It was the first time that Retro and Classic Cars had visited Pride of Longbridge, with the exception of our Rover guru Scott who attended last year in his Rover 45. It has been seven years since the last car came off the line in Longbridge in April 2005, but there is still the passion and love of such a brand.
As you enter the park you can see the MG Motors building, and a new housing development where there was once cars built when Longbridge was in full momentum. It hasn’t been easy for MG since they’ve launched the MG6, but they were in full force with the MG6 register and happy to answer to any questions about the various specifications of the 6. We didn’t quite get to find out that much about the up and coming diesel other than, it is coming.
As I wondered around with fellow Rover enthusiasts, knowledge was exchanged and notes were taken. It’s good to see that MG has made a lot progress; and that the appreciation of such brand harping back to Austin will continue on for the next generation of enthusiasts to appreciate. Take for example, Scott’s Rover 45. Generally less sought after compared to the likes of the MG ZS 180s, classic Minis and the collective of BRMs; he was very enthusiastic and keen to preserve his 45 for future generations. This was reflected by those I was surrounded with on the day, the spirit BL to MG was there with those who attended making you feel very welcome.
A stunning Rover 827 Vitesse on show
I managed to catch up with Mike Humble from Austin Rover Online later in the day, and spot his clean Rover 75 lurking amongst the Rover 75 & ZT Owners Club. This was one of the largest, along with the Minis and ample amount of Metros in attendance.
One of the cleanest and shiniest Rover 75s that attended.
With the R&CC’s Fleet Mini left at Scott’s to bond with a fellow Rover, there wasn’t much of an opportunity to exchange motors. Luckily as Scott was around, he swapped keys with fellow 45s owners to experience theirs and getting to know them further.
There was a lot of variety in attendance and was good to catch up and make new friends with a similar interest, the chances of if it was produced at Longbridge there was likely to be a model of it.
A well attended day by enthusiasts and public alike.
One of the stars of the show for me was the Rover SD1 Vitesse pictured below. With numbers decreasing it was lovely to come across such a well looked after example still in use. I’ve always felt the later Twin Plenum deserve more credit than they get, definitely one that will be on my want list.
Original and unmolested Rover SD1 Vitesse
It was a well organised day, with the weather holding out for the majority of the day with the occasional bit of rain here and there. Thanks to all of the staff and volunteers who went to the effort to put on splendid day. So who’s joining Retro and Classic for next year?