MG Y -TYPE 60th ANNIVERSARY GATHERING NEW SOUTH WALES - AUSTRALIA By Lynne Brompton and Alf Luckman
The weekend of the 13 — 15th April saw the coming together of 30 Y-Types in the city of Maitland, 160 km north of Sydney. Cars came from as far a field as North Queensland and southern Victoria. The largest contingent of participants came from the districts generally surrounding Sydney and Brisbane, but the outer areas of southern Queensland and the western districts of New South Wales were also represented. It was the largest gathering of Y-Types in Australia — ever!
Well, almost ever. No one has ever kept an accurate check, but from the collective memories of a large number of people this claim is probably justified. Included in this gathering of Y-Types were 13 Y Tourers (and 17 YAs). For the Tourer, 13 in the one place is most likely a world record. Even in the days of original production at Abingdon, that number is unlikely to have been exceeded. It is understood that the cars were built in batches of 4 to 8, so a group of 13 at the time of production, is unlikely.
The event was organised by two indefatigable Y- Typers, Steve Brompton of Sydney and Tony Slattery from Brisbane. These two stalwarts of the marque are also responsible for most of the record keeping of the Australian Y Register. How they find time to go to work is something of a mystery.
The furthest distance driven was by Terry and Cheryl Ciantar from Mackay in North Queensland. They estimated that by the time they had returned home they would have travelled about 5,000 kilometres — or 3,000 miles. That's dedication!
Generally the cars behaved themselves, other than that of Tom and Flossie Peitsch from Melbourne whose gearbox disgraced itself when presented with the challenge of tackling the Bathurst road racing circuit — albeit at normal road speeds. However, after a few phone calls a spare box, ready to fit, was produced by Peter Fogarty of Sydney, and after a delay of only one day, Tom and Flossie were able to get to Maitland on time.
The venue for this memorable occasion was the wonderful Monte Pio Function Centre. This old restored building has had a chequered life ranging from a church dignitaries' home, to a school and orphanage. It contains everything the Y-Type fraternity needed for a wonderful three days.
On Saturday morning all the participants took part in a Fun Run that explored the wineries and river flats of the Hunter Valley. As a lasting record of the event, the cars lined up in a Y formation for some memorable photographs beside the Hunter River. On Saturday evening we had a dinner with guest speakers but there was little else by way of formalities. It was just a good social, and sociable, weekend. People appreciated the opportunity to discuss and inspect the cars, advice was shared and a network for finding and exchanging spare parts is being established.
The DC3 "vehicle" is basically a camper trailer. The owner (Werner Kroll) is an entertainer and travels to various shows using the vehicle to live in, if necessary. He and his lovely wife live in a nice part of the country about 30 miles to the north west of Brisbane. So you can imagine driving that rig about 1200 miles, to and from Maitland, was no small feat. He tows his Y on a separate trailer. He normally carries a smaller car so he can get around after parking the DC3. For the Maitland trip he brought the silver coloured Y, which is his wife's "daily driver". She uses it to travel to and from her work, five days a week. The DC3 is, as you can see a modified aircraft body, fitted to, I think, a "White" truck chassis with a diesel engine. The whole thing causes havoc on the roads with people wanting to have another/closer look at it.
The event proved very popular and there are already tentative plans for something similar in 2012, perhaps based in Brisbane. We also hope to maintain the impetus by organising annual day runs from Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.
MG Car Club North West Register
11 - 13 May 2007 Report by Paul Barrow
Photos by Rob Roberson, Tracey Johnson, Floyd Inman, Paul Barrow
MG Y -TYPE 60th ANNIVERSARY GATHERING -
PACIFIC NORTH WEST - USA
With 8 registrations, the Pacific Northwest gathering for the 60th Anniversary will probably be the smallest gathering. But what was lacking in numbers was easily made up for in enthusiasm, enjoyment and friendship as we came together on Friday night. Although most of us had never met each other before, the pace of conversation never slacked throughout the entire weekend and the sound of laughter was often heard. A truly International weekend was promised as participants came from two countries, Canada and the US joined up in Washington State. Unfortunately we had one 'no show', and Tracey Johnson attended but without her YT which had put a con rod through the side of the number 4 cylinder two days before as the small end let go of the piston. Notwithstanding, heads certainly turned as no fewer than 6 Ys, (2 YAs, 2 YTs, and 2 YBs) lined up for the start of driving activities on the Saturday. It is not everyday that you stop at lights in the middle of 6 MG Ys!!
