Welcome to 365 Days of Motoring

An Everyday Journey Through Motoring History, Facts & Trivia

Belt up and enjoy this 365-day ride as you cruise past the most momentous motoring events in history. Packed with fascinating facts about races, motorists and the history of the mighty engine, this is a must-visit web site for any car enthusiast.

MG

MG


A chronological day-by-day history of MG.

Thursday 1st May 1924

93 years ago

The MG octagon was registered as a trademark by Morris Garages.

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Saturday 11th April 1925

92 years ago

Cecil Kimber, founder of MG, drove the first MG sports car to victory in the Land’s End Trial. This was to be the first of many successes for the famous octagonal marque. Since that first victory, MG has participated in almost every form of motorsport and achieved success in hill climbing, land speed record breaking, long-distance endurance racing, rallying, in touring cars and sprinting.

Cecil Kimber

Cecil Kimber

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Wednesday 9th February 1927

90 years ago

William Morris, using his own money purchased Wolseley Motors at auction for £730,000, possibly to stop General Motors who subsequently bought Vauxhall. Other bidders beside General Motors included the Austin Motor Company. Herbert Austin, Wolseley's founder, was said to have been very distressed that he was unable to buy it. Morris had bought an early taxicab, another Wolseley link with Morris was that his Morris Garages were Wolseley agents in Oxford.Morris had tried to produce a 6-cylinder car and not been successful. He still wanted his range to include a light six-cylinder car. Wolseley's 2-litre six-cylinder 16-45, their latest development of their postwar Fifteen, "made a deep impression on him". Morris incorporated a new company, Wolseley Motors (1927) Limited, he was later permitted to remove the (1927), and consolidated its production at the sprawling Ward End Works in Birmingham. In 1935, Wolseley became a subsidiary of Morris' own Morris Motor Company and the Wolseley models soon became based on Morris designs. It became part of the Nuffield Organisation along with Morris and Riley/Autovia in 1938. After the war, Morris and Wolseley production was consolidated at Cowley, and badge engineering took hold. The first post-war Wolseleys, the similar 4/50 and 6/80 models, were based on the Morris Oxford MO. Later, Wolseleys shared with MG and Riley common bodies and chassis, namely the 4/44 and 6/90, which were closely related to the MG Magnette ZA/ZB and the Riley Pathfinder respectively. Other badge engineering exploits followed at BMC. In 1957 the Wolseley 1500 was based on the planned successor to the Morris Minor. The next year, the Wolseley 15/60 debuted the new mid-sized BMC saloon design penned by Pinin Farina. It was followed by similar vehicles from five marques within the year. The tiny Wolseley Hornet was based on the Mini but the booted body style was shared with Riley as the Elf. Finally, a version of the Austin 1800 was launched in 1967 as the Wolseley 18/85. The Riley marque, long overlapping with Wolseley, was retired in 1969. Wolseley continued in diminished form with the Wolseley Six of 1972, a variant of the six-cylinder Austin 1800, the Austin 2200. It was finally killed off just three years later in favour of the short-lived Wolseley 18-22 series saloon, which was based on the Leyland Princess (also known as the 18-22 series) and never even given a clear name, being badged just "Wolseley", and sold only for seven months until that range was renamed as the Princess. Today, the Wolseley marque is owned by Nanjing Automobile Group bought as part of the assets of the MG Rover Group. Note that the Wolseley Sheep Shearing Company continued trading, and continues today as Wolseley plc.

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Thursday 11th October 1928

88 years ago

The London Motor Show opened at Olympia. The MG Midget, initially a combination of a Morris Minor chassis and a Wolsley 847-cc engine, made its debut, along with the Bentley Speed Six.

Bentley Speed Six

Bentley Speed Six

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Friday 21st June 1929

87 years ago

The last MG 14/40 Mk IV was completed.

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Monday 20th January 1930

87 years ago

The MG Car Company Ltd staged a grand inaugural luncheon at its new factory in Abington, England. In 1935, MG was sold by Morris to Morris Motors Limited, and at this time MG's competition activities ceased, while over the next 18 months, the product range was completely altered to re-align it with Morris and Wolseley. Although the MG Car Company as such became dormant, the MG factory at Abingdon survived as an operational unit into the British Leyland era. In the late 1970s it became part of British Leyland's Jaguar Rover Triumph subsidiary. From time to time the Abingdon factory also produced other makes of car for BMC/BL, such as Riley (1949-1957), Austin-Healey (1957-1971), some Morris Minors (1960-1964) and Vanden Plas 1500s (1979-1980). By a twist of fate, from 1959 onwards MG saloon cars production returned to Cowley, then later at Longbridge, rather than Abingdon. With the discontinuation of the MG Midget and MGB models in 1979-81, the factory was closed, and the Abingdon property disposed of. A and B Blocks are still extant, re-clad and part of the Abingdon Business Park. The Administration Block (known as "Top Office") still stands at the end of Cemetery Road. Cecil Kimber's home is now a pub - The Boundary House - in Oxford Road. Between 1982 and 1991, the MG badge re-appeared on sportier versions of Austin Rover's Metro, Maestro and Montego ranges. In 1992, the MG RV8 was launched, an up-dated MGB Roadster powered by a Rover V8 engine and produced in low volumes. In 1995, the completely new MG F two-seater roadster was launched, selling in volumes unthinkable since the 1970s. In 2000, then parent BMW sold the MG Rover Group to a consortium which used the MG badge on sportier Rover-based cars. Production ceased in April 2005 when MG Rover went into administration. The assets of MG Rover were bought by Chinese carmaker Nanjing Automobile in 2005, who themselves were bought by the Chinese company SAIC in 2007. In 2007 production of the MG TF roadster and MG 7 large sports saloon, derived from the Rover 75, started in China. Production of the MG TF re-started at Longbridge in small volumes in 2008.

MG Factory at Abingdon; ZA Magnette and MGA lines circa 1955

MG Factory at Abingdon; ZA Magnette and MGA lines circa 1955

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Tuesday 18th February 1930

87 years ago

Edsel B Ford purchased a MG M-type, possibly the first US sale for this marque, which he used frequently for three years before adding it to the Henry Ford museum collection.

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Monday 21st July 1930

86 years ago

The MG Car Company reorganised as the MG Car Company Ltd., with Sir William R Morris as Governing Director and Ceill Kimbrr as Managing Director, severing the legal link with Morris Garages.

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Saturday 9th May 1931

86 years ago

The second day of the ‘Double 12 Hours’ at Brooklands, which was won on handicap by an MG Midget, driven in turn by the Earl of March and British aviation pioneer C. S. Staniland, at an average speed of 65.62 mph and covering a distance of 1,574.9 miles. Cars of this make took the first five places in the race. The event ran for 12 hours on the Friday, when the cars were backed up, and restarted at 8 a.m. the next morning for another 12 hours. There were 48 starters, but only 24 finished. The greatest actual distance was covered by a Talbot (1,902.9 miles), which ran into tenth place on handicap. British cars took the first 12 places.

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Monday 10th October 1932

84 years ago

The last MG 18/80 MkII was completed.

MG 18/80 Mark II

MG 18/80 Mark II

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Monday 1st July 1935

81 years ago

Lord Nuffield (Sir William Norris) sold the MG Car Company Ltd and Wolseley Motors Ltd to the public corporation Morris Motors Ltd.

