Classic car enthusiasm is, for many in the UK, an exhilarating hobby and pastime. Younger generations may not be aware that Britain has a huge worldwide motoring heritage. Major worldwide brands such as Mini, Land Rover, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Vauxhall, Aston Martin and hundreds of other car manufacturers have their origins here. Austin enthusiasts meet every year at the annual Austin Seven Rally, held in the beautiful grounds of Beaulieu, in Hampshire. This year's event took place on Sunday 3rd July and MotorEasy sponsored the event again.
One of the first British car manufacturers was the Austin Motor Company, founded in 1905. By the first World War it had benefitted from the massive expansion in British manufacturing and grown to 22,000 employees.
Austin then merged with Morris Motors to form the British Motor Corporation (BMC), which later in the century became part of British Leyland. Years of difficulty followed and even the ownership of British Aerospace followed by BMW could not solve the inherent problems and, known as the MG Rover Group, the business finally went bankrupt in 2005 and not without some degree of scandal.
The Austin brand had long disappeared after manufacturing ceased in the 1980's along with other great marques such as Morris and Triumph. Fortunately, many of the now classic cars remain on our roads and we can still appreciate their heritage.
This year was a great success, 175 Austin 7s we're on the field, 100 years since the launch of the Austin 7 in 1922.
Owners were keen to show off their pride and joys, by putting their cars through their paces and a huge selection of different Sevens led to enormous interest and a great day out.
Take a look at some of this year's winners below with Lord and Lady Montagu.
Next year will be 60th annual rally at Beaulieu and Lord Montagu is keen to celebrate this!