Time Warp - SGMW members and guests

SGMW follows ‘Time Warp’ by going ‘Back to the Future’

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The Southern Group of Motoring Writers has celebrated its 15th anniversary  by running a driving day featuring cars old and new and dubbed ‘Time Warp’.

Time Warp - SGMW members and guests

Time Warp – SGMW members and guests

Held at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, the event proved so successful – despite near constant rain – that the group has decided to go ‘Back to the Future’ by making it an annual event.

Group Chairman Ian Robertson said: “It was planned as a one-off, but our members and their guests from the motor industry PR departments enjoyed it so much that we feel bound to make it an annual trip back in time.

“Having previously created a one-off event that morphed into an annual one – our highly successful Karting Grand Prix, launched in 2014 – we seem to be making a habit of this and, once more, it was ably planned and executed by SGMW Secretary and Events Co-ordinator Chris Rees.”

As well as group members, the event was attended by the SGMW’s PR colleagues from 16 motor manufacturers plus Newspress contacts, often with cars from both heritage and modern test fleets.

Chris Rees said: “Pouring rain was forecast for our big day and duly delivered, yet failed to dampen spirits. From the moment people arrived, there was chatter, banter, laughter and lots of ‘car talk’.

“The impressive collection of 33 cars – current and classic – were out being driven from the moment the event opened and right up to the end of play, with SGMW members and PR colleagues enjoying drives of some iconic machinery.

Car of the day - Peugeot 504 Estate

Car of the day – Peugeot 504 Estate

“We didn’t expect anything else really, but the calls for ‘more’ were a pleasant surprise. Especially when we had considered a formal evening and dinner to celebrate our 15th birthday – as we did for our 10th.

“But we dared to try something different, encouraged by the fact that many brands now run or have access to heritage models, and we must thank all the marques who contributed cars to this fantastic event.

“And while every motoring classic that attended on the day deserved a prize, SGMW members and PRs voted an immaculate yet regularly used Peugeot 504 Estate as ‘Car of the Day’. Though it was a tough call when we had an original Willys Jeep, a Citroen 2CV Dolly, a Ford Capri 280 – some people fancied themselves as Bodie and Doyle in that one, but forget that if you have to ask ‘who?’ – and much, much more.”

Charlotte Ward of Ford receives 2017 Karting GP trophy

Charlotte Ward of Ford receives 2017 Karting GP trophy

SGMW member Massimo Pini also won a prize for scoring an impressive 18 out of 20 in a 15th anniversary quiz set by SGMW publicity officer Steve Loader.

Other highlights included a presentation of the newly engraved SGMW Karting GP trophy to the event’s 2017 winner, Ford. The marque’s Corporate News & Social Media Manager, Charlotte Ward, accepted the trophy on behalf of her fellow team members.

There was also the formal cutting of an impressively iced anniversary cake, featuring a lower tier skilfully rendered as a tyre – a happier version of ‘black ice’ – and a second tier of motor logos topped by crossed chequered flags.

16-SGMW 15th anniversary cake


“They say ‘don’t meet your heroes’. Absolute tosh. Meet them, drive them, adore them and grin from ear to ear.” Tom Lynch – Honda

“It’s great having the historics and nice to get them out and used.” Gavin Ward – BMW

“It’s been great – you have to do it again.” Conor Twomey – Mitsubishi

“It was great to catch up with everyone, drive some cars and celebrate with a slice of cake (which was absolutely delicious by the way). Looking forward to the next one with hopefully better weather!” Laura Margott – Vauxhall

“Many thanks for organising a great day. Despite the weather (not your fault!) we all enjoyed the event and we’re delighted that the 504 went down so well. It was a great opportunity for us.” James Parfett – Peugeot

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