25th September - MGB 60th Anniversary at Gaydon - and Bee's 50th Birthday

A very auspicious date - 25th September 1972 was the very day that Bee was despatched from Abingdon.

A good spot despite being 'overflow', a good view of proceedings and plenty of space in front for our picnic:

Three Jacques Coune Berlinettes:

Recreation of the Aston Martin proposal, this is also interesting for having an O-series engine:

Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust collection:

Where it all began - Brough Superior with Swallow Sidecar:

We repeatedly encounter coincidences where somewhere we have been or something we have done very soon pops up on TV or in newspapers and this was no exception. The next evening I started watching 'Find It, Fix It, Drive It' with Henry Cole and Sam Lovegrove and a 1930s Wolseley Hornet which is basically a drivable chassis needing a body for which they have the original alloy panels. Sam explained it is a 'Swallow' body made by Swallow Sidecars who became Jaguar, the very thing I had mentioned to my wife the previous day.

Classic Art Deco design complete with 'SS' logo - doors almost certainly made by the woodworking department in 1928 when the factory first moved to Coventry:

Beautiful SS100:

Daimler Dart:

Mk II version, only a prototype was built, which passed though several hands as a road-worthy car:

Many non-Jaguar/Daimler vehicles: Bloodhound SSC parachute test car:

The wonderful Rover P5B - this one driven by the late Queen Elizabeth II:

Prompt attention to the information sheet:

A favourite of mine in the 1950s - Austin Atlantic:

Takes me back to my first job in the 1960s:

One of several still-born MGB/Midget replacements, this the 1991 DR2/PR5 prototype built up on a TVR chassis. Apparently MG Rover bought this anonymously from a used car showroom, the selling owner came in the day before they collected it to give it a final polish - then next day the new owners took a chainsaw to the body!

The workshop:

The main museum building: MG EX-E - a superb design that still looks good today. I took our son to see this when it was displayed in a local dealership in the 1980s, it was open and we sat in it:

The sectioned MGB GT upper right:

Last year I dropped my Fuji F10 compact camera due to freezing cold fingers, damaged the lens, and had to replace it with a Sony DSC-W830. Since then I've moaned about the incredibly fiddly buttons that need a child fingers to operate, the 'will it load or won't it' program to download the photos to my computer, and even when it does load the absolutely ages it takes before it starts downloading. It does have more than three times the resolution which is a big improvement, but I hadn't realised until taking these just how good it is at capturing a large area with the same detail throughout. With the Fuji if I used flash only the near area came out, the rest was in darkness, so I had to use a long exposure with the camera supported as best I could to avoid shake. All the above were taken just 'point and shoot', and it makes no practical difference as to whether I had flash on or not as can be seen here - left no flash, right with flash indicated by the reflection in the side-marker light:

The only 60th anniversary badges I could find were a big rather lurid one in Australia and a much neater pin-badge in America, which pal Bill Etter was kind enough to obtain and post, and even kinder to refuse payment even after I had PayPal-ed it to him. No room left on the metal dash:

So it gets a prominent position on the centre console: