A huge collection of MGs, Rovers, Austins and Minis lined up as the sun beat down on this year’s Pride of Longbridge car show, celebrating Birmingham's motor industry heritage.
Rare models harking back to the golden age of motoring stood alongside cars that were just a few years old. Every vehicle had been built at the factory – and every one was polished to look as if it had just rolled off the production line.
The setting for the automotive spectacular was Cofton Park, just a stone’s throw from the site where Herbert Austin first started making cars in 1905.
The factory became the biggest car manufacturing plant in the world and employed generations of Brummies.
But 6,000 people were left out of work when MG Rover collapsed six years ago in April 2005.
Pride of Longbridge organiser John Lakey, of the Austin Federation, said that Saturday’s meeting was a tribute to those who worked to produce some of the best known British marques during the factory’s 100-year history.
“This is the biggest show to date and the cars are still arriving,” he said.
“There are some very rare cars here as well as some of the best-recognised vehicles that were made here.
“The Pride of Longbridge was set up by the workers a year after the plant closed and it has just grown from there.”
Fittingly, this year’s event came just a few days after the new MG6 was launched by Chinese owners SAIC – the first new model to be built at the plant in 16 years.
But some owners at the show were sceptical as to whether the car was truly British-made.
“It’s nice to see cars being made here again,” said 42-year-old MGC owner Chris Leech, from Bromsgrove.
“It was designed here but it seems to be made almost entirely in china before they put it together at Longbridge. We’re here today to celebrate the cars that were made here because in the main, they were fantastic examples of design and engineering.”