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Pre-Farina Celebration

posted 14 Mar 2017, 07:17 by Eddie Foster   [ updated 14 Mar 2017, 08:51 ]
Saturday 17th June:  Rally at The Austin Factory, Longbridge, Birmingham
Sunday 18th June: Road Run to Ironbridge and Blists Hill Museum.

We are delighted to announce that we will be holding a special Pre-Farina celebration on the weekend of 17th-18th June.  
2017 sees the 60th anniversary of the ‘facelift’ Pre-Farina models,often known as ‘long boots’; the A55, A95 and A105.
The Pre-Farina models were originally introduced in 1954 but, for various reasons, we didn’t mark the anniversary with a major event so we will be making up for it this year.
All members will be welcome, no matter which club cars they own, but the focus will be on the Pre-Farina Austins with a special parking area set aside for them in front of the original Austin Design Building. 
(Non-members are also welcome to book-in but only if they are bringing a Pre-Farina vehicle)

We hope it will be the largest gathering of Pre-Farinas since the cars were in production! 
So far there has been a great deal of interest shown by Pre-Farina owners so we hope for a great turnout.
We are extremely pleased that we have been given permission to hold the show at one of the last remaining parts of the original Austin factory at Longbridge. The Cambridge-Oxford Owners Club was formed in 1980 but this will be the very first time in 37 years that the Club has held a rally actually within the grounds of one of the former BMC factories.
The rally site will be inside the famous Q Gate with its distinctive Art Deco style Exhibition Hall (now the Conference Centre), built in 1956; a building which many of you will recognise from period photographs of the factory. 
Many, many thanks to John Lakey and Gemma Cartwright, the organiser of ‘Pride of Longbridge’, who have arranged this for us with the current owners of the MG factory.
It will be a poignant event too as it is very likely that the whole site may well soon disappear under new housing or business developments so this will probably be the only time that we will get to stage a rally there. 
In addition to the rally parking area we will have access to the Conference Centre itself and the film theatre where we intend to screen several of the original BMC promotional films of the PreFarinas.
We will also be able to visit Lord Austin’s Office, which looks exactly as it did when he died in1941. The future of the Office is uncertain if the building is demolished so, again, this will be a rare chance to visit it.
We also hope to hold a small exhibition of Pre-Farina related items and publicity material in the Conference Centre.
There will be a buffet lunch for all those members who have pre-booked any Club car (and for non-members who register their Pre-Farina). The buffet will be free but it is vital that you book in so that we know how many to cater for. We won’t be able to cater for anyone turning up on the day.
We are hoping that we might have a Special Guest or two who were part of the production team working on the Pre-Farinas but time and their advanced age might mean that we won’t be able to find anyone well enough to attend. 
The event will open at 10am and close at 4.30pm.
For those who would like to join us there will be an evening meal at a local pub or restaurant.
Again, please make sure that you state that you would like to attend on the booking form so that we can book enough places for you all.

On the Sunday there will be a Road Run to Ironbridge and Blists Hill Open Air Museum.
Anyone wishing to take part should meet back at the factory gates at 10am for a 10.30am start.
It will be a fantastic event which will really put the Pre-Farina vehicles in the limelight although all club cars will be very welcome to attend this event at their ‘spiritual home’. 

Please book in as early as you can to help us with the planning. 


The booking form can be found here - www/co-oc.org/prefarina60
In order to guarantee your free buffet lunch, please make sure that we receive your booking NO LATER than Wednesday 17th May.





Images by kind permission of the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust at the British Motor Museum, Gaydon andshows Austin A95 Westminsters on the production lines at Longbridge in 1957.
The BMIHT Archive has done remarkable work over the last ten years digitising their extensive photographic collections which cover many BMC/BL marques such as Austin, Morris, MG, Riley and Wolseley plus other supplier companies like Lucas and Pressed Steel. You can find a wide selection of pictures at their online photo library www.motorgraphs.com. The range of images is impressive and dates back to the1890s. They document  the changing fashions as much as the cars and it’s easy to spend a couple of hours just browsing. 
So if you fancy an original publicity picture in a frame on the lounge wall, you can buy it for a reasonable price directly from the website. All these images are
also available for licensing by contacting photo@britishmotormuseum.co.uk