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Old 13th July 2018, 17:56   #1
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Default With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more

MG is not a very common automobile marque these days. However, speak to anyone in your family from 1 or 2 generations ago and they will tell you they have heard of the MG brand and how it used to make really desirable sedans and sports cars. A look at our MG cars in India thread as well as this thread is enough proof as to how popular MGs were back in the day. When GTO asked if I wanted to cover the MGLive event at Silverstone in the UK, I wasn't really sure as it was a brand I wasn't really familiar with. Additionally, I wasn't really into classic cars as much as other mods like Karl and Ajmat. However, the whole event left a lasting impression on my mind when it comes to vintage cars.

This pic is of a fellow moderator with his family's 1965 MG Midget. No prizes for guessing who :
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-unnamed.jpg

History of the MG Brand

Here's a bit about the MG brand for those like me who aren't familiar with its history. MG was founded by Cecil Kimber who was a sales manager at Morris Garages, Oxford - the sales and service unit of Morris Motors. Morris Garages was one of many companies operated by William Morris, who owned Morris Motors. Cecil Kimber started modifying Morris cars into sportier versions and selling them. You could say in today's world MG was the AMG or ///M division of Morris Motors. These sportier versions got so popular that demand exceeded the supply and led to the formation of a separate brand in 1924 called MG. By 1928, the demand for MGs was so high that they had to shift out of Oxford, where they were making the cars alongside Morris cars, to a dedicated factory. An old leather factory in Abingdon was chosen and the MG Car Company was established.

The British automobile industry has had a very tumultuous past with a lot of brands dying and many brands being sold as well as consolidation among brands. As a result, MG, has changed a lot of hands since it was established. It was initially owned by William Morris himself then sold to Morris Motors. In the 1950's Morris Motors merged with Austin Motors to form the British Motor Company (BMC) of which, even Jaguar was a part of in the 60s. BMC then became British Leyland after BMC and Leyland merged. Leyland-owned Rover and Triumph (MG's biggest rival). The 1980s saw the downfall of the British automobile industry. The MG plant was shut down in 1980. In 1982, British Leyland's subsidiary - Austin Rover revived the MG brand for a short while only to be sold to BMW in 1994. BMW then sold it to the MG Rover group, which collapsed in 2005. Following the collapse, the MG brand was acquired by Nanjing Automobile of China. In 2007, Nanjing itself was acquired by SAIC Motor of Shanghai, which owns it today. Phew!! As you can see, it has been a very confusing past for MG.

The future of MG in India

Now that we are familiar with a bit of history of the brand, it's time to look at the present and the future and why we are talking about MG here on Team-BHP. SAIC has decided to sell its cars in India and its have chosen the MG brand to kick off its Indian operations. MG Motor India was setup in 2017 and SAIC have acquired the General Motors (GM) plant in Halol, in which it held a stake already. Even the CEO of MG Motor India is ex-GM India CEO - Mr. Raveev Chaba. MG plans to roll out its first vehicle in 2019. It will be a crossover that will be positioned against the Hyundai Creta. Read more about the SUV here and about MG's Indian operations here.

The company's plans for India are quite aggressive at the same time challenging. SAIC is one of China's largest automobile manufacturers with a huge line-up of vehicles. Out of those, MG sells a small hatchback - the MG3, a sedan/notchback - the MG6 and a couple of SUV's - the ZS and GS. These are sold in the UK as well as China and Thailand. Recently, MG has also announced an electric SUV concept (X-Motion) and a coupe concept (E-Motion). Looking at the line-up, the most promising car for India appears to be the ZS - a Creta-sized SUV (covered in detail, later on in the report). However, MG India says the ZS will not be coming anytime soon. Instead it will bring another SUV developed specially for India. If speculations are anything to go by, it will be a larger SUV, based on the Roewe RX5. The vehicle has been spotted testing on our roads as well.

The MG brand has a very strong heritage and MG India has been trying to generate brand awareness over the past few months. It reached out to MG owners in India and organized a meet and drive in Delhi to announce the return of the brand. It has also been doing a lot of social media promotion including a series of videos on its YouTube page about the owners of MG cars in India. The biggest challenge it will face is that even though MG has a deep-rooted heritage in UK, the brand is currently owned by the Chinese. This can be seen as a downside by many, but the more erudite will remember that brands like Volvo are also owned by Chinese (Geely) and the XC60 has recently won the Best Car of the year award. If MG can deliver quality products that are well priced, I didn't see any reason why it should not do well. Our market seems to have matured and customers are even accepting new brands like Jeep as long the product has the right qualities. Today's flavour in India is compact crossovers or premium hatches and if you have any of these two products that have the right ingredients for the country, the market is there. SAIC also has the muscle in terms of money to back up the product with a strong network.

