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Magnettes at the 2015 Natmeet

I recently travelled to my first Natmeet with our Magnette Registrar, Peter Baldry.  Pete was a bit nervous as we set out in his new resto on its first major long distance run.  Pretty soon we were honking down the freeway cruising at 110 kph at a leisurely 3000 rpm thanks to the 5 speed gearbox and the 3.9 diff hooked onto a slightly warmed MGB motor. Many a motorist in their moderns must have wondered as we pulled alongside then passed them with ease.  Time proved that Peter had nothing to worry about as the Magnette ran flawlessly all the way to Melbourne and back and returned 35 mpg to boot.


Our host in Melbourne was the MG Magnette Registrar from the Victorian club, Paul Vermont and his wife Sue.  They live on the outskirts of Melbourne in the picturesque Yarra Valley where most of the Natmeet took place. The lineup of Magnettes at Paul’s place was like a mini Concours (see picture below).

During our stay Paul gave us a tour of his factory (Vintage Wiring Harnesses) and showed us how the looms are planned and produced, including a demonstration of how they weave the fabric covers which they can personalise for each owner according to the marque of car.  Paul doesn’t usually pose like a fashion model –we kind of surprised him.

The four days were most enjoyable and we got to meet local and interstate owners whose names we promptly added to our ever growing email list which now stands at over 90 cars.  With this list we help owners to keep in touch with others near and far and to share technical information and ideas for improving the breed.   

While in Melbourne we visited with Graham Farrell, a new and very keen owner, who has just purchased a convertible Magnette on ebay that he intends fixing up for club runs.  This is probably the only one of its kind in Australia.

We also met David Halliday who is Chairman of the Magnette Registrar for the UK. David is an Aussie who works in the UK for a Melbourne based company and he visits Melbourne several times a year – partly for business and to play with his Magnette collection here.  He has other cars in the UK, Magnettes of course.  The car shown below is his most recent acquisition – bought from a little old lady and very original with dented grill, courtesy of negligent people backing into the car. Interestingly this car had a vinyl headlining which David said was original. David’s dad drove a bright red Porsche Carrerra4!  In all a real car loving family.

We also met John Hartley from Tassie.  John drives his pale green Magnette race car with its bright yellow wheels to local and many interstate events.  He along with Paul Lupton from Queensland represented the Magnettes in the Hillclimb and/or Motorkhana events.  Paul and his partner Lyn Rushby, drove their Magnette from Bribie Island in Queensland to the Natmeet.

Our little band of Magnettes had a great time at the Natmeet.  The Concours was set in a beautiful winery in the Yarra Valley and the winning Magnette was owned by a local, Rod Smith (the red car second from the left in the photo below.  The observation run through the beautiful Dandenong hills and the southern ranges was delightful. I went as seat warmer with Loz Scott from Geelong one of the keenest Magnette owners you will ever meet.  That’s his Varitone first in line and next to the Magnette sign.

All of the other events were well organised and the food was also very good.  Hats off to the Victorian club for a job well done.  There was some support given for a Magnette get together at the Natmeet to be held in Adelaide in two years.  A great place for a holiday so give it some thought.

 by Brian Woolmer

  • Conc Vic 2015 01b
  • Conc Vic 2015 a01a
  • IMG_1670.jpgmag
  • Melb Concours Line Up
  • Paul Vermont
  • Topless Magnette tourer