Well folks, it’s that time again to wake up your Wolseley, polish that P6 and manicure your Metro for the Austin Federation 2014 Pride of Longbridge event at Cofton Park Birmingham, which takes place at 10.00am on 12 April at Cofton Park, overlooking the Lowhill Lane side of the factory.
All cars or light commercials with a connection with the factory are welcome. Simply turn up to the park entrance which is just past beyond the plant’s K-Gate, and the stewards will direct you to the display area which is marked “E” on the plan below. Despite it now being nine, very quick passing years, since the demise of MG Rover, this free show which has become a major date on the motoring calendar, and has shown no sign of waning in popularity – quite the opposite as numbers grow each year.
So far as all things AROnline matter, 2014 marks a few very significant birthdays. This year sees the 30th anniversary of what was two very important cars for our much-missed company. The design award winning Austin Montego rolled out of Cowley for the first time back in 1984 while the first Rover 200 up at Longbridge brought a new level of quality and class thanks to a very close working relationship with Honda. This car went on to feature regularly in the sales Top 10 and featured much higher level of creative input from Austin Rover engineers than its predecessor – the Triumph Acclaim.
Then, in 1989 Rover blew the socks of the motoring critics with the all-new 200 series. This car was again designed closely with Honda, but with Rover engineers almost having a free hand with certain engineering and packaging aspects of the car – K series engine being the most notable. The 200 brought Rover new confidence, never seen before build quality and had customers queueing for vehicles with the factory often running 24 hours a day to cope with demand. But of course it doesn’t matter what vehicle you drive be it an Austin Seven or Rover 75 – all are welcome on the day and hopefully the weather will more palatable than last year.
There’s plenty to see and plenty to do in a very relaxed and informal kind of atmosphere – its very much a family thing, and don’t worry if your car is far from concours. It’s a celebration for the British Motor Industry, not a stuffy classic car show, so just pop along and enjoy. AROnline will be there in force too as will Mike Humble’s G-registered Project 214 – the R8 that simply refuses to die…
So if you see us on the day, be sure to stop us and say hello! It’s a great day out for owners and fans alike – It’s free of charge too!
More at the official Pride of Longbridge website