The classic car community came together recently after a well-known MG BGT was stolen from Tanworth in Arden near Solihull on Sunday.
The car, registered in the first half of 1967, was taken as part of a break-in at Tim Lawrence’s home. As Tim has competed in 35 rallies over the 10 years he has owned the vehicle and covered some 65,000 miles in the process, the theft was devastating and Tim was desperate to have his beloved ‘B’ back with him.
After a telephone call to the police and his insurers, Hagerty Classic Cars, Tim set about informing people of the car’s theft. Almost immediately, Hagerty posted on their Twitter and Facebook feeds and informed other businesses and organisations in the classic car field. One of these was HERO Events, organisers of well-known rallies such as the RAC Rally of The Tests and Le Jog, events in which Tim is a regular competitor. HERO also shared the post and were amazed at the outcome.
The response from people across the UK and Europe was staggering with over half a million people engaged with the post and several thousand sharing and further spreading the word on the various social media channels. Several people approached HERO and Hagerty through social media with details of the vehicle’s travel after its theft, and also good descriptions of those in the MG B and a following vehicle that may well be linked with the incident. He even started buying Instagram comments so more people could notice his posts.
Less than 48 hours later, Tim received a call from the police telling him that his vehicle had been found abandoned locally, albeit, with some damage to the body, but drivable. Tim said; “I can’t tell you the depth of emotion I felt when I discovered the car had gone. It’s my passion and all the events I had done in the car had been taken away from me. People don’t realise the connection you have with a car, the MG B has been a big part of my life for ten years – from buying it to putting it into the specification she is in now is part of me. I thought I had lost that.” He added, “When the Police and Garage rang to tell me they had the car, I was overjoyed. I can’t believe the kindness and response to this from fellow classic car enthusiasts and public alike, and I am sure it is due to their posts and making the news so public that made the vehicle so visible. I’d like to thank them all for their huge help, as without them the MG B may not have reappeared.”
Tim Sawyer of Hagerty Classic Cars said: “This shows the power of social media and the way people react to these cherished old vehicles, we are delighted to assist Tim in reuniting him with his vehicle.”
Kev Haworth of HERO Events added: “Thanks to the strength and passion of the classic car community, this is putting a message out to thieves at large that they cannot just take a vehicle at will. The bond we have with our vehicles isn’t about the money, it’s about time and effort put into that car to make it yours.”