MGLive 2018

To really know what the MG brand is all about, MG Motor India invited Team-BHP along with some other members of the media to experience the MGLive event - the largest meet of MG owners and enthusiasts. The MGLive event is like a two-day festival celebrating the brand, where owners come to show their cars, race on the Silverstone F1 track as well as a parking lot gymkhana (Autosolo) to hone their driving skills and a whole lot of other activities. It's the largest meet of MG cars in the world where more than 3,000 MG cars are said to be on display with a few of them racing on the F1 circuit. 2018 is the 68th year of MGLive. For a car enthusiast, it’s akin to a kid going to Disneyland for the first time. It's two days of cars going around the race track, stunts by professionals, parking lot autocross, concours where the cars are immaculately detailed and judged, spare parts on sale, preview of the new cars and interaction with enthusiasts of all age groups.

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Old 13th July 2018, 17:56   #2
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Kimber House

A day before the MGLive event, we visited Kimber House in Abingdon. It is situated just next to where the original factory was and now, home to the MG Car Club. The main factory building is now a housing complex. The MG Car Club premises is like an office, souvenir shop with memorabilia, a place where club meetings are held and where they store the records of most of the MG cars sold:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180601_120956.jpg

At Kimber House, we were introduced to Adam Sloman - the General Manager of the MG Car Club. Adam is a passionate car guy who knows the in and out of MG history and about the cars as well. Here's a video of him telling us about the old MG factory and how it all started:



This photograph shows the old MG factory in Abingdon. What you see here is the main building with the rest of the plant surrounding it:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6010049.jpg

This is the same building now. It has been converted to a residential complex. The rest of the factory has been converted to residential complexes as well as warehouses:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6010060.jpg

The line-up of MG cars leaving the plant. The board marked "Publicity" is where the MG Car Club began:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6010051.jpg

The man who started it all - Cecil Kimber:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6010052.jpg

The MG plant used to be a leather factory before MG moved from Oxford to Abingdon:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6010062.jpg

The day also marked the beginning of the MG Car Club India Chapter...
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6010055.jpg

...although our in-house classic car expert Karlosdeville tells us that the MG Car Club India chapter was first started in 1954:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-whatsapp-image-20180707-16.15.19.jpeg

Seen here from L to R is Madan Mohan - owner of four MG cars in India, Rajeev Chaba - CEO of MG Motor India, Amit Maheshwary - owner of a 1965 MG Midget in India and Adam Sloman - GM of MG Car Club. Mr. Madan and Mr. Amit became the first members of the MG Car Club India Chapter:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6010074.jpg

A look inside the MG Car club office. It's a very quaint office that looked like a home converted into an office. As you enter you see all the memorabilia from the factory neatly displayed all over. There are multiple rooms, which house different aspects of MG's history:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180601_121412.jpg

The perfect mantle-piece for the fire place:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6010042.jpg

Photos and paintings of MG cars over the years cover the walls:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180601_121236.jpg

The trophy room where all the trophies won by MG Car Club owners as well as old trophies won by MG in competition:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180601_120927.jpg

The archive room where they store original records of a lot of MG cars sold. This includes invoices, receipts and even service or repair letters from the owners to the factory. This room is a treasure trove:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180601_121229.jpg

If you love scale models, you will love these display cabinets with MG scale models:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180601_111823.jpg

With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6010032.jpg

With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6010043.jpg

A cut out of a 1936 MG VA sedan engine:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180601_120823.jpg

54 BHP from a 1.5L engine in 1930 is not bad at all:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6010066.jpg

An early drawing of an MG T-Type. To imagine, there was no computer-aided design back then:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180601_120849.jpg

Signed and approved in 1936:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180601_120836.jpg

A map of the plant after it had closed down was going to be auctioned. The closing of the plant was smooth since the workers held a very personal attachment with the brand and cooperated with the management:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180601_115513.jpg

The 1933 Mille Miglia press cutting file. For those who don't know, the Mille Miglia was a gruelling endurance race across Italy with a distance exceeding 1,500 km. It started in 1927, but was banned from 1957 after two fatal crashes:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6010095.jpg

