Pre-56 Events

This page will hold details of the various events run by the Pre-56 Register


Blenheim, Saturday 11th March  to Wednesday 15th March 2023

Dear Early MG owner,

Thank you for your contact. Below is some preliminary information about the gathering.

Preamble/History/Back Ground info

The pre56 MG event was devised by David McNabb and me in 1976 with the express aim of providing a focus and a reason for maintaining, restoring and motoring what was fast becoming an old and often not appreciated MG, the Morris Motors derived cars which may be described as the traditional MG and built before 1956. This was a time when the youngest MGAs were 14 years old (equivalent to 2008 today) and MGBs were the current sporting model.

The 1st event was held at the VCC club rooms and grounds, Christchurch, Easter 1977. In 1979,  during the fuel crisis, a slightly lesser event took place in Timaru. In 1981 the pre 56 was in Marton, and was the 1st time MGAs were invited. That invitation has been extended for every pre 56 since. However it must be noted that the MGAs and Z series cars cannot enter the Pre 56  as such, but attend their own rally held concurrently and combined with the pre 56 event. They compete for their own trophies, awards, etc which are presented by one of their representatives at the combined Farewell and Prize Giving Dinner.


Proposed Programme. ( regulars  will notice a simplified format, fewer organised events)

Registration:  Saturday  11th March 2023 at the VCC club rooms, Brayshaw Park, Arthur Baker Place, Blenheim 4.00pm onward, followed by a welcoming gathering  from 5.30. Finger food evening meal supplied but BYO .

Concours d’ Etat (and public display) Sunday 12th  Hopefully on the water front at Picton 9am until 1.00pm.  Route suggestions for the return to Blenheim supplied.  . Evening free

Observation Tour: Monday 13th  No formal start, and starting in your own time, finishing at VCC Club Rooms, lunch time.   Afternoon and evening free.

Gymkhana: Tuesday 14th Non-speed driving tests: Brayshaw Park. Starting 9am. Lunch provided at venue.  Afternoon free followed by a……….

Farewell and Prize Giving dinner: Tues evening at Chateau Marlborough. Details to follow.

Farewell Breakfast:  Wed 15th  It has been proposed that a farewell breakfast be promoted, again at the Chateau for those who wish to attend. This will be own arrangements.



 It is the aim of the organisers to run this event at absolutely minimal cost. Set costs will include hire of facilities, meal costs of the welcoming gathering, lunch after the gymkhana and the Farewell and Prize Giving Dinner. Also there is the cost of the traditional rally plaque. It is anticipated that there will be no entry fee or any other costs associated with the event, as these will be met from accumulated  pre 56 funds.


Accommodation is the entrant’s responsibility. There are a number of rooms pencilled in at Chateau Marlborough   If contacting Chateau Marl. please mention the Pre 56 MG gathering. If entrants wish to stay elsewhere there are a number of motels and the camping ground , all of which I am sure would be delighted to hear from you.

Covid, or that  Virus

The organisers of this event are very mindful that our relationship with the virus is not over, and circumstances can change if a new variant rears its spikey little head.

We are not prepared to see this event cancelled due to minor restrictions being implemented, as has happened to other events throughout NZ over the last 2 years , often due to number limitations on inside gatherings   ie a max of 100 people, a number that appears to be universally accepted.

Consequently the organisers are considering a plan if such restrictions are re- introduced which involves splitting the event into two when numbers and venues dictate, eg  Farewell Dinner . Up to 100 people associated with the oldest cars attend the Chateau Farewell dinner and the balance (MGAs etc) at a similar event elsewhere.

 It is very early days and hopefully this situation will not arise, but entry to this event is made on the understanding that Covid may affect how it is run and there could be changes to the format of some aspects of the event.

Clearly if there is a significant outbreak and Govt regulation forces the event to be cancelled, all monies paid for meals etc that can be recovered by the organisers, will be refunded.

Entry Forms

These will be sent to those registering  via this, my e mail address when they become available . They will also be available via the   Pre 56 MG rally website .


Yet to be established but when so, all details, current updates etc will be published.

Peter Croft.

The official 2023 Pre 56 Rally Web site, including registration information can be found HERE


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