50th Anniversary of MGB around the World
Great Britain's major celebrations for the MGB opened with MG Live and concluded with an MG gathering at Blenheim Palace. In between came the three-day Silverstone Classic, staged at the home of the British Formula 1 Grand Prix. All MGB owners attending these three special events were presented with a unique commemorative rally plaque exclusive to the individual show.
“We are very proud to welcome the MGB50 celebration to the Silverstone Classic,” said event director Nick Wigley. “The ‘B’ is at the heart of the classic car movement in the U.K. and, as part of this trilogy of special events, we look forward to giving owners a great rocking and racing experience. This is a fantastic era for celebrating golden milestones in the British sportscar industry – last year, the Silverstone Classic honored the 50th birthday of the E-type with a Guinness World Record; this year we will be paying homage to 50 years of the remarkable MGB.”
More than half a million MGBs were built between 1962 and 1980 in Abingdon – home of the MG factory, located just down the road from Silverstone, to the south of Oxford. From the original Mark I roadster, through to the MGB GT and the GT V-8, the MGB has survived as one of the most affordable and adored sports cars in the world. In its day, The ‘B’ also enjoyed some notable racing and rallying successes during the Sixties with victories, either outright or in class, at Brands Hatch, Nurburgring, Sebring, Targa Florio, Spa-Francorchamps, as well as the Monte Carlo Rally.
The Silverstone Classic provided the perfect backdrop for the MGB50, with more than 800 historic race cars in action and 7,000 classic cars on display throughout the weekend. Adding to the party atmosphere, there was live music from Mike and The Mechanics and Adam Ant, plus a free fun fair, retail village, air displays, demos and the new AA World feature with its own wealth of attractions.
“It shaped up to be a tremendous year for the B,” said MG Car Club General Manager Julian White. “Each of the three events offered MGB owners something different, and I know many enthusiasts were keen to attend all three celebrations. The MG Car Club is based in Abingdon, the spiritual home of the marque, so we know firsthand how much the MGB means to people. So it’s only natural we have big plans for the MGB50 anniversary.” MGB50 Chairman John Watson added: “The two main MG Clubs are working together to enjoy 12 months of MGB celebrations to mark the 50 years of "The Great British Sports Car."
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