Princess and Ambassador Owners Club.

(Member of The Federation of Austin Clubs, Registers, and Associations).

Please Note, The Austin Federation now has it's own website. www.austinmotor.co.uk 

 

Austin Centenary 2005.

The Story So Far!

 

In recent years, the prospects for  the continuing production of  British  designed  and  manufactured motor- cars took a turn for the better when the 90+ year old site at Longbridge came back into British ownership   following   the    BMW   years.   We understand that up to  the present time, things are going  well,  and long may this situation maintain. However,    one    thing   is    missing,   Austins!  Presently  we  have  Longbridge producing cars, but not Austins.

 

A couple of years earlier, troubled times appeared to be looming at Longbridge with BMW attempting to sell off the site to Alchemy- the future started to look distinctly bleak. At this time, Jim Stringer, Vice -President of the Vintage Austin Register Limited wrote to the chairman of BMW in an attempt to buy the Austin Motor Company name for it’s book value. Thankfully the Alchemy bid did not succeed, and was immediately replaced by another successful bid led by John Towers and the Phoenix Consortium, who continue production of MG Rover cars at the "Austin" to this day, and hopefully for many years to come.

 

Jim was clearly worried by events, and contacted Ian Coombes, Chairman of Austin Sheerline & Princess Club, Tony Osborne- Chairman of the Austin Ex- Apprentices Association, and Howard Annett- Austin Seven Clubs Association, for support. The attempt to buy the Austin name was not successful, but by this time, an impromptu committee had been set up to see what could be done to preserve the Austin name, and to explore ways to celebrate the centenary of Austin and car production at Longbridge in July 2005. It was at this stage that their discussion turned to the possibility of forming a Federation of Austin Clubs (strength in numbers). A list of potential members was prepared, and all the listed clubs were contacted by Ian Coombes in the spring of 2001. Later that year an inaugural meeting was arranged at the MG Rover Visitors Centre, Longbridge Works to discuss arrangements for a possible bumper celebration of Austin and production at Longbridge in July 2005. The possibility of forming a Federation of Austin Clubs was discussed at some length, and at a later meeting early in 2002, the Federation was formerly voted into existence. Also represented at the meetings were the Austin Ex Apprentices Association and the Austin Village Preservation Society.

 

                The Event:

We are now two years down the road from the inaugural meeting, and much progress has been made. The Federation now has a Management Committee, and the dates of Friday 8th, Saturday 9th, and Sunday 10th July 2005 have been set for the celebration which will be held at Cofton Park, South Birmingham - near to Longbridge factory. The Federation now produces a regular newsletter to keep members informed on progress.

The management of the event has been put out to tender, resulting in Greenwoods Exhibitions, run by Mike Kennington being appointed as the Professional Partner.

There have of course been many ideas floated as to what individuals would like to see included. All of these will be reviewed before either being accepted or rejected. As a ‘taster’ these are a few of those ideas.

Space will be made available to small traders who specialise in the sale of Austin related spares or other Austin items of interest, and larger areas will be made available to bigger enterprises as appropriate.

                        The Logo:

Aubrey Edwards has now completed the design for the Centenary Logo, which is based on the Jubilee artwork from July 1955. The emblem will be used to mark the event and we hope that all Austin enthusiasts across the world will be familiar with it by the time July 2005 arrives.

 

Our thanks to Aubrey for the hard work he put in creating this logo for us.

 

If you would like to become a part of these celebrations, please contact the Federation via the email link provided below, and please keep an eye on this page for more information which will be added as it becomes available.

 

 

 

 

Above Photos:

1911 Austin Endcliffe, taken at Longbridge.  Photo thanks to Tony Osborne.

Austin Mini, Thanks to Tamworth Mini Centre.

1930s Austin Seven.  Photo thanks to Jim Inshaw, Princess and Ambassador Owners Club.

1983 Austin Metro 1.3L.  Harry Parker, Princess and Ambassador Owners Club.

 

 

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