PICTURE yourself in a convertible sports car, winding along a road fringed on one side with craggy hillsides and luxurious villas, and on the other with a sparkling azure ocean.

Imagine motoring along dramatic passes in the Swiss Alps, with a backdrop of rugged, snow-capped mountains. Or driving through picturesque Italian towns, their terracotta roofs set among verdant hills.

For most of us it’s the stuff of dreams, but for one Bradford couple, such journeys have formed part of their life for many years. And they are all made in a car for which they have a passion - the MG.

David and Carol Copeman are members of the MG Car Club Yorkshire Centre, with whom they have travelled across Europe many times.

An international club founded in 1930 for owners and enthusiasts, it holds events for members, including tours of the UK and abroad.

David and Carol’s first trip overseas with the club was in 2002, to Ghent in Belgium. “There were about 15 cars dating from the 1950s to new. We were met by some of the club’s Belgian members, who escorted us in a convoy to our hotel at roundabouts the traffic stopped for us. Each year a different country hosts events for us. We really enjoyed it and got the bug.”

Every year, they toured Scotland with the club, meeting members of the MG’s Caledonian Centre in Stirling.

The Midget suited them. “It’s a great car. If you go over 60mph, you can’t talk to one another due to the noise,” laughs David, a former contracts manager in the building trade.

In 2002 the couple bought an MGRV8, one of just 2,000 built, and only the second such model to come into Yorkshire.

The car, in woodcote green, had been shipped from Japan, where they are popular. “It is a great touring car. It has a 4-litre V8 engine and a plush interior.”

Since then they have toured extensively, including a trip to Switzerland and Italy, via the stunning Stelvio Pass. “The views are incredible,” says David.

On one trip their car was driven on to a train. “Our carriages were like in a Poirot film - each had its own attendant.”

They travelled from the Netherlands to Livorno near Pisa then drove across to Rimini, meeting up with MG owners from countries across Europe. “There were 124 cars - we had a police escort and they stopped the traffic lights as we went past. The oldest car, a 1934 MG was at the front, with the newest ones at the back. The Italians loved it - people lined the roads to see us. Schoolchildren came out to wave to us.”

They have also enjoyed trips through Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Portugal, and have travelled across the continent under their own steam, taking in sights including the spectacular French Riviera.

Closer to home, David drove his granddaughter Alice to her high school prom in the sports car. “I also used to pick her up from school in in - she loves it,” he says.

David, who grew up in the Haworth Road area, was about 11 when he first travelled in a car. “It was a little Austin A30 which belonged to a neighbour - my dad didn’t drive. We would go for picnics to Baildon Moor and Shipley Glen,” he says. “It seemed like a long way.”

He bought his first car, a 1956 Hillman Husky aged 21, a year after he got married. “I paid £11 for it , which was a lot back in 1969.

“I’d had motorbikes and could already drive - I passed my test at 18. I was an apprentice bricklayer at the time and the man I worked for said I could use his van. I would pick up the men for work.”

His interest in classic cars was nurtured by a former boss, Stuart, who owned seven - including MGs. He asked him to accompany him on ‘scatter rallies’, which provide a list of coordinates which drivers have to navigate around. “I was useless the first time,” he laughs, “But I enjoyed it.”

It was in 1999 that David and Carol bought their first MG, a red Midget. “They were affordable, and parts were readily available. Stuart had a look at it and said it was worth buying.”

They joined the Yorkshire branch of the MG Car Club straight away and never looked back.

“We went to meetings at the Richardson Arms in Oakenshaw, where we met other owners. The club was so welcoming - we hit it off with everyone and that’s how it has been ever since,” says David, “It does not matter what age or condition your car is in, or what your background - everyone is really friendly and helpful.”

The club provides many benefits for members, not least through its support network of owners with a wealth of MG-related knowledge.

Over the years David and Carol have covered thousands of miles and broken down just twice, once when the battery was not charging and the second, more serious problem, which happened in Switzerland, involved a four-day wait for a water pump from England.

A planned car club trip to Germany was cancelled due to the pandemic, but runs have been held this summer in the UK..

The couple are also enjoying their latest mode of transport, a camper van. “We bought it last October and have had a few trips - we have just been to Filey."

*The MG Car Club W: mgcc.co.uk E: mgcc@mgcc.co.uk