Celebrating 8 decades of the Austin 8
International Rally22-23 June 2019, Worcestershire
The 80th anniversary gathering is now history.
The Austin 8 was launched in February 1939 and we were celebrating its 80th birthday with a week-end programme of social activities. We hoped for 20 of these characterful little cars to come from around the UK and abroad, and that's about the figure we managed including; saloons, civilian and military tourers, vans and the unique woody estate from Germany, as well as Bertie the NAAFI military canteen van.
Register car DOT a 1939 Austin 8 tourer in front of the Longbridge Factory.
Line up of 19 and a halve Austin Eights
The feedback was great and we all had a wonderful and memorable event, which will be remembered for the rest of our lifes. The event started at the Friday evening and there were only a few attendees who knew each other. So the event was started on Friday and Saterday being strangers and ended on Sunday being close friends which had an enjoyable birthday party.
Below a selection of photos of the event.
Cutting the birtday cake, "Happy 80th anniversary Austin 8"
Line up of Austin Eights in front their place of birth, the manufacturing plant in Longbridge.
In Issue 1495 - page 6 of Classic Cars Weekly, you will find a nice article about a joyful reunion of the Austin 8 Pedal car Joy-01 with its first lady driver at Longbridge during the 8@80 event.
Marcia Blake sat in the pedal car in 1946, as an 8 years old, for promotional purposes. Her father was one of the Austin production engineers and also one of the engineers responsible for the design of the Austin 8 Pedal car, later manufactured as the well-known J-40 pedal car, Marcia was now reunited with it and now sat in DOT, the Austin 8 tourer register car, which was a better fit for her at the age of 81.
A remake of the original 1946 image was made, now with Georgie, the granddaughter of main organizer of the 8@80 event Robin Wilson. She took place in the Austin 8 Joy-01 pedal car, which was just a great moment of Joy. We had photographer John Lakey with us to make the photoshoots. He owns the copyrights of attached images, but he allowed us to share them with you.
More Information about JOY1 the Austin 8 based pedal car can be found here or by clicking on the image below.
Joy 1, the Austin 8 based pedal car with driver Marcia, 1946.
80 years old, 1939 Austin 8AP Tourer “DOT” meets 1946 JOY-01 Austin 8 prototype pedal car during the 8@80 anniversary event. How great is this. Look at the shapes and how big this pedal car actually is. DOT was pleased to meet her baby sister after 70+ years.
Joy-01 was allowed for a weekend out of the Gaydon British Motor Museum, where she is displayed since she was rescued from an antique dealer. Thank you very much for having the opportunity to have Joy-01 available during our Austin 8 Anniversary event. It must have been enjoyable for Joy-01 to meet her big brothers and sisters Austin Eights during the event.
Just a few shots I made which I thought to share with you. Since this will probably never happen again.
1946 Joy-01 pedal car with 1939 DOT 8 AP tourer in the background.
Here are the results for the 1946 picture re-make, during the 8@80 event.
The 1946 photo was made to celebrate the production of the 1 millionth Austin car which was not an Austin 8, but an Austin 16, same as in the re-make picture made during the 8@80 event. It was also the debut of Joy-01 the famous pedal car now to be found in the Gaydon British Motor Museum.
We know the mix of the Austin 16, four Austin 8s and Joy 1 is a bit incongruous, but we believe it echoed some of the feel of the June 1946 debut of Joy 1.
The most difficult bit of preparation was painting the black stripes on the old bits of carpet. We all know that carpet is all too easy to paint when you don’t mean to, but believe us it’s not so easy when you do mean to paint it with defined colour edges!
It took some time to get the re-make set up together, but we managed!
For the event we have made Car Badges in a limited qty of 80 pieces only. These were given to all Austin Eight owners attending the 80th anniversary event. These should be on your car, or in your garage or man-cave. They are now available through the Austin 8 web shop. Some more interesting items were added. Have a look by clicking on the images below.
The Austin 8 was launched in February 1939 and we were celebrating its 80th birthday with a week-end programme of social activities. 19 of these characterful little cars came from around the UK and abroad, including; Saloons, Tourers, vans and we hope the unique Woody Estate from Germany.
Without the assistance of co-organizer Robin Wilson and The Austin Counties Car Club the event would not have been the succes it turned out to be. So a huge thanks to them for thier contribution.
Also we thank John Clancy who compiled a Blu-Ray / DVD based on the 8@80 event which is available via: www.triumphdvd.co.uk
A line-up of Austin Eights, these cars are the Austin 8 registry cars.
The event is being jointly organised by Hermann Egges, who runs the Austin 8 Register, and Robin Wilson, who has been restoring his 1939 Austin 8 tourer on and off since he rescued it in 1974. He has arranged this event to make sure he finally finishes it by June. Is 45 years a world record for the longest-running restoration project of an Austin car?
Robin Wilson in his 1939 Austin 8 Tourer, 1989 when it last run 30 years ago
Robin and his car and family in a remake of the photo of 30 years ago. Well done Robin.
Thanks to a contribution from the ACCC (Austin Counties Car Club) towards event costs, the entry fee was only £20 per car and this included buffet lunch on the Saturday, rally plaques, routes and show area places on both days, and a special Commemorative Brochure to mark 80 years of this car and featuring profiles of some of the most interesting surviving cars.