Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Drive-It Day 2018

Who doesn't love a classic car? Drive-It Day 2018 is taking place this Sunday, April 22nd, and although many of the popular events to celebrate the day have sold out, there are plenty of ways to participate.


Drive-It Day takes place every year to help raise awareness of the classic vehicle movement in the UK and encourages classic vehicle owners to show off their classics as much as possible. Organised by the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC), Drive-It Day celebrates the UK's rich transport heritage.

Now into its 13th year, Drive-It Day commemorates The Thousand Mile Trial, which took place on April 23rd, 1900. Organised by the Automobile Club, a gathering of 65 cars embarked on a highly ambitious voyage around the country. Starting in London, the Trial went through Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester, Derby, Kendal, Carlisle, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leeds, Sheffield, Nottingham, and back to London.



Events around the country

Drive your classic to the British Motor Museum, Warwickshire and receive discounted entry to the world's largest collection of British-built vehicles – including the vehicle that won The Thousand Mile Trial, an 1899 Wolseley Voiturette. Many other classics sure to be in attendance will be on display out front of the museum, and free guided tours will be taking place throughout the day.

The Classic Motor Hub in Gloucestershire will be expecting large crowds to attend a special opening of its historic collection at RAF Bibury, where visitors can also see the arrival of a special Drive-It Day rally from Chateau Impney. Highlights include the Hub's superb display of around 70 cars, which currently includes Bentley and Aston Martin Le Mans racers from the 1920s, and the 1924 V12 Delage DH land speed record-holder. Still a fairly new venue, this place is well worth a visit in you are in the area!

It's estimated that around 100 classics will descend upon the Lakeland Motor Museum in Cumbria, joining a display of classics outside the museum. If you arrive in your classic, you'll get discounted entry into the museum!

Since it's first Drive-It Day 'Sunday Scramble' back in 2014, the event at Bicester Heritage, Oxfordshire has become bigger and better every year. This unique venue combines wartime heritage with a fascinating assortment of businesses furnishing the classic car industry. Another attraction on the day us the launch of a new photography exhibition by Amy Shore.

So if you're up for a museum visit, a leisurely drive around the countryside, or fancy watching any number of the convoys happening up and down the country, there is something for everyone this Drive-It Day!



Friday, 13 April 2018

Abingdon's Finest

MG has always played a prominent role in British social history, and its cars have always been enthusiastically praised. A home-grown concept, MG became internationally successful, largely due to the uniqueness of the factory; a family unit that supported innovation, race craft, had a talented design team, and provided opportunities for it's employees. The success of the factory propelled the small market town of Abingdon, in Oxfordshire, onto the global map, and made MG into an international brand that has survived almost a century of change. 


We have a number of books on MG at Abingdon, such as MG's Abingdon Factory and Don Hayter's MGB Story, but the real stand out has to be our newest book MG, Made in Abingdon. An active volunteer of Abingdon County Hall Museum, author Bob Frampton has collected the memories of many of the men and women who worked at Abingdon, to provide an intimate and unique account of what it was like to work in MG's Abingdon factory. 

 This book is proving to be a popular buy, and with reviews like these, its easy to see why!

"This is social history at its best,  [it's] as much about skilled trades, shop floor romances and lower-league football as making cars." – Classic Cars



"We are used to reading about the big names in MG's history, but this book gives voice to some thousands who worked in the Abingdon factory, helping to create the cars we love ... it opens a window on aspects of MG life that rarely get an airing in public." – MG Enthusiast

It's Bob recognition that the most important aspect of MG's success was its team – tea-boys and girls, the shop floor workers, the engineers and racers, the apprentices and management – that makes this book such an interesting read. Factory life is often overlooked and unremarked on, but the story of MG's factory is an important reflection of the British motor industry from the perspective of the shop floor work force.

From memories of the production line, to recollections of racing incidents, the previously untold story of MG from the men and women who worked in the Abingdon factory is revealed for the first time. Yes, it's certainly a nostalgic look at an historic marque, but more than that, it's an historically important record of a unique period in social history.

Image credit British Motor Heritage Museum


From the 14th of April until the 24th of June, Abingdon County Hall Museum will house a new exhibition entitled "Automotive Design: Innovations at MG Abingdon". Using recent donations from MGB lead designer Don Hayter, the museum will celebrate the importance and practice of good design in automotive production, and how MG made innovative steps forward in this industry.

This weekend sees the exhibition opening, and to market he occasion, Abingdon County Hall Museum will be hosting a book signing event with Bob Frampton this Sunday (April 15th)! For more information, you can contact the museum directly.


So, if you are local to Abingdon, or are an MG enthusiast, make sure you check out the Automotive Design exhibition, and don't forget to get your copy of MG, Made in Abingdon from our website