The story behind this press cutting file is quite interesting:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6010094.jpg

Original tools with tool box used by the factory rectification mechanic Harry Grant. You won't find an ECU diagnostic tool there :
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6010084.jpg

Scale model of the chassis of one of the MG sedans:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6010035.jpg

MG was also into setting the land speed record and they made several prototypes to compete in the land speed record challenge. Seen here is a scale model of a prototype chassis for the EX150 experimental car:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6010034.jpg

As I mentioned earlier, Adam had a lot of interesting stories to share with us. Here's a video of another story from him:

Last edited by Aditya : 13th July 2018 at 17:58.
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Kimber House (contd.)

Price list of all the Morris and MG cars back then:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6010021.jpg

The MG Midget bought by someone at a princely sum of GBP 220. Don't miss the 20% discount and the GBP 1 for the spare wheel:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6010076.jpg

From the archives. Here's a file of one particular car with all the details:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180601_110857.jpg

The owner of this particular 1933 Midget had some issue with his engine. MG wrote back diagnosing the issue and informing him of the charges:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180601_110945.jpg

Within a week, MG replied that it would discount the labour charge by 50% as a goodwill gesture. Customer service in the 1930s!
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180601_110840.jpg

An old issue of Autocar from 1935:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6010089.jpg

Auction notice from 1981 when British Leyland closed the MG plant:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6010030.jpg

There were a couple of interesting MGs parked inside. One of them was this rare MGB GT V8:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180601_120905.jpg

V8 badging on all sides:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180601_111306.jpg

This was when British Leyland took over Morris and MG:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180601_111315.jpg

The plastic bumpers denote this is a US-spec car:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180601_111326.jpg

Nice retro wheels:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180601_121330.jpg

Loved the simple, yet functional interiors:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180601_111233.jpg

Old style sunroof:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180601_111253.jpg

V8 engine with twin carbs:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180601_105359.jpg

Engine was from British Leyland:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180601_105454.jpg

Another MGB was being delivered by the club to a new owner:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6010077.jpg

With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6010082.jpg

With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6010078.jpg

This is not a refrigerator from the 1930s. In 2016, Smeg UK - a manufacturer of domestic appliances, opened its new headquarters in Abingdon at the site of the old MG factory. To commemorate this, Smeg made a limited number of these fridges finished in British Racing Green:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6010064.jpg

The fridge has the octagonal MG logo on the front. Adam mentioned that Smeg tried to use a door handle from an MG car, but the tooling wasn't possible:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6010065.jpg

The fridge even has a chassis plaque on it:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180601_112920.jpg

An old type writer used by the factory:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6010046.jpg

A classy table lamp. Sadly, not for sale:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6010045.jpg

This old cabinet looks pristine. It's from the old factory:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180601_120033.jpg

And being from the factory it still has the inventory tag:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180601_120028.jpg

Yup. Fast, small and fun to drive:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6010056.jpg

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British Motor Museum

After Kimber House, we headed to the British Motor Museum for a quick tour. The plan was to spend more time there, but we ended up having a lazy lunch in a quaint nearby restaurant apt for the cars we were just about to see. It was like travelling back in time! The British Motor Museum located in Warwick, has the largest collection of classic British cars. Here, you can see the entire history of the British automobile industry in one place. The location also has the Jaguar Land Rover Gaydon design and engineering centre right next door.

We started the tour with the history of MG - from of the time the brand was started, to where it is now. This video by the tour guide explains things very well:


This car is named as Old Number One. It wasn't really the first MG car, but a special edition built for Cecil Kimber:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-1_img_20180601_163538.jpg

Built in 1925, it had a 1.5L, 4-cylinder engine. It was based on a Morris Bullnose chassis, but the coach work was better than the Morris:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-2_img_20180601_163526.jpg

Story has it that Cecil Kimber sold off the car. In 1932, a factory employee saw the car being used to transport cattle. He bought the car back for a princely sum of GBP 15 and gave the car to the factory. Nobody knows if the factory gave him back the GBP 15:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-3_img_20180601_163550.jpg

Some more information on the car. The top speed is interesting, especially as it is a car from 1925:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-4_img_20180601_163542.jpg

This 1965 MGB GT cutout shows the engineering back in the 60s:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-6_img_20180601_161401.jpg

The engine block with 4 cylinders and 8 valves:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-8_img_20180601_161348.jpg

