Events : BMC/BL Rally, Peterborough

Words and photography (unless indicated otherwise): Keith Adams

Holding any event during Team GB’s greatest Olympic weekend is always going to be a challenge. But ally that with what has been an appalling summer ‘s weather, and it’s no real surprise that in terms of visitor numbers, the 19th annual BMC/BL Rally looks to be down in terms of visitor numbers. Having said that, there was a refreshing variety of cars on display – with what appears to have been particularly strong turn-outs from the Rovers 75/MG ZT and SD1 owners’ clubs.

But the newer boys weren’t having things all their own way – and predictably, being the organising club, the Cambridge-Oxford Owners Club managed to put on a great display, as did the Allegros and Princesses. But despite the excellent atmosphere, and the fact that many people came from a variety of far-flung locations, the weather really did have an effect, with the heavens opening regularly during what is usually the busiest day – Sunday.

But overall, it’s still a national-class event, and despite now being eclipsed by April’s Pride of Longbridge, it’s still worth the trek every August…

(Note: apologies for the poor images – tech failure on AROnline‘s main camera!)


Keith Adams


  1. Helmlingham Hall was busy, and there was at least 600 cars on display, but not that much BL tin. Kerridges had a display on, which included a 6 and a Magnette, plus a Noble and the odd TVR

  2. That white 213 SE was mint and the bloke only wanted £875!!!! for it, with 12 months MOT and about 28k on the clock, total bargain!

    The Marina TC pictured was neat, infact there were some great cars on the Marina stand.

    Good Metro turn out as well, I had a great day though a little damp!!!

  3. Clocked you Keith but you looked busy, so didn’t get to say hello. Some great cars (loved the Rover 800 police traffic car but looked fake?) but real shame about the weather.

  4. What’s that next to the Dolomite? It looks almost exactly like a Dolomite, but not quite. Similar front and rear to the 2000. Wipers set up the opposite way (is it LHD and Leyland also set them up backwards for the export market?).

  5. Didn’t get the story behind the Marina hatchback (how sensible), but its tailgate looked to be built from two parts, with the bottom coming from a Metro. The rear lights are a giveaway…

  6. Thanks! Now that I know, I can see it. I’ve read the aronline article about the Apache and was struck then at how much it looked like the Dolomite.

    A really good facelift of the 1300, although probably not suited to the UK/ European market.

  7. I didn’t go this year .
    I went to a local show in Norfolk.
    I will be there next year when the weather will be great .

  8. Yes that wing on the Austin 18-22 wedge wants replacing. But I’ve spent heck knows how many hours and how much £’s on restoring the other arches, sills and valence. It finally got MOT’d a fortnight ago, and out of the bodyshop last Tuesday. Thanks for the pic aronline!

  9. All nice cars in their own right… but I do like the red Austin/Morris 1300GT, the blue TR7, the green MG ZT-T and the red Dolo Sprint.

    Was wondering – is “Woolleysox” a real MG7 or just been mocked up to look like one?

  10. The Marina looks good with those wheels and spots. I keep saying the Marina had the potential to look Alfetta-like, this really does look the part.

    The landcrab, did they ever offer road cars with that rally paint scheme? Looks a lot better than the base colours they usually came in.

    Good to see a few token randoms – CX, Solara, Rascal camper!

    What is it with the 75 V8s seem to be over badged on the grille?

  11. I can confirm that the Rover 827 Traffic car is a genuine “Retired” Police car. And the owner is a serving Police Officer with the Motorcycle unit.

  12. The hatch on the Marina ‘Hatchback’ is a cut down Capri MK3 tailgate according to the guys on the stand.

  13. @16 And a mostly good result, too – shame about those blasted doors, the Marina coupé would have been transformed if they’d given it the right proportions.

  14. 17 – In theory it looked ok but it really did need a total rebuild. I like that ‘Condor’? prototype Coupe on this website somewhere.

    Elsewhere there was UK spec Austin Marina GT which looked really smart and the general turn out on stand was 100% I liked the Rally Spec Marina Coupe in green with minilites and BL Special Tuning badges. I reckon its the next best thing to a MK1 Escort for a fraction of the cost.

  15. ‘Woolieysox’ Is a ZT-T260 With a ‘premium’ grille-This grille was an option on these cars. Wooleysox can be found on the 260’s website and on the 75 and ZT owners website.

  16. I had a great day out even with the weather this is my third visit and will be back for more next year(I hope).
    My car is a ZTT v8(tourer) with a premium bumper and the MG7 grill with a MG7 badge the original MGR premuim Grills are not available anymore.The MG7 is not available as a tourer saloon only. I think the bumper and grill update the car well. But hey ho each to his/her own.

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