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Saturday 21st September 1935

81 years ago

The SS Jaguar 2½-litre saloon with its 102 bhp six-cylinder Weslake-designed cross-flow ohv cylinder head on its Standard engine caused a sensation when it was launched at a trade luncheon for dealers and press at London's Mayfair Hotel. The show car was in fact a prototype. Luncheon guests were asked to write down the UK price for which they thought the car would be sold and the average of their answers was £765. Even in that deflationary period, the actual price at just £395 would have been a pleasant surprise for many customers. Also available was a similar looking but scaled-down version using a 1½-litre four-cylinder side-valve engine. The Motor magazine in its announcement issue of 24 September 1935 referred to the SS Jaguar's distinguished appearance, outstanding performance and attractive price. With its new 2½-litre engine it could now compete with Kimber's heavily influenced by Morris but brand new MG SA. Extract from the speech of chairman and managing director Mr W Lyons to the shareholders Friday 11 October 1935: "This new car, which is called the Jaguar and has received a most enthusiastic reception from the whole of the trade and public has been produced to an ideal. It has fulfilled all our most optimistic anticipations, for it was intended to produce a car of extremely high quality and performance, hitherto associated with only the most exclusive type of car, at a moderate price."[ Everyone else noted the new grille's likeness to a Bentley's.

SS Jaguar 2½-litre saloon advertisement 1936

SS Jaguar 2½-litre saloon advertisement 1936

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Thursday 27th August 1936

80 years ago

Goldie Gardner driving an MG set the all-time Brooklands record for Class G (under 1100 cc) of 124.40 mph.

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Thursday 15th October 1936

80 years ago

The MG SA 2-litre made its debut at the 30th International Motor Exhibition at Olympia in London. Olympia’s story began in May 1884 when John Whitley created the National Agricultural Hall Company with the aim of building and operating the country's largest covered show centre. The National Agricultural Hall soon changed its name to Olympia in keeping with its ideals and objectives. Opened in 1886, it covered an area of 4 acres. The Grand Hall, 450 feet by 250. The hall was said to be the largest building in the kingdom covered by one span of iron and glass.

MG SA

MG SA

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Wednesday 9th November 1938

78 years ago

Goldie Gardner driving the MG EX135 on the Dessau (German) Autobahn set a Class G record for the mile (187.62 mph) and the kilometre.

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Sunday 4th February 1945

72 years ago

Founder of the MG marque, Cecil Kimber (56), died. He was killed at King's Cross railway accident, having boarded the 6:00 pm express to Leeds. Shortly after leaving the station, the train wheels started slipping on a newly replaced section of rail inside Gasworks Tunnel. However, in the darkness, the driver failed to realise that the train was no longer moving forward and had in fact started to slip back down the hill at a speed of some 6 or 7 mph. A signalman, attempting to avert a collision with another train, switched the points, but unfortunately the train had already slid too far back down the track. The only effect was to derail the final carriage, forcing it onto its side and crushing it against the steel support of the main signal gantry, entirely demolishing the first-class compartment where Kimber had been sitting. He was one of only two casualties.

Cecil Kimber

Cecil Kimber

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Tuesday 25th June 1946

70 years ago

The Longbridge car plant in the West Midlands produced its millionth car, which was an Austin. Opened in 1905, by the late 1960s Longbridge employed around 25,000 workers. A wide variety of products have been produced at the site during its history, although the core product has been cars, most notably the original two-door Mini. During the Second World War the main plant produced munitions and tank parts, while the nearby East Works of Austin Aero Ltd at Cofton Hackett produced several types of aeroplane such as the Short Stirling and the Hawker Hurricane. Originally a printing factory built on green fields the site has had a variety of private owners, as well as a period of state ownership. Since the collapse of MG Rover in 2005 part of the site has been redeveloped for commercial and residential usage. The remaining 69 acres of the site are owned by SAIC and is a manufacturing and research and development facility for its MG Motor subsidiary.

MG Rover works at Longbridge, Birmingham

MG Rover works at Longbridge, Birmingham

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Thursday 27th March 1947

70 years ago

Nanjing Automobile Group Corp. (NAC), a state-owned company was founded as military garage in Jiangsu. Its the oldest and currently fourth largest Chinese automobile manufacturer with 16,000 employees and annual production capacity of about 200,000 vehicles. Coincidently also on March 27, 2007 NAC revived MG brand and began production of MG sports cars.

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Tuesday 16th September 1947

69 years ago

The Cisitalia 202 Gran Sport coup with a trend-setting body designed by Carrozzeria Pininfarina was introduced at the Fiera de Milano, Italy. The Pininafarina design was honored by New York's Museum of Modern Art in 1951. In the MOMA's first exhibit on automotive design, called "Eight Automobiles", the Cisitalia was displayed with seven other cars (1930 Mercedes-Benz SS tourer, 1939 Bentley saloon with coachwork by James Young, 1939 Talbot-Lago Figoni teardrop coupé, 1951 Willys Jeep, 1937 Cord 812 Custom Beverly Sedan, 1948 MG TC, and the 1941 Lincoln Continental coupe). It is still part of the MoMA permanent collection.[2] It was not, however, a commercial success; because it was coachbuilt, it was expensive, and only 170 were produced between 1947 and 1952. Most cars were coachbuilt by Pinin Farina with some by Vignale and Stabilimenti Farina.Building on aerodynamic studies developed for racing cars, the Cisitalia offers one of the most accomplished examples of coachwork conceived as a single shell. The hood, body, fenders, and headlights are integral to the continuously flowing surface, rather than added on. Before the Cisitalia, the prevailing approach followed by automobile designers when defining a volume and shaping the shell was to treat each part of the body as a separate, distinct element—a box to house the passengers, another for the motor, and headlights as appendages. In the Cisitalia, there are no sharp edges. Swellings and depressions maintain the overall flow and unity, creating a sense of speed. The 202 is featured in the 2011 video game L.A. Noire by Rockstar Games and Team Bondi as a secret car called the Cisitalia Coupe.

Cisitalia 202 Gran Sport coupe

Cisitalia 202 Gran Sport coupe

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Saturday 18th September 1948

68 years ago

The first race meeting took place at the Goodwood race circuit, West Sussex, England organised by the Junior Car Club and sanctioned by the Duke of Richmond and Gordon. The winner of the first race was P. de F. C. Pycroft, in his 2,664 c.c. Pycroft-Jaguar, at 66.42 m.p.h. Stirling Moss won the 500cc race (later to become Formula 3), followed by Eric Brandon and "Curly" Dryden, all in Coopers. The race lasted only three laps but he won by 25.8 seconds. Dudley Folland, in a single-seater MG K3, took the Madgwick Cup for Formula 2 cars.The highlight was the five-lap race for another new category; Formula One. Reg Parnell's latest model Maserati 4CLT/48 was pressed hard by Bob Gerard's pre-war ERA but Parnell won by four-tenths of a second, even though Gerard set the fastest lap, leaving with the outright lap record at 1'42.8", 83.39mph. A total of 10,478 paid at the gates, 1,000 club members also entered and an estimated 3,000 sneaked in. Goodwood became famous for its Glover Trophy non-championship Formula One race, Goodwood Nine Hours sports car endurance races run in 1952, 1953 and 1955, and the Tourist Trophy sports car race, run between 1958 and 1964. The cars that raced in those events can be seen recreating (in shorter form) the endurance races at the Goodwood Revival each year in the Sussex Trophy and the Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy (RAC TT).

