Miles of smiles at SGMW’s magnificent motoring trip down memory lane

A splendid line-up of old and new cars, fine company and glorious sunshine made for a brilliant Southern Group of Motoring Writers’ Heritage Day.

The annual event was again held at the National Motor Museum’s corporate marquee at Beaulieu in Hampshire.

A splendid turnout saw PR friends from eight manufacturers join 23 SGMW members for a day of motoring memories and convivial conversation.

Ford Capri 280 Brooklands. Picture: Andy Russell

The following cars were available to drive from manufacturers:

  • Ford – Mark 1 Transit van, Capri 280 Brooklands and Explorer SUV.
  • Genesis – three electrified GV70s.
  • Kia – Stinger GTS and Mark 1 Picanto.
  • Lexus – IS-F and RX500h F Sport
  • Mazda –  Mark 1 and 4 MX-5s.
  • Porsche – Taycan, Panamera and 911 Carrera T.
  • Toyota – Corolla Coupe GT AE86 and GR86
  • Volvo – P1800ES, 240 GLT estate and S90 Executive.

SGMW members also brought their own heritage vehicles including a Volkwagen Westfalia camper van, Mazda MX-5s, an Alfa Romero Brera, Alfa Romeo 146, Saab 9-5, Peugeot RCZ and Porsche Cayenne.

And it was Stuart Bird’s crazy VW camper that won members’ car of the day while Ford’s 1965 Transit was voted car of the day and loved by everyone who drove it.

The heritage quiz was won by SGMW member Phil Huff with a score of nine out of 10.

And the winners are… Picture Ben Hodges

The SGMW Heritage Day is also a social occasion and a popular event on the motoring calendar with manufacturer PRs.

Dan Sayles, Kia UK head of press and PR, said: “It is such an eclectic mix of new and old. There is nowhere else that you could drive this selection of cars.

“You can jump out of a Mazda MX-5 Mark 1 into a Volvo 240 estate and a Porsche 911. It is not available anywhere else.

“We PRs never spend time together so it is a good opportunity to catch up and discuss things.”

Simon Branney, Genesis Motor Europe head of UK PR and communications, said: “The SGMW Heritage Day is one of my favourite events of the year because it is so relaxed. Everyone is so friendly and so approachable.

“You just come along and have a lovely time. It’s always a pleasure to the with the Southern Group of Motoring Writers.

“It’s a great venue, everyone gets involved and are super excited to be here. Everyone gets excited about the heritage stuff and old cars.

Volvos with verve. Picture Ben Hodges

“It’s an opportunity for people to bring their olds cars and you don’t get to see these very often. It’s the only heritage event on the motoring groups’ circuit and brilliant.”

Volvo was making its debut at our annual heritage day and Barnaby Jones, UK product communications manager, was enjoying the atmosphere.

“It’s great to catch up with people you might only see once or twice a year.

“It is a nice, relaxed and informal event and people come and go as they please and drive what they want. How popular our cars have been even surprised us.

“We see members of the Southern Group of Motoring Writers two or three times a year and, at other events, we can’t always talk or catch up. It has been nice to spend quality time with you all and have a good catch-up and talk about what is new for Volvo.”