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Section Event Gallery
MITCAR - Midlands Italian car Day 2019 at Jaguar Land Rover Classic Works, Ryton
31 August 2019
Photos by John Griffiths, Alex Black, Phil Gunn, David Faithful, Rob Hill, Graham Whiteside
MITCAR 2019 was the 19th edition of the event that’s organised by our Section. After horrendous weather at Arbury Hall last year where a virtual monsoon brought an early halt to proceedings (the park area turned to a mud bath), this year we were based somewhere quite different. The old Peugeot works at Ryton has been flattened and a smart new business park created. Among the new huge new buildings are Jaguar Land Rover ‘SVO’ (Special Vehicle Operations) and, the focus for us, JLR Classic Works. This is the largest classic vehicle- operation of its type in the world comprising a 12,000 m2 building including working space for over 480 cars in 54 bays. A fascinating indoor experience with loads to see it incorporates the classic showroom, working bays where classics are restored to an ‘as new’ condition and continuation models are built from scratch, currently exact replica D-Types and 5-Litre Supercharged V8 Land Rover Defender. Added to this is an incredible collection of varied makes in a special storage facility, including some great Italian cars. For owning Tata group to obtain some very rare early JLR cars it necessitated the purchase of a huge general private collection, which happened to include an Alfa 6C (Villa D’Este?), Maserati Merak, Ferrari 456 GT and even an Iso Grifo. The Works team brought all of these out from the vast array of ramp-storage for us to enjoy. (No photos allowed in that part.) In the main bays, we were stunned by the D-Types (yours for a cool £1.75M), the many spotless new V8 Defenders (@160K each – the edition of 150 all sold out). Other special cars included 5 superb XJ220s, and the stunning Jaguar C-X75 experimental Supercar from the 2015 James Bond movie, Spectre plus several development Jags inc XJ8s and XJSs – not forgetting many Land Rovers and spotless Series 1 Range Rovers.
Outside, our team arranged the cars as they arrived across the 2 JLR parking areas, separated by around a 2-minute walk. This was a small inconvenience given the rare opportunity to visit this impressive venue which is only rarely open to such tours. And what a selection of Italian cars to see! So many rarities and special cars attended, and all beautifully presented, plus wonderful lines of Abarths, Alfa Romeos, Fiats and Lancias. A long line of ‘Exotics’ was presented at the JLR Entrance, which included a very nice new F-Type V8 and a top-spec Range Rover courtesy of our hosts, which surrounded Dave Atkins’ beautiful, and tiny, Fiat Giannnini 500 Tv.
Our organisers choosing award winners had a heck of a time (thanks Brian Smith for the long shortlist!) and there were some long conversations! The Car of the Day though is chosen by Public Vote which helps a bit, though voting was wide-spread! Please see the category winners below:
CAR OF THE DAY, Winning The Camshaft Trophy:
Fiat Topolino - Jacqui Kowalewsky
Maserati Ghibli – Richard Stubbs
Alfa 6 2.0 V6 - Tony Ludovico
Fiat 850 Coupe - David Townsend
Fiat Abarth reproduction (1800cc Twin Cam) – Tony Ludovico
Huge thanks to JLR’s Tony O’Keefe and the great team who acted as our hosts who made everyone feel very welcome, also to all of the marshals and helpers from our Section for doing such a great ‘volunteer’ job.
Importantly, thanks to everyone who attended and made it such an enjoyable day.
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