Trivia about this half-sectioned MGB:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-5_img_20180601_161329.jpg

A 1958 MG ZB Magnette:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-12_img_20180601_165959.jpg

The Magnette was a very popular sedan:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-10_img_20180601_161454.jpg

Information on the Magnette:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-11_img_20180601_161536.jpg

This was my favourite car at the museum - a 1936 MG SA. The level of luxury and attention to detail left me spellbound:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-13_img_20180601_170027.jpg

Have a look at that interior and the quality:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-14_img_20180601_161633.jpg

Individual flaps for cooling on the side of the bonnet:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-15_img_20180601_161646.jpg

Each flap had a handle that had "MG" engraved on it:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-16_img_20180601_161649.jpg

And so did every handle inside:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-17_img_20180601_161703.jpg

Check the wooden inlays in the trim. Exquisite:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-18_img_20180601_161850.jpg

The SA was huge and looked super luxurious. Just couldn't believe this was from the 30s:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-19_img_20180601_162114.jpg

6-cylinder engine with a top speed of 136 km/h back in 1936:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-20_img_20180601_161622.jpg

This was a MG prototype that never saw the light of day:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-21_img_20180601_165833.jpg

British Motors thought it would compete within its family, with the Austin and Morris and cancelled the car:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-22_img_20180601_165842.jpg

A 1958 MGA cross section:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-23_img_20180601_163811.jpg

With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-24_img_20180601_163816.jpg

With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-25_img_20180601_163829.jpg

This was quite a powerful little machine with more than 100 horses:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-26_img_20180601_163858.jpg

Here are some videos of the tour of the British Motor Museum:





Last edited by Aditya : 13th July 2018 at 18:02.
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British Motor Museum Part 2

MG being a sports car company, was into world record challenges... big time! Over the years, it built many prototypes to try and break the land speed records. This is a 1938 MG EX135 Prototype:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180601_163049.jpg

The aerodynamic body was designed in 1938:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180601_163059.jpg

1.25L engine with 220 BHP and a top speed of more than 300 km/h on the Bonneville salt flats:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180601_163116.jpg

With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180601_162856.jpg

A later model - the 1954 MG EX179 Prototype:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180601_163145.jpg

With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180601_163203.jpg

Surprisingly less power and speed, though 15 years later:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180601_163151.jpg

The 1957 MG EX181 prototype broke the 400 km/h barrier:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180601_163127.jpg

This was the last MG record car ever made at Abingdon:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180601_163223.jpg

With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180601_162939.jpg

In 1998, MG built another prototype - the EX255:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180601_163216.jpg

This car was supposed to break the EX181's speed record, but it never did even though it had 3 times as much power:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180601_163228.jpg

With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180601_163233.jpg

With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180601_163212.jpg

In 1938, a company called SS (Swallow Sidecar) came out with a car known as the Jaguar 100 to compete with the MGs. Later, the company would change its name from SS to Jaguar:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180601_165105.jpg

Even this car had good attention to detail, but the MG SA was way better:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180601_165122.jpg

The Jaguar XJ220 was my favourite supercar when I was young. Had a poster of it on my bedroom wall:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180601_165237.jpg

Last edited by Aditya : 13th July 2018 at 18:03.
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MG Live Day 1

Time to head to Silverstone:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180602_091333.jpg

En route Silverstone, we got to see such sights:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180603_100925.jpg

Welcome to MGLive 2018:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180602_103137.jpg

This was what one of the parking lots looked like:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180603_124215.jpg

The MGLive event was pretty much spread across the entire Silverstone F1 circuit. The infield had cars on display, concours and camp area with the eating joints and various stalls. The main F1 circuit had the races throughout the two days. These were either MG races or other races that are held during this weekend to draw crowds.

Here's a 360-degree video of the main camp site, where pretty much all the action was:


We first headed to the MG Car Club tent, where Adam would take us on a tour of the event site:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180602_110718.jpg

Adam introduced us to John Day, who is the president of the MG Car Club. John owns a 1929 MG 18/80 MK1. This is one of only thirty cars still existing. Only 750 were ever made:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180602_111229.jpg

As John's tie tells you, it's an 18/80:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6020102.jpg

The car is in immaculate condition and looks supremely majestic:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6020105.jpg

The interiors look like they are straight out of the factory. Hard to imagine this car is almost 90 years old:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6020103.jpg

6-cylinder engine looks immaculately detailed. What stood out for me is the horn (in black):
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6020101.jpg

