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ISSUE 275: Old cars get under the skin because of our emotional investment. We’re culturally obligated to lay into the home team as Britons – but if the cars you love were built by a community that owes its existence to the motor industry, feelings run deep. On April 8, 2005, Longbridge formally imploded, leaving 6000 locals in and around the B31 postcode high and dry. Where were you when MG Rover shut its doors? I was 21 and halfway through failing a film and sociology degree at Lancaster University. I’d been following MGR’s decline with an impending sense of dread and knew many of the staff had nowhere to go when the inevitable came. The cars leaving Longbridge kept coming, although they were built to budget that wouldn’t have paid the phone bill in Wolfsburg. 10 years to the day after the lines were powered down, cars are trickling out of Longbridge –assembly for the MG3 and 6 models still takes place there. SAIC Motor unveiled the latest iteration of its 6 hatchback to the press that fateful April week, a questionable anniversary if ever there was one. Thankfully, all is not lost. Pride of Longbridge takes place this weekend, Saturday, April 18, celebrating all that remains great about the British motor industry, people, politics and products included.

Jon Burgess, Staff writer