Goodwood circuit - 1948

Goodwood circuit - 1948

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Saturday 11th June 1949

67 years ago

Sam Collier drove an MG TC to victory at Bridgehampton, New York, USA, in a race for supercharged cars up to 1250cc and unsuperchargeed cars up to 1950cc

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Sunday 7th May 1950

67 years ago

The first Heart Trophy Race was held at the Suffolk County (New York) Airport and was won by Brett Hannaway in an MG TC.

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Monday 24th July 1950

66 years ago

Goldie Gardner became the first driver to exceed 120 mph in Class J (below 350 cc) when he reached 121.048 mph on the Jabbeke Road in Belgium. Later that day he reached 104.725 mph in a MG YA to claim the 'World's Fastest Saloon' title for the marque.

MG YA (1947-53)

MG YA (1947-53)

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Friday 15th September 1950

66 years ago

The first race was staged at the Opa Locka Speedway, Florida, US was won by Bob Gegen in a supercharged MG TC.

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Saturday 31st May 1952

64 years ago

In San Francisco the first Golden Gate Park Road Race was held. A 3.1-mile, eight-turn course was laid out in the western half of the park. Co-sponsored by The Guardsmen and the San Francisco Parks and Recreation Department, the meeting was SCCA-sanctioned. Fifty-eight entries were accepted for the three races on the card: F3, sportscars under and sportscars over 1500cc. The under-1500s consisted mostly of MG TCs and TDs, while among the over-1500s were Jaguar XK120s, Allards, an Aston Martin, a Ferrari and a variety of specials. An estimated 50,000 spectators saw Roger Barlow (Simca Special) win the small-capacity category and Bill Pollack's Cad-Allard beat Phil Hill's Ferrari 212 in the main event. There were several changes made to improve crowd control and the racing for the second running in 1953. An even bigger crowd was anticipated and miles of snow fencing was erected to keep fans further from the track. An additional production car class replaced F3 and more entries were accepted: 87. OSCA, Giaur, Jowett, Nardi, C-type Jaguars and Healey Silverstones joined the more familiar MGs, Allards, Porsches and homebuilt specials. Ken Miles' R-1, an MG-based special, was the fastest 1500, but the man of the meeting was 21-year-old Masten Gregory, who belied his inexperience — just two races prior to this one — with a mature drive to victory aboard a C-type. A record 100,000 lined the course. The third meeting in 1954 was bigger and better: 143 entries, 115,000 spectators, four races. Bill David's OSCA ran away with the under-1500cc event and Jack McAfee's Ferrari 375 outran the field in the main event. Journalists and officials were by now speculating that Golden Gate Park's races might gain grand prix status and attract top international drivers to compete with America's best. Not everybody was enamoured, though. Environmentalists wielded power even then and the city fathers succumbed to their pressure to stop the races: too many people, too much noise, and damage to plants and trees. Racing cars were getting faster, too, increasing the chance of a big accident. The venue was consigned to history.

1952 Golden Gate Park Road Race

1952 Golden Gate Park Road Race

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Sunday 24th January 1954

63 years ago

Ken Miles drove the R-1, an MG special he built, to victory in the Desert Trophy Race at Palm Springs, California, USA.

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Friday 30th July 1954

62 years ago

George Lister in Cambridge, England founded Lister Cars. Inspired by Cooper, he used a tubular ladder chassis, de Dion rear axle, and inboard drum brakes. Like others, he used a tuned MG engine and stock gearbox. It made its debut at the British Empire Trophy at Oulton Park in 1954, with former MG pilot Archie Scott Brown at the wheel. Later, Lister swapped in a Moore-tuned Bristol two-litre engine and knockoff wire wheels in place of the MG's discs to improve performance. For the sports car race supporting the 1954 British Grand Prix at Silverstone, Scott Brown won the two-litre class and placed fifth overall behind only works Aston Martins. In 1955, a handful of Lister-Bristols were built with a new body built by an ex-Bristol employee with the aid of a wind tunnel. Despite its new fins and strakes, it was less successful than the original Lister-Bristol of 1954. Lister moved up to a six-cylinder motor from a Formula 2 Maserati A6GCS for their own car, while customers continued to receive the Bristol motor, sold for ₤3900. Lister also attempted single-seater racing with a multi-tube chassis powered by a Coventry-Climax motor and using an MG gearbox, but the car was a failure. For 1957, Lister redesigned the car around a Jaguar D-type inline-six, with an aerodynamic aluminium body; it was tested by racing journalist John Bolster, performing a 0–100 mph (0–160 km/h) run in 11.2 seconds. Driver Archie Scott Brown won the 1957 British Empire Trophy in the new Lister-Jaguar. Refined again in 1958, the Lister-Jaguar entered international competitions. Brown was killed that season when he crashed the Lister-Jaguar at Spa-Francorchamps. Lister also developed another single-seater car based on the Lister-Jaguar, for use in the unique Race of Two Worlds at Monza. Cars from this era are affectionately known as the "Lister Knobbly" cars, due to their curved bodywork. For 1959, Lister hired aerodynamicist Frank Costin who produced entirely new bodywork built around a new Chevrolet Corvette powerplant. However, the front-engine layout of the new Lister-Chevrolet was quickly eclipsed by the rear-engine layout of the new Cooper sports car. By the end of 1959, Lister withdrew from competition, although production of sports cars continued for customers. In 1963 Brian Lister was chosen by the Rootes Group to prepare the Sunbeam Tiger for the prototype category of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Ford V8-powered Tiger was still in the early stages of development while Lister were constructing the chassis at the Jensen factory. Lister beefed up the suspension and brakes, added an aerodynamic fastback hardtop with a more sloping windscreen and a Kamm tail. The 260 cu in (4,300 cc) Ford V8 engine was tuned by Carroll Shelby to give it 275 hp (205 kW) instead of the stock 160 hp (120 kW). The cars were designed with a top speed of 170 mph (270 km/h), but were developed in too short a time frame and both suffered engine failures. Rootes later received a refund for the engines. The two cars and one prototype mule still exist. The Lister company returned in 1986 as Lister Cars Ltd. based in Leatherhead, Surrey, with engineer Laurence Pearce tuning approximately 90 Jaguar XJSs, improving their capable top speed to over 200 mph and with an asking price of over £100,000. Success at this endeavour led the company to design a new sports racer, the Lister Storm. Launched in 1993, it would use the largest V12 engine ever fitted to a production road car up to that time, a 7.0 L Jaguar unit. The Storm was later developed for motorsport in various guises, winning the FIA GT Championship in 2000. Lister later developed a bespoked Le Mans Prototype, the Storm LMP in 2003. Brian Lister died in December 2014 aged 88.

Lister Jaguar Costin

Lister Jaguar Costin

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Thursday 22nd September 1955

61 years ago

British manufacturer MG Cars unveiled a new sports car, the MGA, capable of 97.8 mph, at the Frankfurt Auto Show. The MGA design dates back to 1951, when MG designer Syd Enever created a streamlined body for George Philips' TD Le Mans car. The problem with this car was the high seating position of the driver because of the limitations of using the TD chassis. A new chassis was designed with the side members further apart and the floor attached to the bottom rather than the top of the frame sections. A prototype was built and shown to the BMC chairman Leonard Lord. He turned down the idea of producing the new car as he had just signed a deal with Donald Healey to produce Austin-Healey cars two weeks before. Falling sales of the traditional MG models caused a change of heart, and the car, initially to be called the UA-series, was brought back. As it was so different from the older MG models it was called the MGA, the "first of a new line" to quote the contemporary advertising. There was also a new engine available, therefore the car did not have the originally intended XPAG unit but was fitted with the BMC corporate B-Series type allowing a lower bonnet line. The MGA convertible had no exterior door handles, however the coupe has door handles.It was a body-on-frame design and used the straight-4 "B series" engine from the MG Magnette saloon driving the rear wheels through a 4-speed gearbox. Suspension was independent with coil springs and wishbones at the front and a rigid axle with semi-elliptic springs at the rear. Steering was by rack and pinion. The car was available with either wire-spoked or steel-disc road wheels. A total of 101,081 units were sold through the end of production in July 1962, the vast majority of which were exported. Only 5869 cars were sold on the home market, the lowest percentage of any British car. It was replaced by the MGB.

MG MGA

MG MGA

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Monday 26th September 1955

61 years ago

The MGA is a sports car that was produced by MG from 1955 to 1962, was formally announced. A total of 101,081 units were sold through the end of production in July 1962, the vast majority of which were exported. Only 5869 cars were sold on the home market, the lowest percentage of any British car. It was replaced by the MGB. The MGA design dates back to 1951, when MG designer Syd Enever created a streamlined body for George Philips' TD Le Mans car. The problem with this car was the high seating position of the driver because of the limitations of using the TD chassis. A new chassis was designed with the side members further apart and the floor attached to the bottom rather than the top of the frame sections. A prototype was built and shown to the BMC chairman Leonard Lord. He turned down the idea of producing the new car as he had just signed a deal with Donald Healey to produce Austin-Healey cars two weeks before. Falling sales of the traditional MG models caused a change of heart, and the car, initially to be called the UA-series, was brought back. As it was so different from the older MG models it was called the MGA, the "first of a new line" to quote the contemporary advertising. There was also a new engine available, therefore the car did not have the originally intended XPAG unit but was fitted with the BMC corporate B-Series type allowing a lower bonnet line. The MGA convertible had no exterior door handles, however the coupe has door handles. It was a body-on-frame design and used the straight-4 "B series" engine from the MG Magnette saloon driving the rear wheels through a 4-speed gearbox. Suspension was independent with coil springs and wishbones at the front and a rigid axle with semi-elliptic springs at the rear. Steering was by rack and pinion. The car was available with either wire-spoked or steel-disc road wheels.

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Thursday 12th October 1961

55 years ago

The Morris Oxford Series VI, MG Magnette MkIV, Riley 4/72 and Wolseley 6/110 were launched.

MG Magnette MkIV

MG Magnette MkIV

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Sunday 12th August 1962

54 years ago

Production commenced of the Morris 1100, a small family car built by the British Motor Corporation (BMC) and, later, British Leyland. The vehicle was in production until June 1974. The range was expanded to include several rebadged versions, including the twin-carburetted MG 1100, the Vanden Plas Princess (from October 1962), the Austin 1100 (August 1963), and finally the Wolseley 1100 and Riley Kestrel. Throughout the 1960s, the ADO16 was consistently the UK's best-selling car.

Morris 1100

Morris 1100

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Thursday 20th September 1962

54 years ago

The MGB was launched. In structure the MGB was an innovative, modern design in 1962, utilizing a monocoque structure instead of the traditional body-on-frame construction used on both the MGA and MG T-types and the MGB's rival, the Triumph TR series. Wind-up windows were standard, and a comfortable driver's compartment offered plenty of legroom. The MGB achieved a 0–60 mph (96 km/h) time of just over 11 seconds. The 3-bearing 1798 cc B-Series engine produced 95 hp (71 kW) at 5,400 rpm — upgraded in October 1964 to a five-bearing crankshaft.

MGB

MGB

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Tuesday 2nd October 1962

54 years ago

The MG 1100 four-door saloon costing £949 was launched in Britain. Like the Morris 1100, the two-door saloon was reserved for export only. The MG 1100 had a more powerful 55 bhp twin carburettor version of the A Series engine and a more luxurious interior.

MG 1100

MG 1100

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Monday 9th March 1964

53 years ago

Austin Healey Sprite MkIII and MG Midget MkII were launched.

Sprite MKIII

Sprite MKIII

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Sunday 8th October 1967

49 years ago

The roadside breathalyser was used for the first time in the United Kingdom. The new measures were brought in by Transport Minister Barbara Castle as part of the Road Safety Act, with a drink-drive limit of 80 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of blood. Drivers faced a 12 month ban if they found to be over the limit. There was much opposition to its introduction with pubs stating it would put them out of business and motorists claiming it was an infringement of personal liberties. Traffic accidents dropped dramatically once it came into force.

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Thursday 21st December 1967

49 years ago

The film "The Graduate" opened at two theatres in New York: the Coronet on Third Avenue and the Lincoln Art Theater on Broadway. The film, based on a 1963 novel by Charles Webb, "The Graduate" made household names out of many of its stars. Though the young stage actor Dustin Hoffman had never been in a movie before, he rocketed to stardom thanks to his brilliant portrayal of the film's protagonist, the aimless Benjamin Braddock. At the same time, a marginally famous folk-pop duo called Simon & Garfunkel sold millions of records as a result of the film, which made their songs a part of its narrative in complex and sophisticated ways. The movie also made a star out of Benjamin Braddock's graduation present: a bright-red Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider. Alfa Romeo had been making racecars for decades—even Enzo Ferrari drove an Alfa before he began building his own racers—but had never sold very many in the United States. (American customers preferred larger cars, and when they did buy smaller sports cars they tended to buy them from British manufacturers like MG and Triumph.) But the 1967 Duetto Spider, a two-seat convertible roadster, was a real beauty: It had a sharp nose and a rounded, tapered rear end, glass-covered headlights, and what designers called a "classic scallop" running down the side. It handled well, could go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in about 10 seconds, and got 23 miles per gallon of gas.

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Friday 31st May 1968

48 years ago

British Motor Holdings (BMH) merged with LMVC (Leyland Motor Vehicle Corporation) to become British Leyland Motor Corporation. It was partly nationalised in 1975, when the UK government created a holding company called British Leyland, later BL, in 1978. It incorporated much of the British-owned motor vehicle industry, which constituted 40 percent of the UK car market, with roots going back to 1895. Despite containing profitable marques such as Jaguar, Rover and Land Rover, as well as the best-selling Mini, British Leyland had a troubled history. In 1986 it was renamed as the Rover Group, later to become MG Rover Group, which went into administration in 2005, bringing mass car production by British-owned manufacturers to an end. MG and the Austin, Morris and Wolseley marques became part of China's SAIC, with whom MG Rover attempted to merge prior to administration. Today, MINI, Jaguar Land Rover and Leyland Trucks (now owned by BMW Group, TATA and Paccar, respectively) are the three most prominent former parts of British Leyland which are still active in the automotive industry, with SAIC-owned MG Motor continuing a small presence at the Longbridge site. Certain other related ex-BL businesses, such as Unipart), continue to operate independently.

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Monday 14th October 1968

48 years ago

The Morris 1800S, MG 1300 Mk II, Riley Kestrel 1300 Mk II and Wolseley 1300 Mk II were launched.

Riley Kestrel 1300 Mk II

Riley Kestrel 1300 Mk II

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Tuesday 31st August 1971

45 years ago

The MG 1300 was withdrawn from the UK market.

MG 1300

MG 1300

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Thursday 16th September 1971

45 years ago

The MG-S (also known as MG S1300) was introduced in Spain (with three round instruments, leather steering wheel and leather seats).

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Monday 11th August 1975

41 years ago

British Leyland was nationalised. It incorporated much of the British-owned motor vehicle industry, which constituted 40 percent of the UK car market, with roots going back to 1895. Despite containing profitable marques such as Jaguar, Rover and Land Rover, as well as the best-selling Mini, British Leyland had a troubled history. In 1986 it was renamed as the Rover Group, later to become MG Rover Group, which went into administration in 2005, bringing mass car production by British-owned manufacturers to an end. MG and the Austin, Morris and Wolseley marques became part of China's SAIC, with whom MG Rover attempted to merge prior to administration. Today, MINI, Jaguar Land Rover and Leyland Trucks (now owned by BMW Group, TATA and Paccar, respectively) are the three most prominent former parts of British Leyland which are still active in the automotive industry, with SAIC-owned MG Motor continuing a small presence at the Longbridge site. Certain other related ex-BL businesses, such as Unipart), continue to operate independently.

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Monday 10th September 1979

37 years ago

British Leyland (BL) announced it was to end production of all MG models. The history of the marque has been a bumpy one since the creation of the brand in 1924 by Cecil Kimber, who chose the letters MG as a tribute to William Morris, the owner of Morris Garages.The original MGs – known as Morris Garage Chummies – were made by fitting tourer bodies to Morris Cowley chassis. Purists, however, say the first true MG was the 14/28 sports model, which was also the first to sport the distinctive octagonal logo.Originally the cars were built in Oxford, but production was shifted a few miles south to Abingdon in 1929, where it continued until the plant was closed amid huge protests in 1980. The Prince of Wales was one of a number of distinguished MG owners. His first car was a cobalt blue MGC GT, which was bought in January 1968. Ironically on the day the Abingdon plant shut, he was performing the official opening of British Leyland’s Mini Metro plant in Longbridge, where MGs had also been produced since 1962. The closure of Abingdon also stopped production of the much loved two-seater sports cars, even though the brand was kept alive by Austin Rover, who stuck the badge on an array of unimpressive saloon cars and hatchbacks. These Metros, Maestros and Montegos may have been sportier than their conventional counterparts, but they were not true MGs and did not attract the devotion of the MGB, which had become the world’s top selling sports car. “The marque has a great deal of affection, but has not been treated particularly well,” said Chris Seaward of the MG Car Club. It has been passed from house to house.” In 1995, when the MG was owned by BMW, the MGF – a proper sports car in line with the marque’s heritage was launched. It was hugely successful. In 2000 BMW sold the business to the Rover group which stuck the MG badge on some Rovers, as well as continuing to produce sports cars. It was not a happy period with the company going into receivership and production stopping after an ill-fated rescue attempt by the so-called Phoenix Four, which made huge amounts for the businessmen involved but not for the staff on the Longbridge production line. In April 2005 the MG MG Rover Group went into administration, after which it was bought by NAC China’s oldest carmaker. Production restarted in 2007 in China, and later at Longbridge plant in the UK under the current manufacturer MG Motor. The first all-new model from MG in the UK for 16 years, the MG 6, was officially launched on 26 June 2011.

MG's logo since 2006

MG's logo since 2006

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Friday 7th December 1979

37 years ago

The last MG Midget rolled off the production line. The Midget can trace its lineage back to the Austin-Healey Frogeye Sprite, the car which brought affordable sports car motoring to the British public in 1958. In 1961 the Austin-Healey Sprite Mk2 arrived, and with it the badge engineered MG Midget – a better appointed version that shared the majority of components with its Austin-Healey stablemate. Original cars were fitted with a 948cc A-series engine – the same engine that was used in the Frogeye in 1958, only uprated from 43bhp to 46bhp. Twin SU carburettors and the revvy nature of the A-series engine made performance engaging, if not truly quick. By 1962 the ageing 948cc engine was replaced by the updated 1098cc A-series, which was also shared with the Morris Minor, amongst others. Peak power was now a healthy 56bhp and the front drum brakes were replaced with more powerful discs as a result. While early cars certainly have their charms, they are somewhat lacking in creature comforts – a heater was only an option and windows were in the form of side screens, or curtains.

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Monday 31st March 1980

37 years ago

BL agreed to sell its MG works at Abingdon to a consortium headed by Aston Martin-Lagonda. The last car to be built there was the MGB, and after the closure of the Abingdon plant, the MG marque was temporarily abandoned. Although many plants were closed by BL, none created such an uproar among workers, dealers, clubs, and customers as this closure did. Years later, Sir Michael Edwardes expressed regret about his decision. In 1982, the MG marque was revived and the Austin Rover Group built high-performance versions of their saloon and hatchback models built at Longbridge (Metro) or Cowley (Maestro and Montego). The MG Metro continued until 1990, with the Maestro and Montego versions being suspended a year later.

Abingdon - the Spiritual Home of MG

Abingdon - the Spiritual Home of MG

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Tuesday 1st July 1980

36 years ago

A consortium headed by Aston Martin-Lagona failed in its attempt to buy British Leyland’s MG Works at Abingdon.

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Wednesday 22nd October 1980

36 years ago

Production ceased of the MGB, Britain's best-selling sports car. It was produced by the British Motor Corporation and sold under the MG marque. Available in both convertible and coupe ("GT") forms, it was launched in May 1962 to replace the MGA.

MGB

MGB

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Friday 24th October 1980

36 years ago

Traditional MG production ended as a white MGB was completed at the Abingdon, England factory. Total production for the 51 year history of the marque was 1,155,032, although the marque would soon be revived in various badge-engineered forms.

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Wednesday 5th May 1982

35 years ago

BL Cars Ltd reintroduced the MG marque as a non-sporting variant of its Metro,

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Tuesday 1st March 1983

34 years ago

The launch of the seven car Austin Maestro range was greeted with huge enthusiasm; maybe more so by the dealers than the public, who after enduring some horrible years selling some horrible mid-range cars, had something new and competent to sell. "Miracle Maestro – Driving is Believing" claimed the brochure for the long-awaited Allegro replacement. In its summing up of the new car the Consumers' Association, in the June edition of Which? magazine described it as roomy, comfortable, and nice to drive, and said "If you are considering buying one now, our advice, based on our first impressions, is to go ahead". In January 1984, after testing the car, they concluded: "In comparison with opposition of a similar price and body size, the Maestro has a clear advantage on room for passengers, with few cars equalling it for comfort either in the front or back". They also considered it to be a serious rival to the higher-segment Vauxhall Cavalier and Ford Sierra, apart from its smaller boot space. The Maestro incorporated many novel and pioneering features for its class. It had a bonded laminated windscreen, homofocal headlamps, body-coloured plastic bumpers, an electronic engine management system, adjustable front seat belt upper anchorage positions, an asymmetrically split rear seat, and a 12,000-mile (19,300 km) service interval. The MG and Vanden Plas versions had solid-state instrumentation with digital speedometer and vacuum fluorescent analogue displays for tachometer, fuel and temperature gauges, trip computer and a voice synthesis warning and information system.The car was a reasonable success, but not as much as beleaguered BL had hoped. After the "boom" years of 1986 and 1987, Maestro sales went into terminal decline. Production ceased in 1995 - although descendants of the Maestro are still being produced in China.

