No, your eyes are not deceiving you. This is a genuine photo, and it’s been sent in by AROnline reader, Alan Zafer, who gave me a fascinating insight into recent announcement that MG Motor UK had pitched up a new showroom in one of London’s more exclusive areas.
One thing I absolutely adore about AROnline is that there’s no end to the historic material that continues to be unearthed, and continues to come my way, despite us talking about events that are now ancient history. But here’s the thing, it is still living history, and that’s why it’s so important to share everything that rolls into my inbox.
Anyway, back to the picture, and Alan says this: ‘What goes round comes round! The building where the new MG Motor UK showroom is was also the original showroom for BMC back in the 1960s. As well as selling cars from this west London address, upstairs was home to the Boardrooms, and where Raymond Baxter had his office!’
Indeed, in his 2002 interview with us, Raymond recalled: ‘We were all paid peanuts and I forget the exact figure, but because I reported directly to Lester Suffield, who was Managing Director of BMC, I went up to Longbridge pretty much every week. We had our offices at the end of Piccadilly in Devonshire House and I had a fabulous office overlooking Piccadilly right on the corner with a little balcony and everything. It was such a culture shock from sharing an office with Brian Johnston in the BBC, which was the size of this room – this was big executive stuff!’
Alan added, ‘In order to increase showroom traffic, one Christmas we put a sideways stretched Mini in the window…’
The picture above certainly paints a thousand words. So, MG Motor UK, what can you do to match the achievements of your illustrious predecessors?
[Editor’s Note: A reader has subsequently pointed out that the address of MG Motor UK’s new showroom is 47-48 Piccadilly whereas the original BMC showroom was at 41 Piccadilly.]