a bit dispersed around the event. This model struggled to gain the affection of its SD1 predecessor.

 photo P1140871_zpsa2317f0c.jpg

There were more of the facelifted R16/R17 cars including several 800 Coupes and an 827 Hatchback in Police specification. The most amusing vehicle, though, seems to have eluded my camera, which was the front half of two cars joined together. Definitely odd!

  photo P1140870_zpsd044a149.jpg  photo P1140869_zps319742e8.jpg  photo P1140868_zps444dddb3.jpg  photo P1140867_zps0ffeeb43.jpg  photo P1150044_zps1a15626f.jpg  photo P1140923_zps3a169e88.jpg


Although quite popular when new, almost of these have disappeared, so it was good to see a trio of them at the event, with a fourth arriving just as most people were heading home.

 photo P1140861_zpsb5ca8c87.jpg  photo P1140817_zpsa6b555e1.jpg  photo P1140816_zps3596dfd1.jpg  photo P1140815_zps83dc9ab8.jpg

200 and 400 R8

Amazing to realise that the Coupe version of this car, codenamed Tomcat, and popular in its day as an alternative to the Vauxhall Calibra, celebrates its 21st birthday this year. There were a good number of them on show, though I don’t think a single one of them was completely original.

 photo P1140826_zpsc304d3a5.jpg  photo P1140825_zpsc1acdaa1.jpg  photo P1140829_zps9118760a.jpg  photo P1140828_zps794a01a6.jpg  photo P1140827_zps33ea2a71.jpg photo P1140832_zpsd1101f76.jpg

There were lots of other R8 models, with three and five door 200 hatchbacks, a couple of the Cabrio models  as well as 400s in Saloon and Tourer format. Among the 400s was an early Si model, which made a pleasant contrast to the more commonly encountered 420 and Turbo cars that tend to be the only ones people have saved.

 photo P1140831_zps1d6e3ce8.jpg  photo P1140830_zps4989707d.jpg  photo P1140824_zps02ef2005.jpg  photo P1140823_zpsc0a493ed.jpg  photo P1140822_zpse3c3aff7.jpg  photo P1140821_zps4b3b8066.jpg  photo P1140820_zps6ecf4bc6.jpg  photo P1140819_zps63ffc525.jpg  photo P1140818_zps6bed7390.jpg

200 and ZR

 photo P1140835_zps9a12b2bd.jpg  photo P1140838_zps592f0616.jpg  photo P1140745_zps22042de7.jpg  photo P1140754_zpscecc6b55.jpg  photo P1140753_zps23b0985f.jpg  photo P1140752_zps3fd1bf58.jpg

There was a long line of the BRM models at one end of the event area. I counted 25 cars at one point.These cars were all finished in British Racing Green and are easily identified by the orange moulding around the lower grille area.

 photo P1140803_zpsfd3aed49.jpg   photo P1140800_zps105a80dd.jpg  photo P1140799_zps7446bfd7.jpg  photo P1140798_zps43686df5.jpg  photo P1140797_zpsc6c0dc48.jpg  photo P1140796_zps63418ed3.jpg  photo P1140795_zps930aa39b.jpg

400 and ZS

 photo P1140837_zps805bcfba.jpg  photo P1140749_zps483aaae7.jpg  photo P1140743_zps002ce32e.jpg  photo P1140742_zpsbf4b6753.jpg  photo P1150019_zpsbc6781cc.jpg  photo P1150005_zps33d7050b.jpg  photo P1140844_zps3165a504.jpg  photo P1140834_zpsf55b2d54.jpg  photo P1140833_zps1ea718f0.jpg


Unlike last year, when the 600 seemed conspicuous by its absence there were a few of what i still think was one of the most elegant designs of the early 1990s. There are few of these cars left on the road now. A Flame Red 620 Turbo would still appeal just like it did when new and I nearly acquired one before my test drive in an Alfa 164 and the start of my long line of Italian cars.

 photo P1140971_zps51b9eff4.jpg  photo P1140845_zps829b391f.jpg

75,  ZT and ZT-T

Numerically there were far more of these cars than any other, which is perhaps not surprising, as the 75 and ZT are still relatively young, and with very high levels of owner satisfaction reported by the likes of JD Power  when the cars were newer, they clearly retain their popularity. There was a good mix of saloon and estate bodies, and Rover and MG versions, with plenty of the facelifted cars as well as the earlier ones. The ZT260 was particularly well represented, and there were even a few of the very rare Rover V8 models.

 photo P1140755_zpsa02fd6fd.jpg  photo P1140756_zpsc75e7c71.jpg  photo P1140751_zpsb1883548.jpg  photo P1140747_zps26e969e9.jpg  photo P1150018_zps8dbe9fa5.jpg photo P1150001_zps6d0d398b.jpg  photo P1140998_zps20fe4d39.jpg  photo P1140812_zps187c1af1.jpg  photo P1140839_zpsf491265e.jpg  photo P1140786_zps5b5ca1a1.jpg  photo P1140785_zpsc5d04e78.jpg  photo P1140784_zps40f868e3.jpg  photo P1140783_zps992b3961.jpg  photo P1140782_zps93881a47.jpg  photo P1140781_zps7f5b8304.jpg  photo P1140780_zpse161ee4b.jpg  photo P1140779_zpsfc6cc481.jpg  photo P1140778_zps6fdd395f.jpg  photo P1140777_zps2a3d6785.jpg  photo P1140776_zps39ac1388.jpg  photo P1140775_zps1f9dd133.jpg  photo P1140774_zps61163e3d.jpg  photo P1140773_zps928a3d5d.jpg



 photo P1140717_zps1bba13da.jpg


 photo P1140872_zps099f904e.jpg


 photo P1140806_zps6f6f3d27.jpg


 photo P1140882_zps16c5880a.jpg


The last car to wear the Triumph badge was this, the Honda Ballade based Acclaim. These cars rarely appear event at classic car events, but today there were five on show, which was quite a surprise.

 photo P1140810_zps40ac1275.jpg  photo P1140809_zps8b7a3094.jpg  photo P1140808_zpsda412a25.jpg  photo P1140807_zps71640d2a.jpg  photo P1140991_zpsee85c493.jpg photo P1140919_zps7d00198f.jpg  photo P1140893_zpsfad347ed.jpg  photo P1140892_zps1d1b3367.jpg

This was an excellent event. Free to attend, and with a vast array of cars, most of which you rarely see, it was a great wallow in nostalgia. Whilst not particularly warm, the forecast heavy rain just about stayed away, which was a further bonus.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *