Pride of Longbridge 2011 : 1100 cars converge on Cofton Park

Keith Adams  

Pride of Longbridge 2011
Pride of Longbridge 2011

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.  

Keith Adams
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  1. I so wish I’d managed to go but my funds couldn’t have coped as it’s the end of the month for my pay. I get paid on Thursday and am picking up my new 820 on Friday so that softened the blow a little bit. 🙂

  2. A record was set for the biggest number of 200 BRMs gathered together too: 27 in all. Well done to

  3. Keith Adams :

    I wanted to ask you about BRMs. I know someone who is looking for one. Do you know of any for sale?


    Only the usual places such as Auto Trader or eBay. Be careful, there’s lots of tat about. Don’t pay £500 and expect it to be good. It won’t be…

  4. What’s the dark green off-roader/utility vehicle with Reg. No. POF95G? I thought it might be an Austin Champ, but it’s got a bit of a Sherpa look about it. Lovely Wedge action too!

  5. @Simon Hodgetts
    That’s a Austin Ant – it was the another attempt by BMC to make a small, air-portable military vehicle like the Moke project.

    I don’t know a huge amount about the vehicle but there is one on display at Gaydon. I think it uses a lot of Austin 1100 bits as well as Mini parts. It’s really impressive in the metal – another ones of those ‘what ifs’!

  6. A really good PoL this year – it was the busiest I’d ever seen it! Pretty much every conceivable model was on show and there was a really good showing from the HHRs!

  7. PoL was a very good show and it was nice not to have the only BMC 1100/1300 there for a change and to see such a good turn out by all.

    My only quibble was the bad organisation of getting in and the lack of toilets – I sat and stood in queue for far too long – but, other than that, an excellent event.

  8. Great to see so many British cars there, and the MG6 too. Looking at that photo of a Rover 75 with Serpent alloys, I can’t decide whether it’s a special lemon paint job or solid white looking different in the shadows.

  9. Keith Adams :
    I wanted to ask you about BRMs. I know someone who is looking for one. Do you know of any for sale?

    Actually, which Kev Davis has already mentioned has both For Sale and Wanted sections for these cars. A very interesting (and addictive!) website to visit.

  10. @Hilton Davis
    Well, given the age of the car and the fact that it is definitely a Cowley-built example, I would say that it is finished in the very rare colour of Primrose Yellow which was discontinued in late 1999/early 2000.

  11. I would have loved to gone to the PoL. That’s a nice picture of the Princess – mine’s the same colour – and great to see that Allegro 1750SS as they are getting quite rare these days.

    It’s also interesting to see an early Rover 75 – that could, perhaps, be a “T” reg one – as well as a whole range of other BL, ARG and MGR cars on display. Well done to the organisers.

  12. I definitely want to get to a future PoL Rally. I was elsewhere for this one, but it looked superb.

  13. I would expect the Allegro 1750SS to drive and feel exactly like an Allegro 1500 Special with a Maxi 1750 engine in it…

    Anyway, from my experience of the 1500 Special on Staples2Naples, 2005 (See this series of AROnline articles about the event), it is no sports car, but a fast(ish) cruiser. The very good midrange torque will pull it up any hill and make overtaking in fifth gear a doddle.

    I believe the only differences between the 1500 Special and the 1750 SS were some badges, the hubcaps, a rev-counter and the size of the E-Series engine used. It was actually a very nice car to drive – apart from the quartic wheel in the Alps.

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