Pre-56 Events

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

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.

The digital online entry entry form is available here
or you can use the printable .pdf version here.

Gathering 2023 Programme

Day Activities

Saturday 11th Mar

Registration from 4pm
Welcome 5.30pm
Finger food evening meal provided BYO.

VCC Club Rooms,
Brayshaw Park,
Arthur Baker Place,

Sunday 12th Mar

Concours d’ Etat   9.00am – 1.00pm

The waterfront at Picton

Monday 13th Mar

Observation Tour 9.00am to 1.30pm

VCC Club Rooms,
Brayshaw Park,
Arthur Baker Place,

Tuesday 14th Mar

Gymkhana 9.00am

Lunch provided

VCC Club Rooms,
Brayshaw Park,
Arthur Baker Place,

Tuesday 14th Mar

Farewell and Prize Giving Dinner

Clubs of Marlborough,
Alfred Street,

Wednesday 15th Mar 

Farewell Breakfast (own account)

Chateau Marlborough,
95-117 High Street,


 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 penciled in at Chateau Marlborough. If contacting Chateau Marlborough 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   i.e. a maximum 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 (MGA's 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 Form

An online entry form is available here.


There does not appear to be an official 2023 Pre 56 Rally Web site. If there is one a link will posted below.

Peter Croft.


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