Nuffield Cup Returns to
The MG Car Club was but a few months old when Lord Nuffield (as he later became) agreed to be their Patron. In the manner of good and conscientious patrons he took an interest in his clubs and supported them in many ways. One such was that, in 1936, he donated a gold Cup to the committee to employ for a purpose that “will enhance the Clubs prestige, assist its growth, and add to the enthusiasm of its members.”
This is the Nuffield Gold Cup, a truly magnificent pot, which really is made of solid gold and for which Lord Nuffield personally wrote out a cheque for £163, an amount that would have bought a brand-new Morris car at the time. Today, this gold version of the Cup remains in the care of the MG Car Club, UK and four silver versions were created to recognize the best centres in each of Europe, the United States of America, Oceana and Africa. These trophies are presented to the Centre of the MG Car Club which have shown the most meritorious growth, enthusiasm and enterprise during the previous year. The additional trophies remain the property of the MG Car Club.
The United States Cup was first presented in 1954 to the Long Beach Centre (California) and then in 1955 to the DC Centre. These initial selectees were chosen by MG notables, Russell Lowry and John Thornley. From 1962 to 1985 the Cup was on holiday (i.e., missing) and since then has been awarded pretty much every year and now it has come back to the DC Centre … 56 years after its first visit.
The MG Car Club UK and the North American Council awarded the DC Centre the Nuffield Challenge Trophy for North America as the most deserving MG Car Club Centre in North America in 2011. The award is in recognition of the 60th anniversary of our founding as the DC Centre and a participating Centre of the MG Car Club, and the 49th Braille Rallye and for the 16th Hunt Country Classic we conducted in 2011.
The pictures of the trophy in this issue of the Spark do not do the Trophy justice – the Cup itself is sterling silver and stands 15 inches tall when in place atop its 12 inch tall base. It is engraved with “The M.G. Car Club” over the MGCC logo and under which it reads “Nuffield Challenge Trophy for Annual Competition between All Centres of the Club in The United States of America.” The scope of its award expanded to North America in 1992 when it was awarded to the MG Car Club of Toronto, Ontario, and again in 2005 making it the only non-U.S. Centre to receive it.