Events : Pride of Longbridge 2012

Keith Adams

Pride of Longbridge 2011 attracted a wide variety of cars
Pride of Longbridge 2011 attracted a wide variety of cars

The Pride of Longbridge will be running for the seventh time in 2012, and promises to be bigger and better than ever. This year’s gathering at Cofton Park, opposite the Longbridge factory, takes place on 14 April, and it’s hoped that the number of cars that turn up will beat last year’s total of 1100. Considering it started as an impromptu gathering in 2006, it’s grown impressively, and now seems to have overtaken Peterborough as the de facto show for our cars.

According to the event’s website, several cars’ anniversaries take place in 2012, and there will be a celebratory area to leave your car if it falls into this category.

Here are the full details:

Any vehicle with a Longbridge connection, large or small, new or old, is very welcome to attend.  This is a free event and no booking is necessary. This includes modern MG/Rover products as well as vehicles with Riley, Austin, Morris, Rover Triumph and Vanden Plas badges or sports cars and commercials using the Longbridge built family of engines.

There will be entertainment for children and families including face painting, bouncy castle, Mehndi skin decoration, a competition (with a prize provided by MG) and local carnival Prince and Princess. POL celebrates the Longbridge factory’s achievements and allows former workers to show their families the products they built.  Please come along.

The first POL was held spontaneously in 2006 on the 1st anniversary of the factory’s closure in April 2005 and has continued on the same weekend every year since. The plant has opened again to build the MG6 and further models will follow.  The community as a whole remains both optimistic and proud of the century of innovation and motivation ‘The Austin’ (as locals called it) fathered 1905-2005. No other UK plant has been so significant to British motor industry history.  Longbridge was at the forefront of invention with the Austin 7 in 1922 and Mini in 1959.

MG will display its current products.  POL will also celebrate some significant anniversaries, such as;

  • 90 Years of the Austin 7
  • 80 years of the Austin 10
  • 60 Years of the Austin Somerset
  • 50 Years of the MGB
  • 50 years of the 1100/1300 range.

Owners who bring examples of these vehicles can park in their model’s anniversary parking area. It would help the organisers if you are intending to come, or have a query to email John Baker with details of Make and Registration number to

The event also has its own Facebook page.

AROnline will be there in force, so please feel free to let us know if you’re coming and what car you’re bringing. And don’t be shy to come and say hello… we’ll no doubt be close to our cars!

Keith Adams


  1. As time goes by and public attention is concentrated on the modern factories like Nissan, Toyota & Honda plus JLR, it’s easy to forget the important role and heritage that Longbridge gave the British motor industry.

    Events like this are very useful and essential to keep those memories alive.

  2. Ill be going in one of my R8’s most probably the SLEGTi that Keith rescued from Romania back last year, i might even bring my own manhole as a reminder of that trip.

  3. As far as “Brand X” cars there are a couple of Nash Metropolitans (as they are known in the U.S.) prominently displayed! 🙂 Of course these were built by Austin under contract for Nash and later AMC. Were these cars also sold in the U.K. under the Austin brand?

  4. I’m definitely attending in my Rover 75. My 11 year old daughter is coming too.

    I’ve already e-mailed John Baker and I’m sorting accomodation for Saturday night right now!

  5. Hotel now booked. It’s a definite date in my diary now.

    Can’t wait! I’ll be in my element!

  6. The thuggy idiot doing donuts in his shagged out Fiesta amongst the cars displayed (no marshalls to stop this) put me off going again. Some owners only stay for about an hour then go leaving an half empty field by lunchtime.

    Is it better than BL Day at Peterborough? Well there’s no doubt Longbridge is a damn site easier to get to!

    “POL celebrates the Longbridge factory’s achievements and allows former workers to show their families the products they built.” What you mean is the cars they SHOULD have been building instead of standing around a brazier on strike because the bacon rolls were cold, ultimately bringing about the demise of the company.

  7. @5 Carter – One of the neighbours in our street in the 60s used to have a visitor who owned a “Metropolitan”. i’m sure it had an Austin badge on it and I recall the car looking very different to other British cars of that era.

  8. @5 and 13 – Nash Metropolitans were built by BMC under licence at Longbridge for a few years in the late 50s / early 60s. They were initially sold as Austin and then the brand was dropped and they were just ‘Metropolitan’s.

    And then 25 years later the name Austin was removed from the contemporary small hatchback, which became just the ‘Metro’.

  9. Wouldn’t be surprised if my Dad comes now, too – Was telling him about The POL and I’ve triggered memories of his first car, an Austin 7, and later his AD016’s.

    I know it’s not a competition, Mike {:-)) Suppose, I just wish I had the knowledge to work on mine myself like you have with yours.

  10. Ref. my own comment 15 –

    An amusing tale regarding my Dad’s Austin 7. He used to drive it up Honister Pass in the Lake District in reverse. It couldn’t manage the one in four gradient in first!!

