IT’S BETTER LATE THAN NEVER...
Club ready to party like it’s 2014 for Austin’s 60th
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.