A glass hood ornament:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6020104.jpg

We moved on to see some other interesting MGs. This 1933 MG K3 looked quite cool. When I looked at it closely, it blew my mind!
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6020119.jpg

The interiors are not luxurious, but very sporty:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6020120.jpg

The tacho is marked till 8,000 rpm:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6020121.jpg

The biggest surprise is the supercharger boost gauge - this is a car from 1930, mind you! The supercharger is placed in front of the radiator:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6020122.jpg

The gearbox is also unique. It features a pre-selector, which you didn't have to synchronize the shift. Next to the gear lever is a switch to change the ignition timing (retard or advance) and another one to change the air and fuel mixture (rich or lean):
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6020123.jpg

A bit about this particular car:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6020118.jpg

Next was the Triple-M Register. Triple-M stands for Midget, Magna and Magnette manufactured between 1929-1936. A Register is basically a sub group within the MG Car Club. Since there were so many MG models, they created Registers to bring together a smaller group of people who, own a particular model. More details on the Register can be found here:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6020117.jpg

The Y-Type Register. The MG Y-Type was a sedan sold from 1947-1953:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6020112.jpg

The T-Type Register. The T-Type was sold between 1936 - 1955. There were five versions - TA, TB, TC, TD and TF:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6020110.jpg

The MG Magnette Register:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6020109.jpg

The SVW Register is for the SA, VA and WA models built between 1936 and 1939:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6020107.jpg

The WA, like the SA seen earlier at the museum, is a luxurious car:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6020108.jpg

The MGA Register:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6020106.jpg

The Registers aren't just for the old cars, but for the newer ones as well. Seen here is a MG ZT built in 2001, when MG was part of the Rover group:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180602_113348.jpg

Look closely and you will see a familiar logo inside the MG badge. Yes, that's a Mustang logo. Many owners would change the badge by adding the Mustang logo to their cars denoting the 4.6L V8 Ford Mustang engine under the bonnet:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180602_113328.jpg

Last edited by Aditya : 13th July 2018 at 18:05.
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As we walked around, we saw a lot of cars lining up. The parade lap was about to start, where members could take their cars out on the F1 circuit for a lap behind a safety car. This was in between races, which were going on throughout the day:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180602_124910.jpg

I got a chance to ride with Bill in his 1951 MG TD Mark 2:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030180.jpg

The 1951 MG TD usually has a 1,250cc, 4-cylinder engine, but Bill has bored out the unit to a higher capacity:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030179.jpg

Here's Bill talking about his MG TD:


Bill thought it would be more fun if we folded the windshield forward. His advice to me was to keep my mouth closed as there were a lot of bees:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6020129.jpg

We were all set for the flag off:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6020133.jpg

The interior looks very nice and luxurious with all the wood:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030181.jpg

A selfie before the start of the lap shows how excited I was:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180602_125940.jpg

Old cars are not designed keeping ergonomics in mind as is evident from the driver's footwell. There's hardly any space and the gas pedal is that little lever:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180602_130221.jpg

The view from the passenger side:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180602_125923.jpg

Other cars lining up:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180602_122326.jpg

With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180602_124919.jpg

We were to follow this blue MG3 safety car in the middle of the pack:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180602_124913.jpg

I tried to take a video of the parade lap from my camera as well as phone, but the results were dismal. Bill was having a great time on the track showing me the racing line through all the turns and since he was behind the safety car, he would slow right down and then race up to it. It was amazing to see how refined and smooth this almost 70-year-old car felt. The old MG was pulling well and had a very sweet engine note. The low-end torque was surprising, especially since it came from a 1.5L engine. The smile plastered across my face and how my hair looked after the lap is proof of the amount of fun I had:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6020138.jpg

There was also a Concours and Pride of Ownership competition with immaculately maintained cars. The owners were standing next to them and continuously detailing them. Some of you know I'm a bit crazy when it comes to detailing:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030221.jpg

Even the newer MGFs were part of the Concours:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030222.jpg

The competition was fierce:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030219.jpg

This MG Midget looked like it had just rolled out of the factory and driven straight to Silverstone:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030226.jpg

Immaculate engine bay you could eat out of:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030227.jpg

Even the leather looked new:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030225.jpg

A Magnette and MGA:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030223.jpg

The mint engine bay of the Magnette:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030224.jpg

With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030220.jpg

With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030218.jpg

With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030217.jpg

The rare MGB GT V8:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030216.jpg

