Simon Ford, www.simonscarspots.com
Brown & Gammons has been synonymous with the Hertfordshire town of Baldock Since 1977. It started from humble beginnings to become one of the most respected names in Classic MG restoration throughout Great Britain – if not the world. I would often walk past its old two car showroom, peer into the window and look in amazement at the old MGs, Jaguars, Rolls-Royces, on display.
After many years of Restoring and selling classic cars and expanding gradually, it seems only fitting that Brown & Gammons became MG Motor UK’s latest Dealership, and there would be some very special MG guests at the unveiling (more later).
So, not being someone to pass down a free orange Juice, I went to have a look around and attend the opening of MG’s new dealership. Those of you not familiar with Baldock Town Centre, will probably not know thats its high street is really small – a blink and you’ll miss it kind of road – a and Browns & Gammons is pushed back from the main road, but thanks to the big red flags, it’s at least easy to spot.
On arrival to the launch there was an old immaculate 2500TC in the public car park, and three MG6s outside the showroom – a Magnette, GT and a GT in BTCC livery.
On arrival, MG salesman were there to direct people on where to go, what time everything starts, and answer any questions you may have on the new model range. Venturing through the side gates to have a look at some Classic MGs, my immediate thoughts were, ‘will I get in without a beard and Flat cap?…’
All those fears were put aside the moment I stepped through the gates. It wasn’t what I was expecting to see at all! The dealership was full of normal very nice people, all suited and booted for the evening, without an adenoid in sight. And I was left to have a look around the cars and facilities at my own leisure.
MGA Twin Cam
MG TD II competition version
After a quick tour of the facilities, it was nearly time for the dealership launch… But first, refreshments! Inside Brown & Gammons’ showroom, the service department had been converted to the catering department for the night – the food was plentiful, the atmosphere was buzzing, the drinks were flowing and people were interacting with everyone was having a fantastic time all round.
The time had come for the official launch. To kick it all off was Ron Gammons, Owner of Brown & Gammons for over three decades. He was regaling people with tales of his loyal customers’ exploits, his visions for the future, and how excited he was to be an official MG Dealer. Ron had the crowd in stitches with the story of how his first MG6 was sold – when his customer only came in wanting a gasket for his classic MG.
Ron then introduced the special guests for the unveiling. These included MD Wang Hao (William), Guy Jones, Sales and Marketing Manager, David Martin, National Franchise Dealer Development Manager, and Doug Wallace, PR and Events Manager, Richard Hales, Regional Manager.
Other special guest were from the MG Car Club – Chairman Bill Silcock, Julian White General Manager, Chris Seward PR & Communications Manager.
It was Now time for William to take centre stage. He went on to welcome Brown & Gammons into the MG Family, explain company visions, including putting everyone’s mind at rest by pitching the MG6 as British (because only 30% of the car is made in China, the rest is made and assembled in the UK). In all He made a very good speech and reassured the hardcore MG fans among the audience.
Before cutting the red tape, Guy Jones officially handed over Brown & Gammons’ first car to its new owner John Burgess (below). After the Red tape was cut William then posed for a Photo with Ron Gammons…
William waiting to be introduced by Ron Gammons
After the Formalities were over, everyone went back to enjoying the rest of the evening, with the top brass from MG really enjoying themselves and answering any questions people had. I even found out that William normally pre-visits a new dealership before doing an official launch for MG, but in the instance of Brown & Gammons he didn’t – it was a blind visit.
William was glad he did it. According to sources, ‘William loved everything about Brown & Gammons, because it’s a small, independently owned Family Garage with a great Reputation for everything MG ‘Past, Present, and Future. MG Motor UK will enjoy working very closely with Brown & Gammons.’
Back in the courtyard a couple more car spots
MG TF 85
Before getting a picture of myself and MG Motor UK MD Wang HAO (William).
Between 80-120 people at the Brown & Gammons Launch, and the atmosphere was fun and lively. The visitors were in good spirits, and the staff were first class, and I can see why Brown & Gammons has a loyal following in Baldock. They’re more of a community than a dealership, and that’s what this night was all about – expanding that community.