Setting the Standard in Ely

PUBLISHED: 15:34 27 June 2007 | UPDATED: 12:35 04 May 2010

Classic Standard cars like this one will be driving through Ely on Saturday.

Classic Standard cars like this one will be driving through Ely on Saturday.

A ONCE in a lifetime opportunity to see almost 80 Standard cars weaving through the streets of Ely takes place on Saturday. The vintage cars on display date back to between 1913 and 1963 and come to the city for a double celebration. Members of the Standa

A ONCE in a lifetime opportunity to see almost 80 Standard cars weaving through the streets of Ely takes place on Saturday.

The vintage cars on display date back to between 1913 and 1963 and come to the city for a double celebration.

Members of the Standard Motorclub will be embarking on their 48th international rally and marking the 60th anniversary of the Standard's classic car, the Vanguard.

Club committee member Ian Leggett said: "Most people under 50 know very little about Standard cars, but the company produced world class motor vehicles and were well ahead of most of their competitors for 30 years. People know more about Triumphs and Standard actually bought out the Triumph company when it went bankrupt in 1945.

"We travel all over the country to proudly display these wonderful vehicles and let people know more about them. We've never been to Ely before and we will be bringing members from as far as France Denmark and Switzerland. This will be the first time that so many Standard cars have driven through Ely together and it might never happen again."

The first Standard car was built in 1903 and the company moved into volume production in the 1920s.

Even during the Depression in the late 1920s, Standard cars were almost at full production.

But in the late 1950s many car companies started to suffer from industrial action and takeovers and factory closures became regular events.

Standard was absorbed into Leyland Motors and the name Standard was dropped in 1963.

Ironically the previously bankrupt company name of Triumph continued well into the 1980s but still built on the Standard production lines in Coventry.

n The cars will set of from Denny Abbey, Waterbeach at 10.45am and expect to arrive in Ely at around 11.15am. They will come from the A10 roundabout, up to Oliver Cromwell's House, turning right past the cathedral, and then up to the Market Place, before heading to Littleport, Downham Market, Nordelph and Welney.

Mr Leggett said: "We will travel in small groups to make sure we don't hinder the modern traffic."

The club will meet at Denny Abbey on Sunday for a static display, parade, commentary and competition, where members will be happy to tell people more about their cars.

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