Before the run however, all the cars lined up in the hotel car park for a small 'show and shine' and were joined by 2 Harley Davidson motor cycles, a Ferrari, a Morgan, a Citroen 2CV, a Morris 1000, an MGB and a Midget at the Lakeway Inn, Bellingham. A scenic drive got underway about 10:30 am and the Ys moved out en-masse: quite what other road users thought, one cannot begin to imagine as they merged in with the modern traffic. Mark May encountered running problems and Wayne Musselman's wind shield picked up a 'rock' (stone) and broke. However we all arrived back at the hotel having had a fun day and having seen some very beautiful parts of this tremendously beautiful state and also met some of the great locals who offered unparalleled hospitality.
On Sunday morning fond good byes were said as many new friends had been made. Attending were, from Utah - Floyd and Kathy Inman (YB), from Canada - Terry and Linda O'Brien (YT), and from Washington, Jan and Rob Roberson (YA), Wayne and Cathy Musselman (YT), Tracey Johnson (YT-less), Mark May (YB) and Paul and Sara Barrow (YA).
UK - Spring Run
11 - 13 May 2007 Report by Andrew Adamson
Photos by Francois Collard, Andrew Adamson, Ted Gardner, Peter Sharp, and David Pelham
Video Clip #1
21.5 mb - Warning, a large file ... but fun!
Duration 2 min 10 Sec
Video clip #2
23.1 mb - Warning, a large file, but fun!
Duration 2 min 22 Sec
The MG Car Club 'Y' Register Spring Run Sunday 13 May 2007 Charlecote House By Andrew Adamson
The Spring Run, organised by Jerry Birkbeck, is now a firmly established season opener in the MG Y Type calendar. This year's run was destined to be a landmark in Y Type history, marking both the 60th anniversary of the start of Y Type production and the 10th anniversary of the very first Y Type Spring Run.
It would have been fantastic to mark the occasion by the attendance of 60 (or even 50) vehicles, and it looked as though the warm, sunny weather in the weeks leading up to the event might just coax some of the lesser spotted Y's out of hibernation. Final numbers fell a little short of this however, with 48 cars making it to the start of the run, including for the first time, no less than 7 YT variants. Despite narrowly failing to reach the magic 50, I believe the gathering of 48 Y Types is an all-time UK record and it was nice to see quite a few cars or drivers attending the run for the first time.
The venue for the start of this year's event was Charlecote Park, a grand 16th century country house, surrounded by an ancient deer park. The property includes gardens laid out by Capability Brown and came under the management of the National Trust in 1946, the year before Y Types went into production.
On arrival at Charlecote Park I was delighted to see the wonderful line-up of immaculately presented vehicles, already being admired by the first visitors of the day. I enjoyed spending an hour or so taking pictures, chatting to owners and rekindling old friendships. Having sold my own YA last summer, I was delighted to be offered the opportunity to navigate for her new owner, Peter Sharp. Peter enthusiastically showed me some of the many improvements he had made in continuing the programme of restoration work that I and previous owners had embarked on. Seeing my old Y 6041 again, with her shiny black paintwork, was like being reacquainted with an old friend. It was clear that Peter had looked after her very well and it was reassuring to know that she is in such good hands.
The run itself was largely on a well thought out series of back roads around glorious Warwickshire countryside. Even in the rain, we were treated to a seemingly limitless number of unspoilt vistas and leafy lanes, just the type of route that Y Types were designed for. Peter had quickly developed the techniques required for 1950's motoring and I was very impressed by the way he drove the car exactly as it should be driven. Stopping off for refreshments at the King's Head, we admired the steady stream of Y Types trundling past the window, whilst chatting about old cars in general and Y Types in particular. Back on the road, we discovered that a certain amount of water had collected in the sunroof surround and found its way into the car as we headed off, adding to the drips from the dash board. Driving through a very deep puddle brought further moisture into the car through the floorboards, causing Peter's shoes to fill with water! I think it's what's known in Y Type circles as "character-building" and Peter suggested that if it got any worse we may need to start bailing out!
As our trouser legs soaked up the drips of rainwater, the car soaked up the miles with ease and all too soon we were arriving back at Charlecote Park. The worsening conditions had prompted many drivers to head back to Charlecote early instead of lingering en route. The trophy presentation was duly brought forward and the awards made as follows:
Roy Clapham - Best YA
Alistair Meldrum - Best YT
Bob Wall - Best YB
Alan Chick - Piston Broke
Alan did not break down
... this time!
