MGCC to celebrate in style at the NEC
The MG Car Club is using the UK’s biggest classic car party to invite everyone to come and celebrate the Club’s 85th birthday.
Way back in 1930 the MG Car Club was born at the Roebuck Hotel, near Stevenage but quickly found its home in Abingdon, the traditional home of MG, as part of the MG Car Company.
MG quickly established itself in the world of motorsport, beating Bentleys at Brooklands and Alfas in Italy, before breaking land speed records at Bonneville.
MG arguably invented the term ‘sportscar’ and it was perhaps the T Type series of car that cemented MG’s place on the world stage – American and Canadian combat personnel based in Europe during World War II fell in love with MG and when they headed back across the Atlantic, they took their new MG with them.
The export drive of the late 1940s and the 1950s saw the US market become a key one for MG and this greater sales success created demand for a new generation of MG sportscar.
The 1960s and 1970s were arguably MG’s most successful period, the MGB and its pretty and practical coupe brother, the BGT, became a best-seller for MG, while the diminutive Midget harked back to MG’s early days – a simple sportscar that was utterly engaging to drive.
1969 saw the MGCC become independent from the then British Leyland-controlled MG and the Club spent almost 20 years away from Abingdon, while searching for a place to call home.
The Abingdon factory closed its doors in 1980 but the name lived on, with MGs flowing from Longbridge, with the MG Metro and later from Cowley, Oxford, with the MG Maestro and Montego.
In 1990 the search was finally over and the Club returned to Abingdon, to 12 Cemetery Road, next to the Factory Admin block, to a building the Club christened Kimber House.
A legend was reborn in 1992 with the launch of the MG RV8, car that reminded the world what MG sportcars were all about – though based on the MGB, the RV8 was very much a bespoke sportscar, handcrafter in limited numbers before a new, mass-market MG roadster arrived in the form of the MGF, in 1995.
With a new MG sportscar on the market, interest in MG was renewed and the Club’s membership enjoyed a resurgence, with the Club’s MGF Register created specifically to care for MG’s newest roadster. That trend continued with the launch of the ZR, ZS and ZT in 2001 and the MG TF in 2002.
In 2015, as the Club marks its 85th birthday the Club continues to grow on a global scale – the MGCC enjoys a World Heritage Partnership with Shanghai Automotive (SAIC), the custodians of the MG marque and annually hosts the biggest MG gathering in the world, MGLive! at Silverstone.
For the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show the Club is marking not only its 85th birthday, but also celebrating this year’s theme, ‘She’s a beauty’.
The Club’s stand will feature a host of MGs owned and raced by female owners, including the 1968 MGB that competed on the London to Sydney Marathon, driven by Jean Denton. The Club’s MGB Register recently rescued the car from a scrapyard and it’s undergoing a full restoration, back to its rally specification.
As well as the Denton car, the Club will be hosting racing and road cars from the 1940s and 1970s owned by ladies.
Alongside the birthday of the Club itself, 2015 marks the birthday of three real MG beauties, the MGA, the BGT and the MGF and the MGCC will be marking these three birthdays at the show, in the best way possible – with a cake! On each of the show’s three days, the Car Club will be cutting an octagonal cake (naturally) and showgoers are welcome to stop by for a slice!
The past 85 years have been incredibly exciting for the MG Car Club and the future looks to be equally so.