MG Enthusiast, September 2013 Features in this Issue Barmy to Barcelona – Four mates, two MGFs and a fetish for 1970s Martini Racing – did the reality live up to the dream? MGB Trip Preparation – Iain Ayre suggests a sensible plan of action to prepare your classic MG for an extended mountain tour Brian Moylan Interview – Brian recalls his days working at Abingdon, from the Service Department to Competitions Modified RV8 – One owner who felt that he could – and should – get more from his RV8. Quite a lot more, in fact! PA to the Lebanon in 1966 – Last month MGE introduced a nicely patinated PA; this month they go back to the 1960s and explain how some of that patina came about KV6 Transplants – Making the cars MG-Rover didn’t: a ZR and an MGF with KV6 power MG Enthusiast […]
The MG6 was supposed to signal the brand’s return to the UK, but it’s fair to say that car hasn’t quite had the desired effect. So now we have the MG3: a Ford Fiesta rival the company hopes will kick-start its fortunes. The most striking thing about the new car is its low price. AutoXpress drove the top-of-the-range Style model, which comes in at less than £10,000. For that money, you get Bluetooth connectivity, air-conditioning, a DAB radio, 16-inch alloy wheels and cruise control all fitted as standard. A Fiesta or Skoda Fabia kitted out with that much equipment would cost nearly £13,000. But price isn’t everything: the MG3 has to deliver on the road. And in some key respects, it does. The car feels quite sporty, with an impressive amount of grip that allows you to tackle twisty back […]
The UK Royal Mail are celebrating the best in British motor cars with the issue of the ‘British Auto Legends’ stamp collection. Released today, the collection features six of the most stylish and iconic British cars, including a 1964 MGB Roadster owned by John Watson, Chairman of the MG Car Club’s MGB Register. The MG Car Club are delighted to see a MGB included in the collection. John’s Iris Blue MGB is a stunning example of one of the worlds most loved sports cars. John was first approached by the Royal Mail in May of 2011, when his car was selected to make up a six stamp set of thoroughbreds. Twelve months later and just days before the MGB 50 festival at Blenheim Palace, John’s car was in a London studio being photographed by James Mann. Andrew Hammond, Director of […]
Plans to ban most conventional cars from the roads within the next 30 years could feature in the Liberal Democrats’ offering to voters at the next general election. But the proposal from Nick Clegg’s party to only allow ultra-low carbon vehicles on British roads by 2040, other than for freight purposes, will first have to be approved at next month’s Lib Dem conference. If the conference votes in favour of the plan it will become party policy and may feature in the party’s manifesto for the 2015 General Election, a Lib Dem spokesman said. The proposal was unveiled as Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders figures showed that car sales, a key indicator of the health of the British economy, had risen 12.7% on last year. The spokesman said: “The way that our party policy is decided is that conference has […]
A ‘hypercar’ built by a British company has broken the electric land speed record that has stood for nearly four decades. Drayson Racing’s car reached a top speed of 204.2mph on the 1.86-mile runway at RAF Elvington, Yorkshire. Driven by entrepreneur and former UK science minister Lord Drayson, it beat the previous record by around 40mph. “This is the future,” he told Sky News after climbing out of the cockpit. The car, known as the Drayson B12 69/EV, is based on the Lola LMP1 which competes at Le Mans in the famous 24-hour race. Its V10 Judd engines have been removed and replaced with two huge A123 battery units connected to electric motors.
