Winter - December 2010 - Issue 4

For all those with an interest in the history, products &
workers of the motor vehicle factory at Longbridge.

Santa’s Broken Sledge Shock!



From the Chairman ……………………………….....................................2
Santa Arrested …………………………..….…………….………...............3
NEC Classic Car Show - Report ………..………………………..……...4-5
Around The Clubs - Rover 200-400 Club - R8 Anniversary ……..……6-9
Forthcoming Events - 2011.……………………………..........................10
Historic Decade Dates - past events in Longbridge history……………11
Annual General Meeting 2010 - Summary.….……………….………....12
Longbridge in the news - MG6 distribution plans………….……..……..13
Corrections and Additions to last Newsletter…………………………….13
Longbridge Christmas Quiz……..………….................…………………14
Essential Documents for your car……………………………….............15
About Us - The Federation aims and objectives………………………..16
Annual General Meeting 16
th Oct 2010 - Minutes……………….....Annex
Accounts 2009-2010.……………………………..............................Annex

From the Chairman


Dear Reader,

At the AGM in October the Committee members were elected, with the only
change being that I (John Baker) was made Vice-Chairman. Since then I have
taken on the role of Chairman, and Colin is now Vice-Chairman.

It was planned to hold a General Meeting on the Saturday 22 January 2011 but
this is now Cancelled. A new date will be fixed for February/March.

The committee’s main focus at the moment is to work on the arrangements for
the Pride of Longbridge Rally 2011 - which will be on the 16th April.

Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.




Santa Arrest Shakes US


Wikileaks has revealed that recently a Mr Nicholas Klaus - President of
Worldwide Instant Logistics Company (WILCO) - had been pulled over by the
Metropolitan police for driving recklessly in an overloaded vehicle.

The driver claimed he was on his way to make early deliveries of Christmas
presents around the world via Heathrow Cargo Terminal. His usual vehicle - a
hypersonic flying sledge and reindeer team - had broken down due to a failure in
the space-time matrix. He was therefore using a more reliable form of transport -
an Austin Lichfield - that he had borrowed from outside a house in west London.
However, as it was unable to reach the unfeasibly high speeds of his flying
sledge he had to make special arrangements in advance of Christmas.

What attracted the attention of the police was that the car and driver both
appeared to be “lit up” and were travelling at what an officer described as “a
reckless but not illegal speed” in a narrow icy lane. A breath test was negative.
After the owner of the car was contacted the police released Mr Klaus with a
formal warning and no other penalty.

It has emerged that the Backup Christmas Present Distribution System makes
use of markets around the world and employs fathers to make the final delivery
and that this system has been used frequently in the past. Indeed the hypersonic
flying sledge has become so unreliable that the “backup” system has become the
normal means of Christmas present distribution and for many years Mr Klaus
has chosen to use an Austin Ten to make deliveries to his primary distribution

Until now the system had remained secret - with good reason. According to the
leaked document the US Ambassador to London reported to President Obama
that “The contract between Mr Klaus’s company WILCO and TESCO for
deliveries in the USA contains no sanity clause and therefore appears to be in
direct breach of US Federal Law - The Bros-Marx Act of 1935.”

However, he warned that legal action “Could undermine belief in The American
Dream” and “Damage the World Economy by throwing thousands of little people
out of work”.

When contacted at Hamleys Mr Klaus said “Ho Ho Ho.”

Santa photo - Monty Mumford




The NEC Classic Car Show 2010

Member clubs of the Austin Federation provided a strong presence at the
Footman James Classic Car Show at the NEC from 12th to 14th November.

Among the clubs showing at the NEC were the Metro Owners Club, Austin
Seven Clubs Association, Van
den Plas Owners Club, Austin Ten Drivers’ Club,
and The Wolseley Register.

The Metros on display ranged from a very original and smart 1.3 to racing and
rallying models - demonstrating the versatility of the design.

For fans of the Austin models of the 1930s these were conveniently displayed
adjacent to one another - the Austin Seven and ATDC stands being back to
back. There was such a wide range of models and body styles built in that
decade that it is always difficult for the clubs to choose what to include as a
representative sample.

