THE largest display – ever – of Austins, Wolseleys, Rileys, Healeys and every other example of car to be produced at ‘The Austin’ or wear an Austin badge assembled in Longbridge’s Cofton Park to celebrate the Centenary of the legendary factory.
Here is a selection of pictures taken at the event, and the start of the cavalcade.
A Hundred not out…
Allegros in stunning form…
BACK in April, when MG Rover was placed into administration, many people doubted that the long-anticipated centenary celebrations would go ahead. They figured it would be impossible to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the factory that locals call, ‘The Austin’, when the productions lines remained silent. But organizers soon scotched these rumours putting out the message: ‘The show will go on’.
As it was, the Celebrations were a great success, with the starting point of the weekend’s festivities taking place in Birmingham’s Victoria Square. A cavalcade, lead by a Herbert Austin’s first car, a 1903 Wolseley 10HP, and which included examples of every product built by the company was greeted by cheers and waves from the locals. Such was their pride in the collection of Longbridge-built classics they lined the streets from the City Centre to Longbridge’s Cofton Park – the venue where the main event would be taking place.
Cofton Park may have seen its fair share of meetings of minds in the past, but on this sunny July weekend, the beautiful park played host to a huge selection of cars. Pre-War Austins shared field space with BMCs, Wolseleys, Rileys and every other car produced at Longbridge or wearing an Austin badge.
The many owners’ clubs that turned up put on great displays, and it was fantastic to see the huge number of mint classics lined up. The most impressive collections were undoubtedly put on by the Austin 7 and Austin 10 Clubs – and in all probability, there will probably never be another occasion to see this many pre-War Austins in one place ever again.
Interest in the event was huge, and people travelled from as far as New Zealand to be there.
There will probably never be another show like this – and the great turnout demonstrated that people really do love ‘The Austin’. Here’s to another 100 years of Longbridge classics…
The cavalcade saw 116 Longbridge-produced cars and other Austins travel from Birmingham’s Victoria Sqaure to Cofton Park.
Mike McCabe and his stunning Rover 75 Connoisseur just before the cavalcade’s off. We’ll be seeing a 75 owners’ club before too much longer…
Stephen Malby and his immaculate series one Maxi.
Lindsey Smith and her beautiful Austin Maestro Vanden Plas. It’s for sale, incidentally.
June Elias and Zoe Waterfield with their Rover 216…
The Rover Coupe Club put up a good display of their fine looking Tomcats. A future classic for sure. (Picture: Tim Burgess)
The Allegro Club International put on a good display, and its Allegro Equipe attracted lots of attention… (Picture: Tim Burgess)
Richard Murphy’s spick and span MG Metro made a welcome appearance. (Picture: Tim Burgess)
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.