It was disappointing for the event to be marred slightly by less than ideal conditions, especially after the warmest April since dinosaurs roamed the earth. And yet, somehow the attendance of so many cars this year was an encouraging sign of the level of interest there is in these vehicles and the resourcefulness of all those involved. Everybody seemed to have their own way of coping with leaky or misty windscreens and didn't allow the constant rain to dampen their spirits. Thanks and appreciation are offered to all those involved in making the run such an enjoyable day, but particularly to Jerry for all the effort he puts into organising this event.
South Australia 20 May 2007 Report and Photos by Graham Loader
The MG Car Club of South Australia 'Y' Anniversary Run - Sunday 20 May 2007 By Graham Loader
On 20th May 2007 the Pre War & T Register of the MG Car Club of South Australia conducted a run to celebrate the Y's 60th anniversary. Graham Loader volunteered to organise the event. It was uncertain on how many could be found as there were only about 3 or 4 that actively participate in club activities. A check in club records indicated there were others that may be available. After many telephone calls and discussions it was surprising to find 16 on the road, in the end 14 were actually able to attend, 9 Saloons and 5 Tourers: those being Chassis Nos. Y 0899, Y 1090, Y 1099, Y 1201, Y 2493, Y 2868, YT 3432, YT 3516, YT 3590, YT 3871, Y 4597, Y 4770, YT 5121 and Y 6594. During the week the weather was threatening with rain forecast on most days, but fortunately come Sunday morning the clouds started to clear as the cars arrived at the Oaklands Reserve start south of Adelaide.
Thirteen other MGs supported the event including the rare K3 race car.
It was delightful to see the shining chrome fronts of 13 Y's in a line, the 9 Y Saloons, 4 Y Tourers in order of chassis number. Another Y Tourer joined mid way through the run.
The run traversed over 75km of beautiful hills scenery to a little Italian restaurant on the eastern side of the Adelaide Hills in the small town of Kanmantoo. The Osteria Sanso Restaurant is owned and run by a retired London chef who served many of the 1960s & 1970s film stars. He retired to this old 1800s hotel, restored it then decided he still needed to run a restaurant, it has now become very popular, serving excellent meals.
A part from a few minor navigational problems and domestics all arrived at the destination on time and parked for display.
The MG display in the car park drew the attention of passing traffic, with many stopping to admire and take photos, of the Y's of course!
During the lunch period MGCC SA President presented a personalised Y poster (see above) to all Y participants.
Everyone enjoyed the event so much, it was decided that another run should be held late next year, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Y tourer.
Western Australia 24 June 2007 Report and photos by Richard Prior
Ys ready to go
We need more rain
Churchman's Brook Reservoir Picnic area
Ys & Ts
Y line up
60th Birthday Cake
60th Birthday Cake
Lynette cutting the cake
The Mob partaking of the cake
Mike & Ron's YAs
Richo and Mike Y Specials
The MG Car Club of Western Australia 'Y' Anniversary Run - Sunday 24 June 2007 By Richard Prior
On the 24th June the Y Register of the TC Owners Club in Perth Western Australia celebrated the Y 60th Birthday with other T Typers from the club. We were only able to muster 3 YA's and 2 YT's but a few members with Y's not currently operational also made the start. The run started from the Swan River Causeway at the eastern end of the city of Perth and ambled down Albany Highway to Brookton Highway and finally the selected picnic spot at Churchman's Brook Reservoir. After a walk to the dam wall the group gathered under a rotunda to enjoy lunch. After lunch Lynette Burden produced a suitably decorated delicious fruit cake for us all to enjoy and of course we sang Happy Birthday and toasted the mighty Y. Young Grandson Justin Prior in his Lightning McQueen outfit had the privilege of blowing out the candles.
Our thanks to Ron Mitchem and Mike and Lynette Burden for organising the event for all of us to enjoy.
Anniversary Port Report and photos by Richard Prior
Y 60th label
The MG Car Club of Western Australia Anniversary 'Y' Port By Richard Prior
It has now become an annual tradition of the MG TC Owners Club to move the fortnightly Thursday Night meeting to a Saturday evening and venture to Bert & Angie Hayes property at Grass Valley near Northam 60 miles from Perth Western Australia. The property is a traditional wheat and sheep farm but the Hayes also grow Pistachios and have built a huge shed aptly called the 'The Nuthouse'. The Nuthouse provides a fantastic venue for the weekend activities and sleeping quarters on the mezzanine level. The weekend begins with a grass motorkhana in the bottom paddock then late afternoon we bottle a keg of Port purchased from local Coorinja Winery. Each year the label is an MG Anniversary and this year we celebrated the Y 60th. The evening begins with the transferred meeting followed by a sumptuous feast. The next morning after BBQ breakfast we usually go for a tour of the countryside and finish at nearby town of York for the annual celebration of the Motor Car and parade of classic cars to finish a great weekend.
