Mike Humble says good riddance to 2011 and embraces the new year with both hands
2011 has left the building, its official. As a rule, I am often in bed long before the first strike of Big Ben come New Year’s Eve, but this last one, I made sure I was there to throw the old year out with the discarded wrapping paper, chicken carcass and old socks replaced by new ones. Last year for me anyway, will be marked down as the most traumatic in the whole of my 39 years, and I was so glad to see the back of it.
Personal reasons including being effectively made redundant for the second time in six months really dented my self confidence and placed an incredible strain on the old ‘Swiss’ bank account – my policy of running an ’emergency’ car along with a company one being put to the test twice!
The gearbox on my old 25 exploded with no warning, the lucky find Rover 420iL slipped through my fingers to be replaced by a Saab 9-3 Turbo which threatened to be a money pit, and staying with Saab – they finally admitted defeat and invited the receivers over for a brew. In automotive terms, it truly was an annus horribilis. It looks like there is more to come too, with Renault struggling like crazy and slashing the dealer network and product lines – I can see more motoring misery and dealer closures in this new year – survival of the fittest for sure.
As Keith stated in a recent blog, now is the best time ever for buying a new car – so if you can… do it!
Though it was not all doom and gloom, 2011 also marked some important times. The Pride of Longbridge gathering in Birmingham brought the biggest ever number of cars and visitors no doubt due to the passing of five seemingly short years since man’s best friend – Rover – was finally put down. Last year also marked the 10 years since the creation of this web site, and all of us involved were touched and chuffed to bits to see so many people at the Gaydon celebrations, despite the clouds above Warwickshire doing their best impression of an Indian Monsoon. Readership and participation of AROnline has now almost reached fever pitch – and it’s all YOUR doing!
I am looking forward to this new year however, not only because surely things seemingly cant get any worse, but also for plans afoot. My fingers are crossed for a possible up coming venture in the motor trade with much involvement with MG Rover products and aftercare, and I am also looking forward to spending more quality time getting to know the new love in my life – the project 75, which for the record continues to look great, drive fine and still make me have one final glance of her shapely curves from around the curtain before turning in for the night. After all these years working and driving these cars with trauma and tears along the way – I still relax with a Rover!
It’s a few months away yet, but we are considering a stand or pitch if you like for the up coming 2012 Longbridge gathering. It kind of makes sense really, owing to this website being the biggest and most in depth of its kind. So many of you out there are simply just names or IP addresses and owing to the vast information, trivia and stats coming from all walks of life mainly from the guys and gals like YOU who read and contribute no matter how big or small, it seems only fitting that like minded people who share the dreams and nightmares of all things British motor related can meet, greet and press flesh.
Though its a real shame that MG Rover are not with us to launch some 2012 Olympic special editions!
Your Ideas and thoughts for the 2012 Longbridge gathering are gladly appreciated – get in touch and tell us!