Annual Kimber Run

2023 Australian Annual Kimber Report & Photos

The 27th running of the Annual Australian Kimber Run was  conducted on Sunday 12th November and formed part of our Club celebrations for 100 years of MGs since Cecil Kimber first created the MG marque in 1923.  Click Here for the Report and Photos

The Annual Australian Kimber Run is an event held by the MG Car Club of South Australia Inc. each year to honour the work and memory of the late Cecil Kimber (12 April 1888 – 4 February 1945). Kimber is best known for his role as being the driving force behind the creation of M.G. Cars and the MG Car Company.

Cecil Kimber started in 1921 as a Sales Manager, and later became General Manager, with Morris Garages during which time he developed a range of special bodies for Morris cars which were sold under the MG brand, eventually leading in 1928 to the founding of The M.G. Car Company specialising in the production of MG sports cars.

The new company moved from Oxford to Abingdon in 1929 and Kimber became managing director in July 1930. The main shareholder remained William Morris himself and in 1935 he formally sold M.G. to Morris Motors which meant Kimber was no longer in sole control and had to take instructions from head office leading to him becoming increasingly disillusioned with his role.

His basic designs were responsible for the production all the Pre World War 2 cars and included models up to and including the well known “T” series of cars which continued in production for some ten years after his untimely death in a train accident in 1945 (see below) and until the MG A was released in 1955.

With the outbreak of World War II, car production stopped and at first M.G. was reduced to making basic items for the armed forces until Kimber obtained contract work on aircraft but this was done without first obtaining approval from senior management and he resigned and left in 1941.

Kimber died in the King’s Cross railway accident on Sunday 4 February 1945, having boarded the 6:00 p.m. express to Leeds. Shortly after leaving the station and entering Gasworks Tunnel, the locomotive’s wheels started slipping on a newly replaced section of rail laid on the rising gradient. In the darkness, the driver failed to realise that the train was no longer moving forward and had started to roll back at a speed of some 6–7 mph (9.7–11.3 km/h).

The signalman noticed this and attempted to avert a collision with another train in the station by switching the points to an empty platform but was too late. The rear carriage was derailed, rolled onto its side and was crushed against the steel support of the main signal gantry. The first-class compartment where Kimber had been sitting was demolished; he and one other passenger didn’t survive the impact. A great tragedy for the founder of MG.