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16th June 2004


During the weekend commencing Friday July 8 2005, the largest ever gathering of Longbridge built motor vehicles will be amassing at Cofton Park, opposite the factory at Longbridge in South Birmingham. The event is being staged to celebrate and commemorate the founding of the Austin Motor Company and 100 years of continuous motor vehicle production at the Longbridge factory.

The event is being organised by the Federation of Austin Clubs, Registers and Associations in conjunction with Greenwood Exhibitions of Bromsgrove. Phoenix Venture Holdings Ltd (owner of MG Rover Group, Powertrain Ltd, MG Sport & Racing, XPart Ltd, etc) will be supporting the event, together with Footman James Classic Car Insurance.

The event will commence on Friday 8th with a celebratory dinner at the Chateau Impney, Droitwich, while on the Saturday and Sunday Austin and Longbridge built vehicles will assemble from all over the UK and further afield, for what is envisaged to be the greatest UK factory gathering.

Birmingham City Council has approved a parade of 100 Austin and Longbridge built vehicles spanning the one hundred years, from the earliest known surviving examples right up to the latest MG and Rover products, to drive in a procession from the heart of Birmingham, via the factory site and onto Cofton Park where they will remain on view as part of a display for the public.

It is planned to have the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight's Avro Lancaster Bomber PA474, the 'City of Lincoln' fly over the event during the course of the weekend to represent the time when, during the Second World War, Longbridge focused on military vehicle, armament, munitions and aircraft production (including Stirling and Lancaster bombers).

At the Park, visitors will be able to see many examples of Austin vehicles assembled by the 22 clubs affiliated to the Federation: stately Sheerline limousines, diminutive Austin Sevens and Minis, taxicabs, military vehicles, Devons, Cambridges, 1100s, 1800s, Maxis, Allegros, Montegos, sporty Austin Healeys, Princesses with their distinctive wedge front and even a replica Austin Whippet bi-plane from the 1920s.

The number of Austin vehicles participating in this strictly 'one-off' event will be in the thousands. This will be a once in a life time opportunity to view as many products from the Longbridge factory as are ever likely to be assembled together in one place.

Additionally, visitors will have the opportunity of browsing through some of the many autojumble and trade stalls, or may bid for their own Austin at the proposed auction. Whether enjoying a pint of 'Centenary Ale', courtesy of Hook Norton Brewery, or viewing the latest MG and Rover products produced at Longbridge, there will be plenty to interest visitors and enthusiasts. Other proposed events include a tour of the nearby Austin Village and Austin related sites, and factory tours of the sophisticated Longbridge production facility.

For further information please contact:
Ian Coombes
44, Vermeer Crescent, Shoeburyness, Essex, SS3 9TJ
Tel: 01702-295385

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