25 May 2024

Visual treat of pre-56 MG rally cars at Cambridge

By: Gurbir Singh

MG sports car fans and enthusiasts were treated to a visual treat of pre-56 models of these cars at the MG Car Club’s 23rd pre-56 national rally held in Cambridge.

The common bond of shared enthusiasm for the MG marquee was very much visible amongst the nearly 60 car owners that made their way from across the country for the three day event, 12th-16th March 2021.

Convertibles, 1955 MG(TF) models (Photo: NewsViews)

This event is held bi-annually with both islands –North and South taking turns in holding the event. Next one is in South Island.

1955, MG (left) & 1935(right)Photo: NewsViews

The event at the Victoria Park Square,Cambridge was a Concours de Elegance where all the pre-56 vintage MG sports cars were on public display and were to be judged. Public had the opportunity to vote for their favourite car in the “Peoples Choice” Award.

Concours de Elegance is what the car looks like. The emphasis is on beauty- if embellishments are of the period, ‘elegant’ and add to the attractiveness of the car, car owner gets extra points.

The second format emphasises originality and condition that is as close to the original factory form as possible- and the correct shade of paint really is important.

NewsViews caught up with Auckland-based particpant, Tony Bushell who owns a 1950 MG Y.T. Sports car.

Tony Bushell with his 1950s MG (Photo: NewsViews)

“I’ve owned this car for the last 45 years, and still runs well,” says the proud owner, Bushell, a former cabinet-maker/builder, and now retired.

When asked how much he had paid at that time, he replied “$2000, but in today’s market it would fetch $25-30,000. This is because car has not been restored, just tidied up.

 “This one is very rare- there are just two of these models here in New Zealand. There used to be four, (but) two have been bought and taken back to the UK ,” he adds.

For the Concours’ judgement, cars were to be presented with hoods erect and driver’s side screen removed or window down, bonnets and boots open and tool kits placed in front of cars. Prize-giving is scheduled for tomorrow.

The MG Car Club was incorporated in New Zealand in August 1952 and has since devolved into four major Centres, two in the North Island and two in the South- Auckland, Wellington, Canterbury & Otago.

Rally cars ready to be judged (Photo: NewsViews)

MG stands for sports cars, and its rich history began in 1924. The famous initials ‘MG’ were chosen by Cecil Kimber, the founder of MG. Kimber chose the letters as a “nod” to William Morris, his employer, and the owner of Morris Garages. Kimber also created the first line of MGs.

Observation trial event is slated for tomorrow (Sunday) starting at 9am at Te Koo Utu Lake Domain, and on Monday(15th March), the rally participants will be at Hamilton Car Club in the morning and attend the final prize giving at Ross Brothers Museum, Cambridge in evening.

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