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Cowley-made motors get in gear for centenary trip
A MOTOR enthusiast whose grandfather was William Morris’ financial backer is revving up for two events to mark 100 years of car-making in Oxford.
Tanya Field, 41, will continue this year’s centenary celebrations of the first car built by William Morris in 1913 by organising a free exhibition of Cowley-built cars and a convoy of motors to London this month.
Between 50 and 60 classic and modern motors will be showcased in the T building at the Mini Plant on Tuesday between 10am and 4pm.
A special convoy of 10 Cowley-built vehicles will travel from the plant to the Ace Cafe in London on Thursday for an evening event. Mrs Field, a mental health worker from Headington, said: “I’ve always loved cars, especially Cowley-built cars – it runs through my family.
“My great grandfather, the 7th Earl of Macclesfield, was William Morris’ financial backer in 1912 and my husband, Jason, has worked at the plant since 1988.”
She added that the convoy to London, which will feature cars such as Morris Marinas, marks exactly 50 years since Lord Nuffield’s death.
“It’ll just be a good night to celebrate – Ace Cafe puts on loads of events for motorcycles and car enthusiasts and it’s going to be called the Cowley Night Special.”
One of the car-owners who will be joining the convoy to London is Ashley Bone, 19, from Kidlington. The welding apprentice said: “It’s going to be great fun.
“I’ve been to Ace Cafe dozens of times and cars in Oxford are of huge local heritage – everyone likes to see them out and about.
“My whole family has worked at the plant, it’s very important.”
Mr Bone said that wanted to work at the plant but was turned down for an apprenticeship.
He is currently rebuilding his classic 1989 Mini and hopes it will be ready in time for the convoy.
Kenny O’Hare, 67, from Berinsfield, who is bringing his Morris Marina to the exhibition on Tuesday, said he was looking forward to the event. He said: “I worked as an engineer at the plant in the 1970s and I wouldn’t have had a home if it wasn’t for the good wages.
“I’m a car enthusiast and I still love going to rallies across the country – I hope the exhibition will be good.”
Some of the events that have marked 100 years of car-making in Oxford included a festival weekend in Cornbury Park, near Charlbury, in June, which saw 2,000 vintage cars from as far afield as the USA on display.
- Owners of Cowley-built cars from the county who want to take part in the convoy to London on Thursday can contact Mrs Field on 07929 868284 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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