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Formation of the MR2 Drivers’ Club started back in April 1990, when Ken and Sandy Kinnersley from Werrington in Peterborough ordered their MR2. They were surprised given the classic nature of this unique car, that they were unable to identify a Club dedicated to the MR2. So they set down the basis of the Club over the next year and made an initial approach to Toyota GB in June 1990. Following discussions at Redhill, and consultation with Toyota Japan, Toyota approved the organisation and aims of the Club, which are to promote enjoyment of the car through safe driving, organisation of social meetings and events, and to foster a close Club spirit.
Meanwhile Ken and Sandy sought publicity in order to attract other enthusiasts interested in forming a Cub. Initially, all we could offer potential members was the “dream” of a Club, an amateur newsletter and only the prospect of better things to come – and it worked!”
The first social meeting was on New Years Day 1991 at Egham in Surrey, which was followed the next week by a similar meeting in North Yorkshire.
Eventually, there were some three hundred potential members and after a few “volunteers” had been nominated for “Club Office” it was time to conduct the formal business.
The First AGM
The inaugural AGM was held in Peterborough Town Hall on Sunday 3rd March 1991, when over 100 prospective members attended and elected the Club Officers and the Club Constitution was formally ratified.
This was the basic framework of rules by which the Club was originally governed and at the same meeting the membership fee was determined. This also afforded provision for the election of non-executive Officers. Therefore the Club’s first Honorary Vice President is the Chief Designer of the original MR2, Seiichi Yamauchi, Toyota Motor Corporation, Japan.
As the administration and organisation improved so did the level of membership, with the publicity the Club received, directly proportional to our activities.
Membership increased spanning three different continents and some seven different countries. Sister Clubs were now being formed in other countries with the Club in Holland being formed as a direct result of the initiative of our Dutch members.
In 1992, we were elected to membership of the Royal Automobile Club Motorsport Association Ltd., now the Motor Sports Association. This is the governing body of Motor Clubs in the UK and they ensure that organisations are properly constituted and controlled, and that the principles and aims of motoring related Clubs are adhered to.
The same year, the first Club “Gala Day” was held at Silverstone. This was an international meeting with a strong contingent from the Dutch MR2 Club who joined over 220 other MR2’s for what was the largest recorded gathering of MR2’s in this country. A very successful return “match” was held in Holland in September 1993 and the bond between the two Clubs continued to strengthen. We were also in regular contact with Clubs in Australia, Switzerland and Canada.
At the Club AGM in April 1993, the members voted unanimously to change the status of the Club to that of a Limited Company. We sought legal advice and it was eventually decided that the most appropriate form was an “incorporated Company – Limited by Guarantee and not having a Share Capital”. The principal reason behind this change was to limit the liability of each and every member in the event, no matter how unlikely, of a successful financial claim being made against the Club.
The Club grew tremendously and counts friends amongst Clubs in Holland, France, Belgium, Spain, Germany, Denmark, Australia, Switzerland and Canada...
The MR2000 Gala Day saw 1,034 MR2s gathering together for an amazing day and is to date the event with the most MR2s gathered at the same place at the same time! By this time the Club had grown to around 1,000 members and since its creation, more than 10,000 MR2 enthusiasts had registered with the Club at some point. Also after being special guests at MR2000, the Club now names Hiroshi Tsukagoshi Chief Engineer at Central Motors, Kazutoshi Arima Chief Design Engineer MR2 Mk2 and Tadashi Nagagawa Chief Design Engineer MR2 Roadster amongst it’s honorary vice presidents.
With the last MR2 rolling off the production line in 2007 and the Government “scrappage” scheme seeing the demise of many of our beloved cars, the Club has shrunk back a little in size. However the enthusiasm for the car and the Club remains undiminished, and despite the relative rarity of the car it retains a healthy and active membership the envy of many a Club. The Club is also maintaining its positive association with Toyota whilst retaining independence.
As a National Club we visit many shows throughout the calendar year as well as organise and attend many more exciting motorsport activities, car related events and other social gatherings. International travel features in the Club calendar with regular trips to Germany and Le Mans as does UK driving events such as the ‘Coast2Coast’ which is always well supported. The highlight of the Club year is the annual Club weekend & AGM in October which is not a dusty affair but rather another chance to catch up with the latest Club news, learn about future events, to meet with old friends and the opportunity to make new ones. Oh yes and not forgetting to enjoy the party.
The Club also has a number of active regions with monthly meetings being held on the first Sunday of each month. This gives members the chance to meet on a more regular basis and to enjoy driving their cars. However this does not mean you have to join the region where you live. Many members attend activities in other regions whether through personal choice, being away from home or just fancying that event. Whatever you decide you will always be made welcome.
So why not join us and enjoy driving your MR2!!!