It was a lucky group of vehicle enthusiasts who gathered at Duart Homestead earlier this month for an evening of great food, company and entertainment.
We hosted the evening with guest speakers, local vehicle collectors George and Marguerite Morgan, sharing their experiences earlier this year of taking their 1932 MG J3 to France to participate in the Montlhery Vintage Revival.
Eighty-seven years earlier, as a prototype for MG, the car had broken three world records for a 750cc supercharged car in Class H on the same Montlhery.
A year later in 1933 the car competed in the famous Le Mans 24-hour race but retired in the last hour, three laps from the finish. It was brought out to Australia in 1935 and has been here ever since.
Mr Morgan said getting the car ready for the journey and event was a big undertaking.
“There were a lot of all-nighters just to get the car in the container to head over – I did a mechanical rebuild on it.
“It was shipped over, then we trailered it from where we picked it up to a friend’s place, where we commandeered their garage and rebuilt the car,” Mr Morgan said.
The Morgan’s then drove to the event, where they participated in the re-enactment of its 1932 race at the Montlhery Vintage Revival, a biennial event organised to enable historic cars to drive the famous banked circuit.
They also visited Le Mans taking photographs of the car in the same spots on the track where it had been photographed when racing there.
Despite the language barrier, the Morgans finally got the message across to Le Mans Museum staff that they had arrived in a car that had competed in the 1933 race, and that it was currently out in the car park.
“As soon as they worked out what we were trying to tell them, they were very keen to see the car,” Mr Morgan said.
“They wanted to take pictures of it, and they wanted to take a picture of the chassis stamp so they could confirm it was indeed the car we said it was, and they asked us to send them the story of the car since it competed there so they can add it to their archives,” Mr Morgan said.