MG and Triumph Spares Day – the 2023 return!

14th February 2023

This long-standing event has been the season opener in the calendar for MG and Triumph enthusiasts for more than two decades and on 12th February 2023 made a welcome return after three years.  

The vibrant spares stalls, autojumble, tool specialists, club displays and packed halls were all evidence, if ever it were needed, that MGs are still at the beating heart of the historic vehicle community.  

Before the pandemic, the show had steadily grown to attract nearly 10,000 people and over 500 display cars through the doors of the National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh, Warks. But then, Covid struck, and the show was moved to Telford whilst building work commenced at the National Exhibition Centre, Stoneleigh. Except, it never actually managed to run at the new location as lock downs and bruised consumer confidence meant the show was cancelled for two years in a row.  

But, as the halls of National Exhibition Centre started to fill up on the morning of Sunday 12th of February 2023, it was clear that the troubles of the past two years were well behind us and the bargain hunters entered in their droves – all looking for that elusive part. 

The event really starts on Saturday afternoon, when the halls are full of people feverishly working on building their club display stands or setting out their stalls and doing some pre-show deals with each other. This included several MG Car Club Registers and branches who all had a great showing.  

The Triple M Register were showing off a stunning MG PB Midget, supercharged and ready for a full season of racing ahead in 2023 with Tim, it’s owner from Leicester at the wheel. The car was built in January 1936 at Abingdon. It was first registered in Bournemouth in March of that year. 

Tim bought the car in 2016 and undertook a ground-up restoration on it, with James Gunn rebuilding the 3-bearing, 939cc supercharged engine. It competed in its first hill climb in 2018 and Tim is looking forward to his first full season of circuit racing with the Triple M register this season. 

Also, in the anniversary year of the MG K3 Magnette, the Triple M Register also put on display a K3 that had survived the second world war by hiding in a barn in Belgium, dissembled after it’s rallying exploits of the 1930s. 

It was built in May 1933 and was bought by a lady called Enid Riddell in June of that year. Enid competed regularly in many events, including the Paris St. Raphael rally on four separate occasions including a class win in 1938. After being re-assembled in 1945 after the end of the Second World War, it was exported to the USA where it was eventually dismantled again until its present owner, Clint bought it in 2010, rebuilt the car and got it out in competition once again with three Mille Miglias under its belt. In period, the K3 was legendary for having broken most of the records for its class in Mille Miglia, proving to the world that Cecil Kimber had created a rugged and resilient sports car. 

The MGB Register had every factory-built evolution and body style of the model on display, as did the MGF Register who took the crowds breath away with the amazing paintwork on a special edition Biomorphic green Monogram car on their stand. The T-Register were in an adjacent hall as well with a whole host of members cars out in the car parks on display. 

On Sunday, at dawn, the first of the display cars rolled into the halls and jostled into position on their respective stands and the front gates opened for business. 

Triumphs and MGs are parked together and as you approach the entrance, several outdoor stalls were placed opposite the doors to whet the appetite for what was to follow. There were also some ring-fenced display cars – some of which were for sale. 

Once inside, parts, tools and consumables from the Autojumble made up of over 200 stalls greeted the home restorer. The spares market for the MG marque remains healthy, despite the ever-increasing pressures from online selling. New, re-manufactured and second-hand parts were in abundance ranging from shiny go faster bits to piles of panels and dusty treasures. 

The MGCC were also excitedly circulating leaflets promoting the big centenary festival to be held for the marque at Silverstone over the weekend of 10-11 June 2023. MG and Triumph 100 will be the club’s big event this year, with details at www.mgtriumph100.co.uk . 

As the day ended and the last of the punters left carrying their haul of classic car parts in their arms or on portable trollies – everyone who had exhibited was positive about the classic car season ahead and complimentary of the success of another superb International MG and Triumph Spares Day. It felt like back to business as usual and the loss of the social aspect of this show due to the pandemic, now a distant memory.  See you all at Silverstone!