  11. @13 Hilton D – I have no doubt the Metropolitan looks different from British cars of the era, but it looks right at home with the Nash lineup of the mid-1950s. (The Metropolitan was sold in the U.S. from 1954 through 1961, though I think the ’61s were actually leftover ’60 models.)

    Did the Austin version come with a bench seat and three-speed column shift like the Nash did? (First gear was locked out on the little Nash as the company believed the average American would not be comfortable with a 4-speed! Ditto for bench vs. bucket seats.)

    The “baby Nash” look was pretty dated in the U.S. towards the end of the Metropolitan’s production run. Today they are very collectible and there are a surprising number still around.

  12. Well me and the family look like we will be attending our 1st POL and looking forward to it! Now we have to draw short straws on what car to bring along The 75, The ZT or The ZT-T???

  13. I should be coming in my Rover 25 1.4 IL, I bought it as a Cat C and have repaired the damage as well as putting a new engine in and many other bits. It has been off the road for nearly 3 years and now has an MOT and will be tested at VOSA on the 3rd of April. So it is coming home after 11 years on the 14th! Not in the best condition really, but it isn’t bad.

  14. Definitley remember the Austin Metropolitan probably around 1959. It was the age of Americana in Britain and “us kids” liked the two tone pastel colors, looked cute back then especially the distinctive lowered tops of the doors. Could’nt believe they need such a “big engine” (1.5 Cambridge). Quite popular for a while I recall but I dodnt think they came cheap and never looked real stable.

    When I moved to US was delighted to see the Nash badged versions.

    Just checked my Observers Book of Autombiles. In the 1957 it is included only as a Nash, in 1961 it is not included and Nash didnt get an entry so I guess had gone by then.

  15. now, if I had the money, this would be the shop window highlight of the year 🙂 :)..


    1) Maestro Tickford Turbo
    2) Rover 220 Turbo
    3) MG ZTV8
    4) MG SV
    5) MGRV8

    ooohh yeahhhh!!…

  16. @Ross A:

    You have forgot to mention the Rover SD1 3500 Vitesse, 3500 Vanden Plas EFi, 75 V8, 200 BRM LE, 25 GTi…

    I shall now be going to PoL for the very first time ever. A friend of mine wants to display his 1972 MGB GT in Silverleaf metallic as part of the MGB’s 50th Anniversary celebrations, so I will hopefully get the chance to put faces to some of the familiar names on this website.

    Should be a nice gentle cruise up from Exeter.

  17. I’ll be there with appox 90 cars from the Rover 75/ZT’s owners clubs and the wife will bring the MGF

  18. I thought I wasn’t going to be able to get to this because of a family wedding but I’m going to try and make an appearance early on. Be nice to have a chat with some people. Sadly I’ll probably have to park outside so I can leave in time for the wedding but we can’t have our cake and eat it.

  19. Well, my plans for The POL are continuing to take shape.

    I today booked my 75 in for its ‘Pre Longbridge Inspection’ at the Land Rover specialist service centre just by Halewood. It’s been here a few times now. Thanks again, Mike, but they only wanted £44 for a vehicle check and it’s five mins walk from work. I want to enjoy the drive down & the show relaxed in the knowledge my car has only just been looked at!

    I’ve identified a scrap yard with Rovers ‘in stock’ in my search for badges.

    Not that my car is grubby but tomorrow, Sunday will also be valet day!

  20. Well, as I’ve commented elsewhere, my 75 today passed its ‘PLI’ – no immediate or serious issues.

    Bar a last wash the car is all ready for the show. So, only the most serious events now preventing me from coming (such as my own demise!!) see you there folks!!

  21. i’m comming to this, but i come with my landrover defender am i alowed to go inside?
    i have a problem with my mg zr, i can’t fix it in time.
    a real mg rover maniac from belgium

    ps last year i was there with my mini in the brm colours

  22. Have just finished the Big Valet on my ZT so it is almost ready for the event, looking forward to it as always. Just a number plate to be replaced now and a bit of paint attention next week.

  23. i along with appox 90 Rover75’s/ZT’s from the owners clubs and a MGF in tow but this time she will park with the MGF register once there.i have been to most of the POL’s i regret
    not knowing about the first one and so missing it it would of been nice to of joined in if mixed with sadness but this is to remember what was and hopefully look forward to the future….

  24. With any luck I’m hoping my new MG6 will be delivered in time so I can go in it.

    Can’t wait, it’s a fantastic car to drive.

  25. Have fun folks, I went last year and it is a cracking event. I will be in Scotland getting freezing/soaked on my motorbike.

  26. lets hope we see an mg6 diesel on show,oops sorry were still waiting for that one aint we ,pride of longbridge is an exceptional day that belongs to the former glories of the real longbridge not the mickey mouse outfit of today ,enjoy we will

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