Club ready to party like it’s 2014 for Austin’s 60th

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - Nick Larkin

A60th an­niver­sary meet for 1950s Austins is to take place – al­beit three years late for some mod­els – at the fac­tory where they were built.

The Cam­bridge- Ox­ford Owner’s Club’s Pre-Fa­rina Cel­e­bra­tion is set for 17-18 June, when cars will line up at the Longbridge fac­tory site on the Satur­day and take part in a road run the next day.

‘Pre-Fa­rina mod­els were in­tro­duced in 1954 but, for var­i­ous rea­sons, we didn’t mark their 60th an­niver­sary,’ ad­mits club chair­man Taff Gilling­ham.

The suc­ceed­ing ‘ long-boot’ A95 and A55 were launched in 1956 and 1957 re­spec­tively. The cars, in­clud­ing the Van­den Plas A105 saloon, are known as ‘Pre-Fari­nas’ be­cause they were re­placed by Pin­in­fa­rina-de­signed mod­els in 1958-9.

‘ We hope it will be the largest gath­er­ing of Pre-Fari­nas since they were in pro­duc­tion, and we very much want the ear­lier mod­els to also at­tend for a be­lated 60th cel­e­bra­tion,’ adds Taff. ‘So far there has been a great deal of in­ter­est shown by Pre-Fa­rina own­ers so we’re hop­ing for a great turnout.’

The event marks an im­por­tant ‘first’ for its or­gan­is­ers. The Cam­bridge- Ox­ford Owner’s Club was formed in 1980 but this will be the first time in 37 years that the Club has held a rally within the grounds of one of the for­mer BMC fac­to­ries.

All pre-Fari­nas are wel­come, whether owned by club mem­bers or not. A visit to Lord Austin’s of­fice, an ex­hi­bi­tion of PreFa­rina mem­o­ra­bilia and a film are all planned.

Af­ter the cel­e­bra­tions at Longbridge on 17 June, the Sun­day will see a road run to Iron­bridge and the Blists Hill Open Air Mu­seum in Shrop­shire, set­ting off from the fac­tory at about 10.30am.

Cam­bridges, West­min­sters and Van­den Plas built from 1954-9 will be out in force in June.

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