Blog: Dave LeggettAftermarket conference - Gaydon

Dave Leggett | 27 April 2004

That aftermarket conference (organised by IMS and Arthur Way) at the Heritage Motor Centre today was good - I picked up quite a bit of info on aftermarket issues and managed to catch up with a few people I haven't seen in a while. I even managed to phone through a short article to Graeme which was in today's just-auto news. A guy from Accenture kicked off the day with a couple of stats on the aftermarket and its contribution to VM profits that caught my eye (see below link).

It was also good to catch up with a few old faces. Ian Wagstaff - one of our contributors and a long-time aftermarket specialist - was showing off his new digital SLR camera (yep, I'd like one but can't quite justify the expense). And I had a good chat with Garel Rhys; I'm hoping to go down to Cardiff and see him sometime later in the summer. His deep knowledge of the industry and auto industry economics is always good to tap into. He did a very competent job in the chair, as usual.

And the Heritage Motor Centre - home to the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust collection - was a very nice venue for an automotive conference. I skived off towards the end of the day to take a look at the collection of vehicles in the museum. I'm glad I did. It wasn't just the usual Brit classics on show- Austin A30, Morris Minor, Mini, Triumph Stag etc. There were also some less fondly remembered British models on display and even a few prototypes that didn't make it into production. What might have been!

The olive green bodied soft top is a 1966 MG Mini ADO 34 prototype. It was constructed over two mini sub-frames, has a Mini Cooper S engine and wheels. The chassis was sent over to Pininfarina who designed and built the body. The appearance isn't unlike the old Peugeot 204. A stylish FWD small sports car based on the Mini? Alas, it wasn't approved for production.

Well done to the Trustees, Rover Group (for building the centre) and also to Ford Motor Company, current owner of the site and museum (Ford got it when it purchased Land Rover in 2000). I couldn't tell that Ford now owned the place and that's exactly how it should be.


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