After the concours, it was time for some action on two wheels. Enter Russ Swift - a famous stunt driver, all of 67 years young:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030242.jpg

We got to be passengers while Russ took us around on two wheels in a stock MG ZS SUV:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030243.jpg

As you can see in the video, the angle is extreme and requires huge talent in balancing the car - even more so with three passengers shifting around:


Video from the outside:


Apart from being an expert at driving on two wheels, Russ is also a precision driver. He holds a Guinness World Record for parallel parking in the tightest spot using a J-turn as well as making the fastest donuts:


Customary photo with the celebrity:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180602_171646_1.jpg

This is how the sidewall looked like after driving on two wheels all day:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180602_171212.jpg

In one of the parking lots, there was an autosolo in which, cars had to set a time over an obstacle course - like a gymkhana. Have a look at these old girls going around the course. This is an MG Midget:


An old MG PB going around the track:

Last edited by Aditya : 13th July 2018 at 18:06.
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Day 2: The Races @ Silverstone

On Day 2, we went to the race paddock to have a look at all the cars that were racing. As mentioned earlier, the races that were held weren't just for MG cars. There were multiple championship races ranging from old Porsches to newer series Rovers. The paddock was a sight to behold with teams working on their cars, prepping them for the upcoming races:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030186.jpg

This is an Elva MK5 Sports:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030282.jpg

An MGA roadster competing in the Equipe Pre '63 category:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030281.jpg

A Triumph TR4:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030280.jpg

A Morgan Supersport:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030278.jpg

With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030277.jpg

A 1,350cc Nickry MG custom race car competing in the MGG Iconic 50s race:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030274.jpg

Cars being worked on just before the races:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030164.jpg

A modified Austin-Healey Sprite race car:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030163.jpg

The Austin A30:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030160.jpg

Some larger teams came with multiple cars to compete in:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030159.jpg

The Oselli team is one of the bigger and more popular teams. All cars wear the same sky blue and white livery:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030157.jpg

Some frantic fixes being done just before the race. The green car on the left is part of the Sports 2000 Championship powered by Ford 2L Duratec engines:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030151.jpg

MGB roadster:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030150.jpg

Looked killer with the black wheels:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030149.jpg

This MG ZR 160 has an interesting story behind it. It is owned by a father-son team. Driven by Tylor Ballard, aged 17:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030168.jpg

Just a month back, on April 28, 2018, this is what happened to Tylor when he was racing at Brands Hatch:


The father and son rebuilt the entire car in one month with a brand new bodyshell:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030166.jpg

With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030167.jpg

The icing on the cake - Tylor won the race in his category later that day:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030169.jpg

We then headed to the Silverstone Six grandstand, where one could see six corners from one grandstand. On the left, we would see cars coming from Copse corner into Becketts and Maggots S curve. In front of us was the loop leading to Wellington straight. It was crazy seeing old cars from the 50s and 60s slide around:




The Sports 2000 race was also quite interesting as seen from Brooklands corner. The Formula 1 Grand Prix was held on this circuit the following weekend:


The Morgan seen in the paddock earlier:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030207.jpg

An Austin-Healy Sprite and MGB:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030203.jpg

Austin-Healey 100M:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030201.jpg

A very rare Aston Martin Project 214 Copy. This car finished second:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030191.jpg

Managed to get a close look at the interior just before the owner packed it in:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030276.jpg

The recovery car was a fluorescent yellow Land Rover Defender:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030184.jpg

The trophies:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030171.jpg

Last edited by Aditya : 13th July 2018 at 18:08.
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The Americans didn't want to be left out of all the fun:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180602_163522.jpg

A delicious Mustang GT350 Fastback:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180602_163537.jpg

This all-black MG looked wicked:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030185.jpg

With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030187.jpg

Haven't seen a more secure steering lock than this:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030210.jpg

This car was intriguing. It had an MG badge but looked nothing like any MG:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030173.jpg

Aususuki? Never heard of that one before:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030175.jpg

This surely didn't look like the interior of an Austin or MG:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030176.jpg

As you can see, it was a very elaborate practical joke by someone. This car was a homemade "jugaad" as we call it:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030174.jpg

Just imagine trying to find your MG F in this parking lot:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030148.jpg

The MG F and MG TF were very popular sports cars built by BMW, but designed by Rover before they sold it to BMW. It was a mid-engined, rear-wheel drive sports car:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030146.jpg

