Blackpool’s TVR sports cars rally at carnival to mark 75 years

More than 60 classic Blackpool-built sports cars roared into the resort to celebrate a milestone and support the carnival.

Blackpool Thunder Car Club brought together a fabulous display of more than 60 TVR sports cars on the Waterloo Headland.

Forming part of the Blackpool Carnival events, the club was celebrating the 75th anniversary of the founding of the TVR marque in the town and the 50th anniversary of the TVR M-Series cars.

The cars travelled to Blackpool from all over the country, with several making the journey from Germany, where there is a strong following for the iconic sports marque.

Best in Show title winner Dennis Atherton (second left) with his TVR Tuscan, Julie Lilley (left) and judges Jenny Mleczek and Martin Lilley at the TVR rally to mark 75 years since the sports car firm's founding

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With cars lined up in glorious sunshine on the promenade on Saturday, former TVR company owner Martin Lilley judged the vehicles along with Jenny Mleczek, wife of long serving TVR employee and passionate enthusiast John Mleczek, who died last year.

The Best in Show title was awarded to Dennis Atherton from Bolton with his immaculate TVR Tuscan while a special prize went to the oldest car on display, the 1972 TVR 2500M of Richard Walton from New Mills, Derbyshire.

His father Henry bought the car new from Martin Lilley on the TVR stand at the 1972 Earls Court Motor Show and it has remained in the Walton family ever since.

Martin Lilley (left) with Richard Walton and his TVR M-Series car, bought brand new by Richard’s father from the Motor Show stand in 1972

A parade along the promenade followed, many cars then visiting the firm’s former factory sites at Beverley Grove, South Shore; Hoo Hill, Layton; and Bristol Avenue, Bispham.

Martin Lilley said: “It was fantastic to see so many TVRs together in their home town and a real pleasure to meet their enthusiastic owners, so passionate about their cars.

"I’m very proud to have played my part in the firm’s history. And the Blackpool Thunder team deserve immense credit for putting it all together."

Head of Blackpool Thunder Car Club's team, Howard Bryan, said: “A great way to celebrate TVR’s 75th anniversary. And a big thank you to the Blackpool Carnival team for letting us be part of their events."

The line-up of TVRs on Blackpool’s Waterloo Headland

Long time TVR enthusiast John Bailie said: “TVR sports cars were made in Blackpool for over half a century. Whilst that is no longer the case, the bond with their owners, their cars and the town is as strong as ever; today’s show proved that and it was wonderful to see so many people admiring the cars”.

Blackpool Thunder Car Club’s Howard Bryan presents former TVR company owner Martin Lilley with a commemorative silver salver at a rally to mark 75 year since the firm was founded