The final Sunday Scramble of 2016 at Bicester Heritage was a huge success with over 3,000 visitors. A cool, crisp and sunny October morning made for the perfect motoring weather. The day was an extra special one for Blue Diamond as they officially ‘opened’ their workshop and parts centre. While there’s still some work to do before welcoming their first customer, they are excited to be that much closer to the finish line which they are hopeful will be in the next couple of months.
Blue Diamond Riley Services displayed 13 Riley Imps on the new ‘concours lawn’, this was the largest gathering of Imps since the 50th anniversary in 1984 – clearly a fantastic picture. And, nevermind the 3 Sprites, an MPH, and other supporting Rileys!
Inside the space, the goal was to re-create the look and feel of the original Riley and MG works, but incorporate modern technology and thinking within the building. Thus, living the Riley advertising slogan of the 1930’s, “As old as the industry, As modern as the hour”. The building has been split into three distinct parts:
• A small machine shop, tyre fitting area and workshop
• A workshop and service facility
• A retail parts showroom
The workshop will carry out basic servicing and mechanical work. Any larger scale restorations will continue to take place at their Somerset facility.
The building will also house parts for pre-war and early MG cars under our new business, ‘The MG Automobile Company’. They are expecting to be fully operational on site within the next 6-8 weeks.
The British Vintage Motor Group
As they expand their businesses, they felt the need to create a parent company that would provide operational efficiencies for the individual businesses. As such, The British Vintage Motor Group was formed in the summer of 2016. Currently, Blue Diamond Riley Services Limited and The MG Automobile Company sit under the parent company, but in 2017, K Pointing Vintage Motor Engineering will also join the Group.
The MG Automobile Company
The MG Automobile Company is the new name for all pre-war MG parts. While the name has changed, the exceptional customer care and industry-leading expertise remains. The name “BARRY WALKER” has been synonymous with early MGs for more than 40 years. Until 1995, the company operated the world’s largest spares company for MG motor cars built between 1929 and 1939, together with an extensive service for the models from 1939 to 1955.
Blue Diamond Riley Services Limited
Blue Diamond Riley Services Limited has remained one of the leading ‘go-to’ destinations for pre-war Rileys for over 40 years, offering a comprehensive list of services including complete mechanical restoration work, high-quality engine repairs, overhaul work, and routing servicing.
Ian Gladstone started the company in 1974 from his parents’ house in Reigate. During that same year, Mr. Gladstone began collaborating with Brian Lloyd-Jacob, which led to the purchase of the entire remaining stock of Caffyns, the main Riley dealership at Brighton, for the modest sum of £200. This purchase provided valuable insight into the spares requirement of a Riley main agent. As the company expanded, there was always the need for more space. After moving locations a few times, Blue Diamond landed in an old warehouse in Somerset in 1983.
In August of 2015, the business was sold to John Lomas and his business partner, both coming from long established Riley families. The new business was keen to maintain the traditional of excellence that Blue Diamond was famed for, whilst investing in the future. To this extent, a new website was created and launched, Facebook and Twitter pages created and an 18-year-old apprentice recruited. Just as Ian had done 20 years previously, Blue Diamond Riley Services Limited will continue to invest in the next generation of restorers and mechanics.
For further information, please contact:
John D Lomas
M: +44 (0)7590 436225