Italian marque's links with Shropshire to be celebrated at scaled back motor festival

A motor festival is marking the 50th anniversary of an Italian super car brand when the event returns to Shropshire in September - the location where the marque made its first sale five decades ago.

The Italian AutoMoto Festival in Bridgnorth High Street in 2022
The Italian AutoMoto Festival in Bridgnorth High Street in 2022

But the Italian Auto Moto Festival, which is set to return to Bridgnorth on September 10, is to be scaled back this year after concerns had been raised by residents.

David Morris, organiser of the event, which sees scores of Italian supercars, bikes and scooters descend on the market town, says the 2023 festival coincides with the 50th anniversary of Lamborghini, which sold its first car to a Shropshire resident.

"This year is the 50th anniversary of Lamborghini and the first car that they ever made was sold to somebody from Shropshire," said Mr Morris, who works as an events manager for the Italian car company.

"The first sale was a 350GT, chassis number 0105, which was sold to Mr Robin Grant, of Pitchford Hall, near Shrewsbury, who received the very first receipt from the company, written by Mr Lamborghini himself."

To celebrate the anniversary, he said the Bridgnorth festival when it returns in September is to host some "carefully selected" heritage Lamborghinis, which will be joined by an array of other Italian sports cars, bikes and scooters.

But the event has had to be scaled back after residents raised concerns over the scale of the festival, which has been running in the town since 2016.

There had been fears that the car show, which now attracts more than 2,000 people to the town each year, was affecting access to residential roads and could block emergency vehicles needing to get down the High Street.

"Last year we had around 150 cars, around 25 motorbikes and a strong turnout of of around 50-70 scooters," said Mr Morris. "But as a result of a recent meeting with the Town Council, we have agreed to reduce slightly the numbers of cars to comply with the concerns."

He added that the festival is now believed to be the biggest street car event in the UK.

He said: "People just like to come and see the cars and it provides an opportunity for people who like certain vehicles to get together.

"But the main driver is give members of the public the chance to see some cars that you do not normally get the chance to see."

Last year, saw Top Gear's The Stig descend on Bridgnorth for the festival, which raised £500 for the local Foodbank who also received nearly £1,500 worth of food donations bought by visitors.

The Bridgnorth Italian Auto Moto Festival is due to take place on September 10 and is free for visitors to attend.

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