Y Gathering at Lancemore Hill 17 November 2007 by Thomas Peitsch
This story really begins several years ago in the Melbourne Town Hall following a meeting of the Lord Mayor's Charitable Fund "All Faiths Appeal". Having discovered that Leigh Wallace and I shared the joy of MG Y ownership and restoration we began discussing the various people he knew who also owned Y types ... the somewhat overlooked sports saloon of the MG fraternity. When the Maitland NSW Gathering for the 60th anniversary of the Y was announced our discussions turned to doing something similar here in Victoria. After my wife, Flossie, and I made the event-filled trip to Maitland in our MG Y named 'Harold', and experienced the camaraderie of the National Y Register we came back determined to get together with other Y owners down here. So after months of planning, the Lancemore Hill Convention Centre (near Lancefield, north of Melbourne) hosted a gathering for MG Ys in Victoria on November 17. It is hoped that this will become an annual event,. 3 YAs and 2 YTs made the journey, along with a TC, and several honorary Ys (mainly of Japanese manufacture) being driven by people whose real Ys are in various stages of restoration. We were also greeted by an MGB with his owner who had heard about the gathering "on the grapevine".
Participants started arriving mid-morning on the Saturday to be met with a cuppa and a display of MG Y books, literature, models and a computer slide show of photographs from other Y Gatherings and Ys under restoration. From the moment of arrival until the group broke up on Sunday morning the conversation never ceased. Stories were exchanged. Restoration information and advice shared, parts sourced.
After picking up our basket lunches prepared by the fantastic chef and kitchen staff at Lancemore Hill we set out under the expert guidance of Y owner John Coburn, a local of the area, on a run to Hanging Rock for our picnic. Thanks to Russell Brewer & Petra Thiem for snaffling one of the larger picnic shelters, because when the rain swept through we were cosy and dry, enjoying excellent food and great company. We had some official photographs taken there of the six (6) Ys and the group of 20+ people who made the day. Around mid-afternoon we set out to the Memorial Cross just near the town of Mt Macedon. Even though some rain blew through, the conversations continued as we admired the views and enjoyed each others company. Late in the afternoon we returned to Lancemore Hill via Hesket
and Romsey. A few of us were privileged to witness the gravity defying act of Mal & Davina Fry's Y as it appeared to roll uphill on a particular road between Hanging Rock and Mt Macedon. A truly amazing optical illusion. Even more amazing when you are sitting in a car as it seems to roll up hill!
The Saturday evening 3-course banquet was a combination of good food and good company. Matt & Renee Peitsch, who were participants in the weekend, provided us with several brackets of songs throughout the evening. Between each course attendees were invited to tell their story of how they came to be with their Y. John Jefferies, who came in his TC, even got his chance as we recognized that under the bodywork the Ys and T-types have much in common.
The first of our two main presentations was by Leigh Wallace who spoke about his Y restoration, illustrating his talk with a number of progress photos of the car. It just fell short of being ready for this gathering, but will certainly be on the road in 2008. The second presentation was by Tony Slattery from Queensland, who heads up the Australian Y Register. He talked about his involvement with Ys and the newsletter that he produced back in the 1990s until it got too big a job such was the demand. He encouraged us to continue growing the Y owners/restorers network throughout Victoria, Australia and the world. He brought with him the multi-volumed Y register of Australia so most of us looked up our cars. Some were able to provide updated information on their Y or provided more information on other Ys in the register.
On Sunday morning the conversations continued over the buffet/cooked breakfast. The chief topic was growing the Y Register here in Victoria and how we can raise the profile of an underrated MG sports saloon. After breakfast it was departure time and we were all homeward bound, with some heading directly home while others were going to cruise the Budfest Wine festival being held on the weekend in the Mt Macedon area wineries.
All in all, a good weekend of great people, good location, good food, good conversation and great cars. Preparations are already underway for 2008 to have three (3) official Y gatherings in the year culminating in the weekend gathering in November. Watch for more information as we get our planning done. For those of you who have Ys in the shed undergoing restoration, keep at it. Let's get these MG Y 1.25s out on the road where they belong.