Most of these old cars have centre hubs to change the wheels. Being old cars, they need to be handled with care if they are jammed. The owner made this wood cutout to place over the hub to provide leverage without damaging the centre hub. Clever:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030142.jpg

And that is the owner showing us the fuel gauge. The old cars never had a fuel gauge and this was the old fashioned way:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030143.jpg

Want parts for your old MG? Well, you have come to the right place:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030214.jpg

With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030213.jpg

With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6020127.jpg

With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030212.jpg

With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6020126.jpg

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The Smaller yet Significant Things

Throughout the two days, there was a portable stage, which had groups performing throughout the day to entertain the crowd. The Candy Girls pictured here, is a group famous for singing old songs:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030229.jpg

At night, it was like a small concert with the stage lit up and the neon car competition to the right of the stage:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180602_223406.jpg

There were several food trucks near the main camp site:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030231.jpg

A nice touch was the use of these vintage buses to ferry people from the various outer parking lots to the main event area:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030293.jpg

With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030292.jpg

For airplane lovers, there was a low pass flyby by a World War 2 Lancaster bomber:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030270.jpg

Portable service van. At the end of the event, I saw this being driven out with an MG inside it:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180602_204412.jpg

All packed and ready to head back after a weekend of racing:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030275.jpg

Many people got their cars on trailers. There was even a trailer / RV park:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180603_172520.jpg

The parking lot towards the end. Compare it with the one I posted before:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180603_172511.jpg

What else do you expect from a car lover irrespective of the age:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030294.jpg

The Silverstone circuit has a Porsche Experience Centre, where you can rent a Porsche and take it out on the track. Some interesting cars parked in front:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180603_142817.jpg

Back at the hotel and ready to head back to India. Saw this MGB parked in the hotel parking lot:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180603_215111.jpg

Last edited by Aditya : 13th July 2018 at 18:11.
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MGLive wasn't just about the old MG cars. MG Motor Co. had its line-up of current cars on display and arranged a preview of the upcoming MG6 sedan as well:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030273.jpg

The MG ZS SUV is on sale in the UK. From what I saw, this has good potential for the Indian market. It is a Hyundai Creta-sized SUV with decent proportions. However, MG says, this car is not planned for India as the company isn't able to price it competitively:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030269.jpg

Styling wise, it looks pretty good, but anyone who knows his cars will tell you that the front styling is remarkably similar to the Mazda CX-5:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030246.jpg

Front grille has a diamond effect ala Mercedes:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030247.jpg

Rear quarter view is again inoffensive. What I didn't like, was the stance. The wheels looked sunk into the bodyline and a size too small for an SUV:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030260.jpg

From the side, you can clearly see the Creta-like proportions:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030259.jpg

Rear view is simplistic if a touch boring:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030261.jpg

The interiors were again pretty decent. The cabin is roomy with a mix of colours and materials. I would rate it slightly below the Creta in terms of interior quality:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030250.jpg

Fake carbon fibre finish on the centre console:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030248.jpg

Nice and sporty steering wheel:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030253.jpg

The car on display had this funky interior colour scheme with red accents on the seats and dash:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030257.jpg

Rear seat legroom was also pretty good. Three adults would be a tight fit, but legroom isn't a concern:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030256.jpg

Surprisingly, no armrest on the centre console:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030254.jpg

Neatly laid out dials with MID in the centre:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030252.jpg

The automatic variant we got to drive had a more subdued all-black cabin...
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030267.jpg

...with leather seats vs the fabric upholstery of the white car:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030268.jpg

A look at the ZS in blue:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180601_121805.jpg

In this pic, you can clearly see how small the wheels look in comparison to the metal on top:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180601_121745.jpg

We got a small 4 km spin in the ZS on the service road around the track. The car was powered by a 1.0L, 3-cylinder turbo petrol engine with 110 BHP and 160 Nm of torque on tap. It was mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox. Overall, it was decent car for the city. Its performance was above average, but the unit was not as refined as Ford's EcoBoost or Dragon engines. Overall refinement isn't at par with the Creta (if MG intends to get the car to India and compete with Hyundai).

If MG do decide to get the ZS to India, it will probably sell if priced close to the EcoSport and S-Cross and not the Creta. The Creta has a very strong hold on the segment right now and the ZS isn't really close enough to challenge it. I think MG sort of knows this. Hence, the plan is not to get the ZS but another SUV. It remains to be seen if it will be a smaller car than the ZS or something along the lines of the Roewe RX5 or the Baojung 530.