ATDC showed two Tens from 1934 - a 10/4 Two-seat & dickey and a Lichfield -
and two larger cars - a 1932 Westminster 16/6, and a New Ascot - the “new
programme” version of the Lt12/4 available from 1936.

New Ascot and 1934 Ten two-seater.


Lichfield and Westminster

What’s New Pussy Cat? Coventry cuties at the NEC


Around the Clubs - Rover 200 & 400 Owners Club

On the 10th October 2010, enthusiasts of the Rover 200Mk2 and 400Mk1 met at
RAF Cosford to celebrate the 21
st & 20th Anniversary of the launch of the Rover
200Mk2 and 400Mk1.

The 200 & 400 Owners Club raise the banner for Rover R8 at Cosford

The second generation Rover 200 model, codenamed 'R8' along with its saloon
sibling the Rover 400, was the company's most successful car, outselling rivals
from Ford and Vauxhall, resulting in a 24-hour a day three-shift production
pattern at Longbridge. The ‘R8’ was first launched on the 10th October 1989, 21
years previous to the Anniversary Event.

Organised jointly by the Rover 200 & 400 Owners Club and Rover Coupe
Owners Club, the show was a great success with over 80 cars turning up on the
day to celebrate the occasion. A ‘show n shine’ competition was held on the day
with the competition being sponsored by Dodo Juice and judged by Midlands

If you are an enthusiast of the ‘R8’ then the Rover 200 & 400 Owners Club would
love to hear from you and can be found at

A selection of hot models.

Cosford report & photos provided by Lindsey Smith - Rover 200 & 400 Owners’ Club.
The Club has a great website with online forum, technical advice, details of all the
models, a quarterly magazine “The Viking” - either online or hard copy - discount
schemes, and an agreed valuation insurance scheme for members. It also has one of
the lowest - possibly the lowest - annual membership fees of any car club. - The Editor.

Some of the line-up at RAF Cosford


Looking very relaxed - smart white coupe

Showing off crisp lines - neat and very original looking 5 door


Looks like a new set of wheels - shiny 3 door

Tourer - filled a gap in the market.


Forthcoming Events - 2011

Date Event Contact
24th February Copy date for MARCH NEWSLETTER

Feb-Mar - Date
to be agreed

FEDERATION GENERAL MEETING - Federation of Austin Clubs, Registers & Associations - Church Hall Longbridge

6th March

Cambridge Oxford Owners Club - COOC

16th - 17th April


17th April FBHVC - DRIVE-IT DAY - Events All Areas Ask your club.
17th April

Lord Mayor of Birmingham -

Clubs call Alan Billington
Indivs call Tom Griffiths

3rd July

North Norfolk Railway - HOLT Norfolk

5th July QUADROFARINA 2 - Madeira Drive - Brighton COOC
22nd-24th July ATDC NATIONAL RALLY - 10-28hp 1931-1939 www.austintendriversclub.com
22nd-24th July

The Attwell-Wilson Motor Museum - CALNE Wilts

7th August BMC-BL SPARES DAY 2011 - Ferry Meadows  

October - Date
to be agreed


Pick Up a Morris Dancer - BMC badge engineering at work


Historic Decade Dates in Longbridge History

Notable decade anniversaries that arise during 2011 include:-


           1911 - Austin 15hp Town Carriage
           1921 - Receiver appointed - 26 April - Sir Arthur WHINNEY
           1931 - Austin Light 12 / 6 introduced.
           1941 - Death of Lord Austin - May
           1951 - Opening of CAB 1 and introduction of Austin A30
           1961 - Multi-storey car park for new car storage
           1971 - Conveyor over the Bristol Road

Austin A30 - Ready to Rally


Annual General Meeting - 16th October 2010 - Summary

The report attached to this edition of the Newsletter contains details of the
proceedings at the AGM

In addition to dealing with the formal business - reports, accounts and\
appointments - the members present took the opportunity to discuss:-

           Future Events - the activities of the Federation in support of Pride Of
           Longbridge and other events.

