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A remarkable event took place at the Black Country Living Museum, Dudley, on the 14th July 2002. This was the Black Country Vehicle Rally, which was the most exciting rally that has taken place for many years, featuring locally made vehicles. Most of the exhibits were made in Wolverhampton. There were motorcycles, cars, lorries and buses, and most of the important makes were present. Included were A.J.S. motorcycles, Clyno motorcycles and cars, DMW, HRD and Mercury motorcycles, Guy lorries and buses, Sunbeam motorcycles and cars, Star cars and many more. 

Bev Parker and Frank Sharman's display.

In all there were 149 entries, including a few last minute arrivals. Non Wolverhampton-made vehicles included Jensen, Westfield, Quantum and Bean cars.

It was a glorious warm, sunny day and a lot of spectators came along. There were cavalcades of motorcycles, cars and commercial vehicles, and a lively and enjoyable commentary was given by Jim Boulton and Trevor Davies.

The exhibits included Ian Alexander's A.J.S. motorcycle from 1930, which two years ago travelled from Lands End to John O'Groats, without any problems, and Eric Loffman brought his DMW 'Deemster' along, which is one of 8 'Deemsters' that were used by Wolverhampton Police. Also present was the Guy Otter furniture van from 1951, which for two years was the winner of the Trans Pennine Class. It was driven by Brian Carlos. Entry number 46 was an H.R.D. 3.5h.p. Super 90 motorcycle. This was sold as a replica of the winning machine that was ridden by Howard Davies in the 1925 T.T. The machine also took part in the 50th anniversary reunion at the Halfway House Hotel, Wolverhampton, in 1975.

Brian Rollings came along, complete with his Star 18/50 Jason coupe, from 1930, which is the only surviving 4 door Jason. Also on display was the Sunbeam-Mabley that is on loan to the Marston Heritage Trust. It was an impressive sight to see it in action during the cavalcade. Entry number 95 was the Sunbeam 16.9h.p. Coupe Cabriolet that is owned by Albert Ward. This car was featured in the Morecambe and Wise film; 'That Riviera Touch' and has toured extensively in this country and on the continent.

Some of the many motorbikes that were on display

The event was organised by several people including Derek Beddows, Trevor Davies, David Evans, Ray Jones, Clive Knowles, Brian Rollings and Ian Waldron. It was a great success and I'm sure that everyone who came along had an enjoyable day. Next year's event is already being organised. The provisional date is Saturday 15th July, 2003.

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