Rover through the years


The 40th Bressingham Rally - 28th May 2017
 Unbelievably, this year was our 40th All Rover Rally at Bressingham near Diss  -  where did all those years go.  This was another significant milestone for us, following on from the 40th anniversary of our club two years ago and we were determined to celebrate the occasion in style.  In addition to the usual display of cars, we arranged musical entertainment throughout the day and an evening BBQ, which is something we used to do in the early days at Bressingham.  We also put together a special display taking visitors back to the 1970s, with photos of the cars you could buy back then and details of what was happening in the world in 1977, the year of our first rally.  Many of our visitors said how this reminded them of things long forgotten and we certainly found it fascinating putting the display together.  As if this was not enough, we also had Adrian Bloom, the son of Bressingham’s creator Alan, entertain us with stories of Bressingham in the 1970s and his recollection of our early rallies there.  He was then kind enough to cut the celebration cake for us. 

Quite a day, but back to the cars.  We always have an excellent display with a good mix of Rover models, including the early cars, which this year included a 1928 ‘Weymann’ fabric bodied Rover 10, a 1937 Speed 12 Tourer and a sports 16, plus the return of the only open topped P6.  One of our members was showing off the power steering conversion just fitted to his P4, which he says has transformed the car, and I suspect we might see one or two more of these in the future.  However I would not be forgiven if I didn’t mention the P4 90 which our member Paul Baker took on a 1000+ mile trip to the northernmost Scottish island, attending a classic car event on Shetland along the way.  This had its own place at our show and not surprisingly drew much attention.

As many will know we always like to have a selection of non-Rovers for added interest and this year was no exception.  I must confess that I am always drawn to the sports cars and with a number of really fine examples including an MGA, an MGB, a Triumph Spartan special and a Morgan +4, I was not disappointed.  However, not to be outdone, we also had a 1962 Singer Estate (one of only 4 left), a very nice Austin A90 Westminster and the return of the 1965 Daimler 250 V8, again one of my favourites. In total we had exactly 101 cars on display and it was something of a challenge fitting them into the limited space we have available to us.

Since its early beginnings, our Bressingham rally has developed a wide following and, in addition to the Eastern Counties, we were again pleased to see cars coming from as far afield as the Midlands, Lincolnshire, Middlesex and Kent.  One of the draws of course is the splendid gardens, together with the narrow gauge steam railways, the steam gallopers and museum, which we were all able to enjoy.  As always, refreshments were taken in the well-stocked restaurant and a visit to the adjacent garden centre was a must.

The weather makes such a difference to these events and this year turned out to be one of the best.  The forecast included the risk of thundery showers over the weekend, which was a little worrying to say the least.  A heavy thunderstorm on the Saturday, when we were setting up, had us sheltering in our cars for an hour but thankfully this was a one off and we need not have worried. 

Mark & Angie Gray of MGBD P6 parts again chose the car of the show and presented the trophies.  Tom Norman, a long time supporter of our event, kindly selected best club car for us and as usual the class winners were voted for by those attending.  The car of the show this year was the 1970 NADA P6 3500s owned by R Shaw, quite appropriate as 2017 in the 50th anniversary of the V8 engine, and the best club car was Graham Teeson’s excellent 1958 P4 75.  T Gilbert picked up the best Pre P4 (running board cars) trophy for his Speed Tourer 12, which also has an impressive rallying/racing pedigree, and Terry Reynolds was pleased to receive the best P4 award for his 1961 P4 100.  The P5 winner was the excellent 1969 P5b coupe owned by John Wallett, whilst D Byford picked up the best P6 trophy for his 1972 2000TC and N Parker’s 1982 SD1 Vitesse also took top prize in its class.  The final class winners were P Neyts with his ‘Modern’ 45 and D Green’s Daimler 2.5 V8. 

Along, I’m sure, with all the other Rover clubs’ we see it as part of our ongoing job to keep the famous name alive and hopefully Bressingham plays an important part in doing this.  Thanks must therefore go to all those who brought their cars along for the day to help create such a splendid display. Thanks also go to MGBD, Hagerty Insurance and J Moore Classic Cars for their continued support.

Details of next year’s rally will appear in the main Rover Club magazines early in 2018 and on our web site at .

Russell James

Interested in joining us for the day in 2018? Then click here
from the end of February for a printable entry form.

Class Winners
Pre P4 Winner T Gilbert TL 6200
Speed 12 Tourer
P4 Winner Terry Reynolds
3339 WD
1961 100
Pre P4 Runner up Glen Read BLU 572 1935 P2 10 P4 Runner up M Stewart
150 NHN
1959 75
Pre P4 Third
Glen Read BF 5331 1928 10 Weymann P4 Third P Nairne CHC 12
1954 75
P5 Winner J Wallett  MVE 748H 1969 3.5 Coupé P6 Winner D Byford TPO 349K 1972 2200TC
P5 Runner up S Munford HGY 777K 1972 3.5 Coupé P6 Runner up N Thurlow PLU 621R 1976 2000
P5 Third A Markham 6043 PL 1962 Mk1A P6 Third  P Cane
WPD 319G
2000 TC
SD1 Winner N Parker A811 VMH 1981 Vitesse Non Rover Winner D Green
DPM 517C
1965 Daimler 2.5 V8
SD1 Runner up
D583 NKW
Non Rover runner up E Linford
449 UXD
 1955 Austin A90 Westminster
SD1 Third C Parmenter B25NPA 1985 Vitesse Best Club Car G Teeson 15 ENK 1958 75
Modern Winner P Neats N3 YTS 2001 45 MGBD trophy - car of the show R Shaw EHJ 500H 1970 NADA 3500S
Modern Runner up B Davidson
R502 AGY
1997 100 Ascot 
John Ringwood Memorial Trophy W Pitchers
HMB 757H
1963 P4

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