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Wednesday 25th April 1984

33 years ago

The Austin and MG Montego’s were showcased to the press in the South of France. It was initially available as a four-door saloon only, filling the gap in the range left by the discontinuation of the Morris Ital saloon two months earlier. However, it would be produced alongside the Ital estate until that model was axed in August 1984. The estate variant was launched at the British International Motor Show in October of that year. The 150 bhp (112 kW) MG turbocharged variant was released in early 1985 as the fastest production MG ever with a 0–60 mph time of 7.3 seconds, and a top speed of 126 mph (203 km/h). The Vanden Plas version, and featured leather seats, walnut veneer and features such as electric windows, central locking and power door mirrors.[4] Like the Maestro, the Montego suffered from its overly long development phase, which had been begun in 1975 and which was hampered throughout by the industrial turmoil that plagued both British Leyland and Austin Rover Group during this period. The Ryder Report had recommended the costly modernization of both the Longbridge and Cowley factories, and since Longbridge was to come on stream first - the Austin Metro was put in production first, even though its design had been started after the Maestro/Montego. As a direct result of this delay, the two cars were now stylistically out of step, having been styled by several different designers - Ian Beech, David Bache, Roger Tucker and finally, Roy Axe, had all contributed to the Montego's styling. Arguably, both the Maestro and Montego had been compromised by the re-use of a single platform, doors and wheelbase to bridge two size classes - a mistake that BMC/BL had made before with the Austin 1800 and the Austin Maxi in the 1960s. Indeed, Roy Axe, when installed as Austin Rover's director of design in 1982 was so horrified by the design of the Maestro and Montego when he first viewed them in prototype form recommended that they be scrapped and the whole design exercise restarted. Like many BL cars before it, early Montegos suffered from build quality and reliability problems which badly damaged the car's reputation amongst the public. In some ways, the technology was ahead of its time, notably the solid-state instrumentation and engine management systems, but the "talking" dashboard fitted to high-end models (and initially used to promote the Montego as an advanced high-tech offering) was prone to irritating faults and came to be regarded as something of an embarrassment by BL and the British press. This feature was discontinued after a short period. There were also problems with the early sets of body-coloured bumpers which tended to crack in cold weather at the slightest impact. Development on the Montego continued. A replacement was proposed by Roy Axe in 1986, which would have been the existing Montego core structure clothed with new outer panels to mimic the design language set by the recently launched Rover 800-series, and would have been designated the Rover 400-series. This concept, designated AR16, would have also spawned a five-door hatchback version (designated AR17) to better compete with the Ford Sierra and Vauxhall Cavalier. The AR16/17 concepts were however abandoned due to lack of funds, and a facelift to the existing car (designated AR9) released in 1988 enhanced its appeal, which was buoyed up by both the Perkins-engined Diesel model, and the seven-seater version of the "Countryman" estate. The 2-litre turbodiesel (often known by its Perkins designation 'Prima') was a development of the O-Series petrol engine already used in the range. The diesel saloon won a CAR magazine 'giant test' against the Citroën BX (1.8 XUDT), the then new Peugeot 405 (1.8 XUDT) and Audi 80 (1.6) turbo diesels. They rated the 405 the best car, followed by the BX and then the Montego, with the Audi coming in last. "But if people buy diesels, and turbo diesel for their economy, the winner has to be the Montego. ...its engine is - even when roundly thrashed - more than 10% more economical than the rest. For those isolated moments when cost control is not of the essence, the Montego is a car you can enjoy too. The steering and driving position are quite excellent. ...the suspension as 'impressively refined'. It is silent over rough bumps, poised and well damped." The turbo diesel became a favourite of the RAF for officer transport. Car Mechanics Magazine ran an RAF officer transport de-mobbed Montego bought from a Ministry of Defence auction in 1996.The facelift also saw the phasing out of the Austin name. These late-1980s models had a badge resembling the Rover Viking longship, but it was not identical, nor did the word "Rover" ever appear on the cars.Though the car failed to match its rivals, such as the Volkswagen Passat, the car sold well[clarification needed] to the likes of the Ford Sierra and Vauxhall Cavalier. By the early 1990s, the Montego was terminally aged, and production effectively ceased when the replacement car, the Rover 600, was launched in 1993 (special fleet orders were hand-built until 1994, while estates continued until 1995). In its final year, What Car? magazine said "Austin Rover's once 'great white hope', Montego matured into a very decent car — but nobody noticed". The chassis development for the Montego and Maestro's rear suspension was used as a basis for later Rover cars, and was well regarded. Montegos continued to be built in small numbers in CKD form at the Cowley plant in Oxford until 1994, when production finally ended. The last car was signed by all those that worked on it, and is now on display at the British Heritage Motor Centre in Gaydon, Warwickshire. A total of 546,000 Austin/Rover Montegos and 23,000 MG Montegos were produced, with Britain by far being the biggest market for the car. In all, 436,000 Montegos were sold in the UK between 1984 and 1995. In August 2006, a survey by Auto Express revealed that the Montego was Britain's eighth-most scrapped car, with just 8,988 still in working order. Contributing to this, areas of the bodywork that were to be covered by plastic trim (such as the front and rear bumpers) were left unpainted and thus unprotected. In addition, pre-1989 models fitted with the A and S-series engines cannot run on unleaded petrol without the cylinder head being converted or needing fuel additives.[11] This led to many owners simply scrapping the cars, as leaded petrol was removed from sale in Britain after 1999, and by 2003 most petrol stations had stopped selling LRP (lead replacement petrol) due to the falling demand for it. The Austin Montego, like many other Austin Rover cars at the time, offered a high luxury model. Sold opposite the MG, the Montego Vanden Plas was the luxury alternative. The Vanden Plas featured leather seats and door cards (velour in the estate version), powered windows, mirrors, door locks and sunroof. Alloy wheels were offered and later became standard on all cars. An automatic gearbox was also offered. It was available in both saloon and estate bodystyles. All Vanden Plas Montegos were 2.0 litres, either EFi (electronic fuel injection) or standard carburettor engines.