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This MG3 Art car has been created by a team of students from Coventry University:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030245.jpg

The MG EV concept is quite an interesting little car and possible something that might work well in India with the EV push. We have already seen Baojun testing their E100 EV in India, but that looks much smaller than this:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030264.jpg

Cute, but sporty front end:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030265.jpg

I really liked the design and styling of this car. Had a cool factor to it:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030262.jpg

The glass hatch reminded me of the Brio:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030266.jpg

Well laid out cabin with a surprisingly large gear lever for an EV:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-p6030263.jpg

MG has been selling the MG6 in UK, Thailand and China since 2010. The car is available in two versions - a 4-door sedan and a notchback called the Magnette, a throwback to the old Magnette. The first-gen MG6 was due for a replacement and MG is now launching the second-gen MG6 in China. MG Motor Co. got a few of the new MG6s for the Chinese media to try out on the smaller Stowe circuit inside Silverstone:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180602_163237.jpg

The MG6 is based on the Roewe i6 sedan sold by SAIC in China. It is quite a good looking car:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180602_162354.jpg

This particular car was a developmental version with lowered suspension and modified brakes:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180602_145049.jpg

Size wise the MG6 competes directly with the Skoda Octavia:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180602_162330.jpg

As you can see, this car was imported from China into the UK:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180602_145223.jpg

Neatly laid out cabin is pretty good. Way better than the ZS I saw earlier:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180602_161638.jpg

Interiors are quite sporty:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180602_161549.jpg

Huge tablet-like display had a sharp resolution, but the script was in Chinese, so I couldn't do much:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180602_161653.jpg

Sporty steering wheel, sleek air-con vents and minimal buttons on the central console:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180602_161645.jpg

Large colour MID with a host of information:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180602_152056.jpg

The fuel and temperature gauges are digital, but integrated well with the speedometer and tachometer as digital meets analogue:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180602_152047.jpg

Rear seat legroom is at par with the Toyota Corolla and Skoda Octavia:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180602_161527.jpg

The silver car seen here was stock. You can see straight away, that it sits much higher:
With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180602_145244.jpg

With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180602_145252.jpg

With MG Motor in UK - Brand history, Silverstone & more-img_20180602_145332.jpg

We got one lap on the Stowe circuit in the MG6. It was not possible to derive any conclusion about the car in that short time. We didn't even know which engine and gearbox it had till afterwards. The car we drove had a 1.5L turbo petrol with 168 BHP and 250 Nm torque on tap. Surprisingly, the gearbox was a 7-speed DCT, but it never felt as quick as a DCT at all.

The MG6 is probably never going to see Indian shores. The D segment in India is minuscule and brand-sensitive. Skoda, VW and Toyota are brands which people prefer and a new entrant will probably not work, unlike in the SUV space.

Disclaimer: MG invited Team-BHP to the UK. They covered all the travel expenses for this event.

Last edited by Aditya : 13th July 2018 at 18:18.
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Old 13th July 2018, 18:19   #13
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Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 14th July 2018, 00:35   #14
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Lovely write-up Vid6639!

Having recently gotten interested in old British sports cars, this thread is definitely a treat to read.

A friend of mine owns a lovely 80's MGB with the black plastic bumpers. The chrome bumper cars are more desirable, but the bumpers don't interfere with the driving experience.

These cars a a real pleasure to drive. They don't have a powerful engines, tight suspension and don't make loud noises but they give you a complete involving driving experience.

Lightweight & simple to work on.

ps. Russ Swift did a segment in Top Gear a few years ago, right?

Last edited by aah78 : 14th July 2018 at 00:37. Reason: Firefox double spacing removed.
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Old 14th July 2018, 09:53   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aah78 View Post

A friend of mine owns a lovely 80's MGB with the black plastic bumpers. The chrome bumper cars are more desirable, but the bumpers don't interfere with the driving experience.
I beg to differ - the rubber bumpered cars had a higher ride height in order to ensure the bumpers hit or hit the right places during impact- but that is easliy correctible

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post

The plastic bumpers denote this is a US-spec car:
Attachment 1778877
Just want to correct you. All post 1975 MG's got these ghastly rubber bumpers to meet US 5mph collision regulations. Rather than equip US cars only. All MG's got these horrible appendages.

Last edited by ajmat : 14th July 2018 at 11:08.
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