IT WAS heartening to see so many cars and their owners turn up to our informal austin-rover.co.uk gathering at Gaydon.
After all, it was not an arranged event or anything – someone on the website forum suggested we all get together and show off our wares, so to speak. The last time we tried this – back in the days when we had 25 people on the Yahoo mailing list, and not so many website readers – we had about six people turn up, and a great time was had by all.
It was reasonable to assume this would happen again.
Nothing prepared me for the number of cars that had congregated in Gaydon’s car park yesterday, when I turned up late. There were loads of them, and hearteningly for me, there was a very wide selection of motors to choose from. The selection ranged from Eamonn Burnell’s immaculate Rover 100 to Ian Robertson’s 54-reg MG ZT CDTi. Cars from all periods in BMC>Rover’s history were there, and that made me very happy indeed.
It also started me thinking. Why is it that we have millions of separate owners’ clubs, all with a handful of members? Why aren’t we all one big, happy union of enthusiasts? After all, MG and Triumph manage it (in a way) and Rootes certainly does – so why not BMC>Rover? I know I bang on about this on a regular basis, but wouldn’t it be nice if there was an all-encompassing BMC>Rover club, where Allegro owners would sit happily alongside their Marina owning counterparts…
Imagine the buying power we could wield – and just imagine how much more likely it would be to get parts remanufactured or regalia produced inexpensively if we were a union of clubs representing 5000 owners, rather than single, fractious clubs with 100 members here and 100 members there. Heck, we could even get British Motor Heritage to support us…
It’s a utopian dream, but one I would dearly love to see.
Oh yes – one more thing. To everyone who showed up, a heartfelt ‘thanks’. I am sorry I didn’t get a chance to chat to everyone, but thanks for all your ideas, comments and suggestions for the site, to those I did…
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
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