MG Montego

MG Montego

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Monday 23rd July 1984

32 years ago

Austin Rover announced its second new car launch of the year — the Rover 200, a four-door saloon which replaced the Triumph Acclaim and was the combine's second product from its venture with Japanese car maker Honda. As a result, the Triumph marque became the second to be discontinued by Austin Rover this year. There have been three distinct generations of the Rover 200 during its 21 years (1984-2005) production run. The first generation was a four-door saloon car based on the Honda Ballade. The second generation was available in three or five-door hatchback forms, as well a coupé and cabriolet (in relatively small numbers). Its sister model, the Honda Concerto was built on the same production line in Rover's Longbridge factory. The final generation was developed independently by Rover on the platform of its predecessor, and was available as a three or five-door hatchback. Just before the sale of Rover in 2000, and following a facelift, the model was renamed and sold as the Rover 25, and the MG ZR was based on the Rover 25 with mechanical changes to the suspension. Production ceased in 2005 when MG Rover went into administration. Production rights and tooling for the model, but not the Rover name, now belong to Chinese car manufacturer Nanjing.

Rover 200 - 1984

Rover 200 - 1984

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Saturday 14th September 1985

31 years ago

MG EX-E concept was unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The EX-E was a mid-engined sportscar inspired by the Ferrari 308 and designed by Roy Axe and Gerry McGovern. The car's drivetrain and chassis were derived from the mid-engined MG Metro 6R4 rally car. The EX-E concept car did not lead to a production version, although Gerry McGovern did go on to style the later, smaller MG F sportscar. The car is now preserved in the Heritage Motor Centre, Gaydon.

MG EX-E

MG EX-E

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Thursday 12th June 1986

30 years ago

Austin-Rover was renamed the Rover Group. It initially included the Austin Rover Group car business (comprising the Austin, Rover, Mini and MG marques), Land Rover Group, Freight Rover vans and Leyland Trucks. The Rover Group was owned by British Aerospace (BAe) from 1988 to 1994, when BAe sold the remaining car business to the German company BMW. The group was further broken up in 2000, when Ford acquired the Land Rover division, with the Rover and MG marques continuing with the much smaller MG Rover Group until 2005. Ownership of the original Rover Group marques is currently split between BMW (Germany), SAIC (China), and Tata Motors (India).

Rover Group logo 1986

Rover Group logo 1986

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Saturday 22nd October 1988

28 years ago

Jaguar XJ220 made its public debut as a concept car at the Birmingham Motor Show. JaguarSport created a purpose built factory at Bloxham, near Oxford for a limited production run of 350 cars. It went into production in 1990, costing £350,000 and becoming the world's fastest production car with a top speed of 220 mph. Th first new Aston Martin for 18 years, the Virage was also revealed. Other vehicles introduced at the show included the MG Maestro Turbo and Middlebridge Scimitar.

Jaguar XJ220

Jaguar XJ220

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Friday 17th February 1995

22 years ago

The famous MG sports car brand, not seen on a volume sports car since 1980, was revived when the Rover Group unveiled the new MGF sports car which went on sale in the autumn of 1995. It was powered by a 1.8 L K-Series 16-valve engine, the basic having 118 hp (87 kW) while the more powerful VVC (variable valve control) had 143 hp (107 kW). Rover Special Projects oversaw the development of the F's design and before finalising the styling bought-in outside contractors to determine the most appropriate mechanical configuration for the new car. Steve Harper of MGA Developments produced the initial design concept in January 1991 (inspired by the Jaguar XJR-15 and the Ferrari 250LM), before Rover's in house design team refined the concept under the leadership of Gerry McGovern. An interesting feature of the F was its Hydragas suspension, a system employing interconnected fluid and gas displacers which provided a surprisingly compliant ride but which could be tuned to provide excellent handling characteristics. The MG F quickly shot to the top of the affordable sports car charts in Britain and remained there until the introduction of the MG TF in 2002.

MGF

MGF

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Wednesday 8th March 1995

22 years ago

The mid-engined, rear wheel drive MGF roadster was launched. Produced from 1995 until 2011, the MGF, designed and produced by Rover Group, was the first all-new car to bear the MG marque since the MG MGB that was produced from 1962 to 1980. Production of the MG TF paused in 2005, when MG Rover went into receivership, and resumed in 2007 under the company's new owners Nanjing Automobile of China.

MGF

MGF

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Wednesday 22nd November 1995

21 years ago

The last MG RV8 was produced in Cowley, England. The MG RV8 was a hugely important step in the 1990s rebirth of its maker after more than a decade of saloon and hatchback-only production. Since Abingdon's closure in 1980, MG had been reserved for the Metro, Maestro and Montego - and although these cars were worthy, what enthusiasts really wanted was a new MG roadster. In creating the RV8, Rover very cleverly used a combination of off-the-shelf parts, such as the Range Rover's V8 engine and British Motor Heritage MGB bodyshell. So, in this incarnation of the MGB, the rubber bumper specification body was taken and modified to accept a new set of beautifully curvaceous outer panels. The 3.9-litre Range Rover EFi V8 engine developed 185bhp, and gave the RV8 enough power to crack 6.0 seconds for the 0-60mph run. A five-speed LT77 gearbox, derived from the Rover SD1, was used along with a new Salisbury axle. Very significant modifications were made to the suspension and brakes to bring the car up to date. The interior featured magnolia leather and burr elm. Most RV8s made were sold in Japan, but many of them have subsequently made their way back to the UK.

MG RV8

MG RV8

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Tuesday 21st March 2000

17 years ago

Alchemy Partners announced the impending launch of the MG Car Company following an outline agreement with BMW to acquire the Rover Group. The new company would continue with Rover's current model range of the 25, 45, 75 and "Old Mini" and would provide an ongoing service to Rover's customers.

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Tuesday 9th May 2000

17 years ago

BMW sold the bulk of the Rover Group (the Rover and MG marques) to the Phoenix Consortium, while it retained the rights to the Mini marque, and sold Land Rover to Ford. MG Rover went into administration in 2005 and its key assets were purchased by Nanjing Automobile Group, with Nanjing restarting MG sports car and sports saloon production in 2007. During that year Nanjing merged with SAIC Motor (the largest vehicle manufacturer in China). During 2009 the UK Subsidiary was renamed MG Motor UK. The MG TF was manufactured at the former MG Rover Longbridge plant and sold within the UK from 2008 - 2010. In 2011 the first all new MG for 16 years (the MG 6) was launched in the UK (assembled at the Longbridge factory). During 2013 a super-mini was added to the line up (the MG 3), this went on to help MG Motor become the fastest growing car manufacturer within the UK in 2014. The Rover brand, which had been retained by BMW and licensed to MG Rover, was sold to Ford, which had bought Land Rover from BMW in 2000. The rights to the dormant Rover brand were sold by Ford, along with the Jaguar Cars and Land Rover businesses, to Tata Motors in 2008.

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Saturday 10th June 2000

16 years ago

Streetka, the Ghia-built star of the 2000 Turin Motor Show, finally evolved from concept to production reality. The Streetka, was described by Ford as "a modern interpretation of the traditional two-seater roadster inspired by classics like the MG Midget and Austin-Healey Frogeye Sprite." Designed by an in-house Ford team, Streetka was engineered from the ground-up in a new relationship with the renowned Italian design house and coachbuilder, Industrie Pininfarina.

Ford Streetka

Ford Streetka

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Saturday 8th July 2000

16 years ago

The Rover CityRover, a rebadged version of the Indian-developed Tata Indica, was introduced. Offered with only one engine size, a Peugeot-derived 1,405-cc (1.4-L), 4-cylinder, 8-valve producing 85 bhp, it could accelerate to 60 mph in 11.9 seconds, with a top speed of 100 mph. Although the interior space and performance of the CityRover were considered good for a small car in contemporary road tests, the overall lack of quality, below-par road handling and high price were not well received. According to car reviewer Parkers, the CityRover was the worst-rated Rover car from MG Rover, with a rating of 2 out of 5.

