The Pre-war M.G. Register of Australia
The origins of the Register can be traced to 1962 when Pip Bucknell, then owner of K3 002 spent some time in the UK as the MMM Register was being formed; Pip’s K3 was recorded as the nineth car on that Register. Pip was inspired to create an Australian equivalent Register on his return home and, knowing that there were considerably more early M.G.s in Melbourne rather than his home state of Queensland, he shared his intentions with Melbourne based enthusiast Walter Magilton.
Wal accepted the challenge, it was agreed that an Australian Register should include all pre-1940 M.G.s rather than being restricted to only Midgets, Magnas and Magnettes so that Vintage, SVW and T-series were all accepted.
Wal set about gathering names and addresses of owners and, as an outspoken member of the M.G. Car Club of Victoria, armed with his growing list he managed to convince the Club’s committee of the need to create a distinct Register to cater for these often neglected remnants of the Marque. The Register was formally recognised in 1965.
Given the title of Secretary, Wal supported by a small committee, organised regular Register meetings, usually at the East Burwood Scout Hall, just around the corner from his home where the meetings often adjourned for a show and tell session in his garage. The Club also agreed to add a Pre-war class to the competition championship, in 1970 first and third placings were taken by Pre-war competitors. The Register also held its own range of unique events; the success of the Pre-war Register led to the formation of the T-Series and Twin Cam Registers a year or two later.
Although Melbourne based and financed by the Victorian M.G.C.C., the Register has always been inclusive of owners Australia wide. Even the earliest roneo’d newsletters were available to anyone willing to pay the subscription fee which barely covered the cost of postage. Membership of the club has never been a requirement; in fact any owner of a pre-1940 M.G. is automatically considered a member of the Register because the primary aim is to record and preserve the cars.
In 1999, as the Millennium approached, the Register executive, Tony Sloan (registrar), Ed Taylor (editor) and Wal Magilton (captain), in consultation with members, decided to raise the Register’s profile nationally. The Newsletter was moved to the A.C.T., where Malcolm Robertson and Brian Oxley took over the role from the first issue in 2000. One of their first actions was to enlist correspondents from each State and New Zealand to give the Newsletter a national flavour. Wal Magilton remained as figurehead, now styled as Patron, and Tony Sloan remained keeper of the Register.
The Register aims to:
Record the location, ownership and history of all Pre-war M.G.s in Australia.
Provide a forum for the exchange of information to support the ownership and preservation of the cars.
Promote activities designed to encourage owners to exercise their cars and display them in public.
Assist owners to buy, sell or exchange cars or parts
Provide information on likely sources of parts or services to preserve and maintain the cars.