The Pride of Longbridge Rally is rapidly becoming the focal point for enthusiasts of Mini, MG, Rover, BMC and BL cars and, for its fifth iteration, it was clear that visitor numbers were up, no doubt encouraged to make the annual pilgrimage to Cofton Park by the launch of the new MG6. However, the event wasn’t just about the resurgence of Longbridge and its re-opening as an assembly site, but a gathering of classic BL/BMC iron looking its best under the spring sun.
The event’s organiser, Gemma Cartwright, said that more than 1100 cars were on display in the park, with the collection of cars ranging from the pre-war Austin Counties to a strong turn out from the MG Rover era cars. Cofton Park’s location opposite the Longbridge factory meant that not just enthusiasts but factory workers past and present were in attendance and they were keen to share their anecdotes about life at ‘The Austin’.
Steve Worsley from the Maestro and Montego Club confirmed it was a great show: ‘we had a couple of rows of Maestros and Montegos,’ he said. ‘There’s real interest in these cars now. But what a great event!’ It was a sentiment shared with just about everyone who visited. Eamonn Burnell, from the Rover P4 Drivers Guild added: ‘I thought it was much better attended than my last visit three years ago.’
Ian Pogson from MG Motor UK added: ‘We’re getting bums on seats and people really like the MG6. There’s a lot of me in that car and it was great to see people enjoying it.’
Pride of Longbridge returns on 14 April 2012. Here’s the Facebook page.