Rover CityRover

Rover CityRover

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Tuesday 11th September 2001

15 years ago

The Frankfurt Motor Show opened to international media, with a series of concept and production vehicle debuts kicking off in the early morning. First news of terrorist attacks in the US came in the early afternoon. Large display screens were switched over to news coverage, opening celebrations were cancelled, and the usual upbeat presentations were absent for the rest of the show. MG Rover Group unveiled its stunning new luxury high performance sports coupe - the MG X80. Styled by MG Rover's world renowned design director Peter Stevens, the £55,000 MG X80 had a high-technology super-formed aluminum body, mounted to a steel box section chassis. Skoda revealed its new model, the Superb. There was a large number of concept vehicles, including the Citroën C-Crosser, SEAT Tango, Renault Talisman, Jaguar R Coupe, Ford Fusion and Audi Avantissimo. Top production car debuts included the BMW 7 Series, Ford Fiesta, Citroën C3, Honda Jazz, Volkswagen Polo and Lamborghini Murcielago.

MG X80

MG X80

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Tuesday 16th April 2002

15 years ago

MG Rover announced the building of the 1.5 millionth MG car since production began in 1924. In celebration of H.M. Queen’s Golden Jubilee, the 1.5 millionth, a TF160 was fittingly painted in new Monogram Supertallic paint ‘Jubilee’ Gold and finished with special Jubilee badging. The car was sold, with proceeds given to charity.

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Friday 21st June 2002

14 years ago

Following England’s victory over Denmark MG Rover Group employees have been given an extra day’s holiday to watch England play Brazil.

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Tuesday 22nd October 2002

14 years ago

Volkswagen unveiled the striking new £22,000 Golf R32, the fastest production Golf ever built, to a crowd of waiting journalists at the NEC Motor Show. With a 3.2-litre engine developing a whopping 240 bhp, the Golf has an impressive top speed of 153 mph and could accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in a breathtaking 6.6 seconds. Rover Group unveiled the MG X80, whilst the DB7 GT, was the most powerful Aston Martin ever made. The stunning Bentley Continental GT won the Institute of Vehicle Engineers Motor Show Design ‘Car of the Show'. It beat the Jaguar XJ and Volvo XC90 to scoop the top award and also took the 'Best Luxury Car' award beating off close competition - again from the new Jaguar model.

Volkswagen Golf R32

Volkswagen Golf R32

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Friday 3rd January 2003

14 years ago

MG Rover Group announced a ‘free fuel until 2004’ offer on MG and Rover cars registered before 31 March 2003. Participating UK retail customers were provided with a fuel payment card, with sufficient money provisioned to match the calculated average mileage of a typical driver. The monetary value was calculated on an average annual mileage of 10,000, or 833 miles per month, up to and including December 2003.

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Thursday 6th February 2003

14 years ago

MG Rover entered the commercial vehicle sector with the launch of the Rover CDV and MG Express vans. The development of car-derived vans from the small car platform, bought the total number of vehicles in production at its single Longbridge factory to eleven. The MG Express, was created from the MG ZR hot-hatch. Prices started at £8,264 (excl. VAT). The Rover CDV was derived from the Rover 25. Available with a 84 hp 1.4-litre petrol and 101 hp 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine, the Rover CDV cost £7,072 (excl. VAT). Specification features included the intelligent TrafficMaster traffic alert system.

MG Express

MG Express

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Thursday 10th July 2003

13 years ago

Rover built its five-millionth car since production began in 1904, a 75 Saloon. Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex visited the Longbridge plant to congratulate MG Rover staff and celebrate the significance of this motoring milestone.

Rover 75

Rover 75

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Thursday 4th March 2004

13 years ago

MG Sport & Racing announced a higher-powered version of its high performance sports car, the MG XPower SV-R, at the Geneva Show. The 5-0 litre, XPower version of the all aluminum, 32 valve, double overhead camshaft V8 engine. Built in conjunction with V8 tuning specialist Sean Hyland the car accelerated from standstill to 60 mph in less than 5 seconds. Top speed was circa 175 mph/ 282 km/h. Every SV was individually built to personal customer order and prices for the entry level SV start from £65,750.00.

MG XPower SV-R

MG XPower SV-R

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Sunday 25th July 2004

12 years ago

British driver Fiona Leggate completed five races in 24 hours at Silverstone to establish a record for the most races driven by one driver in a day. The five races were part of the MG Car Club Silverstone MG 80 Race Meeting. Leggate won the last race, the Single Driver Enduro Race, with fellow British driver David Coulthard in second place.

Fiona Leggate

Fiona Leggate

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Saturday 26th March 2005

12 years ago

Eighty years on, the car that gave MG its maiden victory will return to the place of its inaugural success. To mark this historic event, ‘Old Number One’ as the car became known, ran once again at the famous Blue Hills mine, Cornwall.

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Thursday 7th April 2005

12 years ago

Patricia Hewitt, the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, announced – after a conversation with MG Rover chairman, John Towers – that the company was to be put into administration.

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Friday 15th April 2005

12 years ago

Administrators for Britain’s MG Rover Group said they would break up the company, laying off 5,000 workers, in a bid to find buyers for different units after the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. made clear it was not interested in a joint venture.

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Friday 22nd July 2005

11 years ago

Administrators announced that BL had been sold to Nanjing Automobile, indicating that their preliminary plans involved relocating the Powertrain engine plant to China and splitting car production into Rover lines in China and MG lines in the West Midlands (though not necessarily at Longbridge), where a UK R&D and technical facility would also be developed.

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Tuesday 27th March 2007

10 years ago

The first Chinese-built MG sports cars rolled off the production line in the eastern city of Nanjing. State-owned Nanjing Automobile had bought the assets of collapsed UK firm MG Rover in 2005. The MG7 saloon and the MG-TF sports car, priced at between 180,000 and 400,000 yuan ($23,300 - $51,700; £11,800 - £26,300), were launched to the sound of music from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra against a video wall showing shots of Tower Bridge and Buckingham Palace.

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Friday 1st August 2008

8 years ago

Full-scale car manufacturing resumed at the historic Longbridge plant, in the West Midlands, with the production of the two-seater MG TF LE500 sports car. The facility in Birmingham was mothballed when MG Rover collapsed three years earlier with the loss of 6,000 jobs. The company's Chinese owners, Shanghai Automotive (SAIC), said nearly half of the 700 MG TFs costing £16,400, it hoped to produce by the end of the year had already been sold.

Longbridge plant, West Midlands

Longbridge plant, West Midlands

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Wednesday 13th April 2011

6 years ago

The first new MG for 16 years rolled off the production line in Longbridge. Designed in the UK, the parts were made in China and assembled in the UK. The 5-seater MG6 had top speed of 120mph (193km/h) and took 8.4 seconds to go from 0-60mph.

MG6

MG6

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Sunday 26th June 2011

5 years ago

The first all-new model from MG in the UK for 16 years, the MG 6, was officially launched.

MG 6

MG 6

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