Happy 60th Anniversary!!!
The Classic MG Club turns 60 years old this year!
We were one of the first MG clubs in the U.S., and are
a premier MG club respected worldwide.
Three young MG friends - Will Bowden, John Camichos, and Blair Engle - met in 1962 to discuss starting a club for MGs in Orlando. They held the first meeting in 1963 with about twenty enthusiasts as the Classic MG Club. Today, the club has over two hundred dedicated members statewide.
The club’s aims and goals were “preservation, restoration, maintenance, discussions, assistance, parts, service, tools, equipment, publications, books, info, fun events, Concours, and social functions”. Perfection can’t be improved. Those are our same goals today!
The young club was active, and still is. The first club event was just a couple of months after it was formed: a Hare & Hounds rallye followed by a picnic and swimming. Barely a year later the club held its first Classic MG Club Concours. In 1967, the club hosted the first Southern Gathering of the Faithful MG convention. GOF-South was the second GOF in the nation, preceded only by the New England MG-T Register GOF in 1965. The annual GOF-South is the most important and respected MG event in the Southeast. It’s hosted in alternate years by MG Classics of Jacksonville and the Classic MG Club.
The club’s popularity spread throughout Florida and beyond. By the 1970s, our club helped launch the Classic MG Club South in Miami, the Suncoast Classic MG Club in Tampa, and the MG Classics of Jacksonville. One newsletter served all four clubs. As the satellite clubs grew, they published their own newsletters and were able to cut ties with the Classic MG Club. The Tampa club (Suncoast Classic MG Club) and Jacksonville club (MG Classics of Jacksonville) are still strong, active MG clubs.
Club founders celebrated classic T-series MGs. The original bylaws stated that all MGs powered by Morris engines were welcome. Newer MGs powered by the Austin B engine series blocks, like MGAs and MGBs, were not considered “Classic.” However, since 1985, we embrace all MGs. They are all “Classic” now.
The CMGC monthly newsletter, The Octagon, unites members. Dues in 1963 were $3.00 per year to cover the cost of mailing the newsletter and were raised as postage and costs increased. Digital distribution replaced stamps in the early 2000s, so today we joke that “we don’t have dues, but it costs fifteen dollars TO QUIT.”
We have a drive just about every month, and one or two overnight drives each year on Florida backroads to a quaint small-town hotel. Garage tours are always a welcome event. Members-helping-members keep our MGs on the road, just like we did in 1963.