           Renaming the Federation to reduce the apparent emphasis on Austin and to
           draw out the links to Longbridge and the other brands.

      Redesigning the logo with the same aim.

           Re-launch of the Federation to attract clubs back into membership.

           Listing buildings at Longbridge - the pros and cons.

As is traditional at Federation meetings the discussions were frank and open and
covered a wide range of viewpoints.

The next meeting of the Federation will be held in February or March - exact date
is to be agreed - at St John the Baptist church hall, Longbridge. The next AGM
will be held in October 2011.


Longbridge in the News
MG dealers to be GM?

MG has been owned by General Motor’s Chinese partner SAIC Motor since
2007. GM’s regional boss in China has claimed that the firm is in talks with SAIC
Motor that could allow the classic British brand access to GM’s Dealer Networks
in the UK – which means Vauxhall and Chevrolet.

Newspapers are reporting Kevin Wale - President and MD for GM’s China operations
 as saying

             “We have agreed in an MoU that we would discuss the potential for MG to be
              distributed in the UK. That’s what we are doing at the moment.”   

But the website Austin-Rover Online quotes the Vauxhall dealer network as
responding with: -


             “Vauxhall Motors’ Retail Network Development Department is assisting
              SAIC/MG Motor (through an MoU) with network development to enable
              MG Motor to develop its retail network in the UK. A number of possible
              opportunities will be explored under the MoU but these do not include
              selling MG Motor products alongside Vauxhall in the same showroom.”

So is the MG6 - made at Longbridge - to be sold by Vauxhall dealers or not?

Daily Telegraph Business News - 21st December 2010
AROnline - 14th December 2010

Corrections and Additions.

Metro Brakes
Last edition I reported that at launch the ordinary Metro had ventilated disc
brakes. I have since been informed that this is incorrect.

MR-Rover Pensions
A reliable source has confirmed that the MG-Rover pension scheme is covered
by the Pensions Protection Fund and former MG-Rover workers will receive
pensions from the PPF.


Christmas Quiz

No prizes - just for fun
answers in next Newsletter.

1. Name the car club that caters for the “R8” model. ________________________

2. What was the name of the VAR when in was founded in 1958?


3. What make and model of car climbed Ben Nevis and Table Mountain in 1928?


4. The “Millionth” Austin was produced in which year? _____________

5. The “Tenth Million” car made at Longbridge was what model? ______________

5. In what year did Sir Herbert become Lord Austin? ___________

6. The “Forgotten Heavy Bomber” the Short Stirling was made at which Midland

shadow factory? ______________________

7. What did the three letter acronym “ARG” stand for?______________________

8. Ascot, Kempton, Aintree, Goodwood. Which is the odd one out, and why?

____________________ _____________________________________

9. Who famously crashed a press fleet Mini? _______________________

10. What do the “The Elephant House” and “The Kremlin” share?





Hello, hello, hello. What documents do we have here then?



About Us - The Federation of Austin Clubs, Registers and Associations

Aims and Objectives

The primary objective of the Austin Federation is to bring together clubs, organisations and associations,
throughout the world, which have an interest in preserving and maintaining the Heritage, Name and
Products of the Austin Motor Company and of the Longbridge Plant. The Federation is also open to
individual members who share these interests.

Products include all brands associated with Longbridge - BMC, BL, MG-Rover - cars and commercials.

The aims are to:-
                     Publicise and promote Austin and its heritage
                     Facilitate the sharing of historical and social information
                    Collate information allowing member organisations to manage their events diary
                    Promote recognition of major milestones and anniversaries in the history of Austin
                    and the Longbridge  works.

Opinions expressed in the Newsletter are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views
of the management Committee of the Austin Federation.

The electronic newsletter is distributed to all member clubs, organisations and associations,
to individual members, and to others who have a continuing interest in Austin or Longbridge.


Please send information about your Club and its activities for publication in the Federation

Copy date for March edition - 24 February 2011.
Peter Winney - Editor

Please send your material to -

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Rover Cabriolet.