The MG 3 is set to cost less than £10,000 and will be offered with “hundreds” of different styling and customisation options. The MG 3, showcased in the UK for the first time at an event at MG’s Longbridge plant in Birmingham today, will go on sale in the UK this autumn. Initially, three trim levels and 10 exterior colours – with names such as ‘Hello Yellow’ – will be offered. The top two trim levels will come as standard with equipment that includes Bluetooth connectivity, air-con and DAB digital radio. Hill-start assist will be optional. MG’s new hatchback will also launch with the ‘MG 3 Collection’ offer. It allows buyers to personalise the car’s bodywork with various patterns, decals and stripes, including large RAF roundels. The European version of the MG 3 was first seen at the Shanghai motor […]
Every year classic sports car and racing enthusiasts gather in the hill country near Atlanta, Georgia, to celebrate the full spectrum of historical and contemporary motorsports. Road Atlanta has been home to the Classic Motorsports Mitty since its inception, and there’s no better place or time to enjoy a motorsports daydream. Historic Sportscar Racing, Ltd and and Classic Motorsports magazine is once again hosting the Classic Motorsports Mitty at Road Atlanta on April 26-28. This year features David Hobbs as grand marshal, and the featured marque will be MG. The Classic Can-Am reunion should feature some pleasant exhaust notes, and the event is known for how many car clubs fill the parking and display areas with interesting cars. The Can-Am reunion will feature over 20 cars on the same track. That is David Hobbs in the #73 Can-Am beast below. He is sure to […]
The first pictures of the MG CS concept have leaked to the web, ahead of a possible debut at the Shanghai Motor Show. Designed to preview the company’s upcoming crossover, the model eschews the retro styling of last year’s Icon concept. As a result, it echoes the rest of the MG lineup with angular lines and a familiar grille. We can also see front fender vents, an upward sweeping beltline and blacked out A-pillars. There’s also a sporty rear bumper, a tailgate-mounted spoiler and a center-mounted dual exhaust system. Speculation suggests the CS concept is based on the MG5 and could use a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder petrol engine with 135 bhp (101 kW). Nothing is official as of yet, but we should learn more later this month.
Thorough Events Ltd, organiser of last year’s inaugural UK Concours of Elegance at Windsor Castle, has announced an extraordinary new location for the 2013 event. To take place from September 5-7, the 2013 Concours of Elegance will be held in St James’s in Central London in an area that encompasses the gardens of 300 year-old Royal Palace Marlborough House, adjacent to The Mall and St James’s Palace, official residence of the Sovereign. Special permission has been granted for the Concours of Elegance to use this rarely accessible space and it will follow a similar format to last year’s flagship event: 60 of the rarest and most historic cars from around the world on display on the lawns of Marlborough House’s vast walled garden. His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent has agreed to become Patron of the annual Concours of […]
We will be going to the Carolina British Classics VII show on Saturday, April 6. This event is being held at the historic Columbia Speedway just outside of Columbia in Cayce, South Carolina. This year the British Car Club Midlands Center will again be merging their event with the popular Tartan Day South Festival at the Historic Columbia Speedway. There will again be many interesting and entertaining diversions throughout the day, as well as a variety of Celtic themed merchandise and food vendors. Entry fee to the Festival is included in the Registration Fee for drivers and all passengers pay $5.00 each. As always this is a charity event with proceeds going to the Wounded Warrior Project and Hidden Wounds. We will be driving Catherine, our 1966 Vanden Plas Princess 1100, up from Charleston, so please stop by and say […]
It may seem like only yesterday when Mini entered the US to sell its cars, but it’s been 11 years since the car maker began selling its vehicles in the states. In that time frame, Mini has sold 500,000 of its cars in the US, marking a new milestone for the British car manufacturer, which is owned by BMW. Mini has increased its US sales from 24,590 units in 2002, to 66,123 units last year. The Mini Cooper has easily been one of the company’s most popular vehicles, but they also have a small selection of variations of the popular car, including the Hardtop, Clubman, Convertible, Countryman, Coupe, Roadster, and Paceman. As for Mini dealership around the US, there are currently 116 locations spilled out over the states, but the car maker plans for a total of around 130 locations […]
The people at Lyonheart, a startup based in Coventry, England, have continued to develop their new sports car, whose lines were penned by designers at Vizualtech and Classic Factory and have clearly been inspired by the Jaguar E-Type. While only 50 examples were originally planned, at a price of almost half a million euros a piece, strong demand has seen Lyonheart revise this figure to 250 units, which meant prices could also be revised downwards thanks to greater economies of scale. At the same time, strong demand has also seen Lyonheart announce a new convertible version of its new K sports car. Pricing is now set at 360,000 euros (approximately $464,000) for the coupe, and 375,000 euros ($483,500) for the convertible. For full details, check out the article on Motor Authority.
Speaking to Motortrade Insights Magazine, CEO of Liberty Electric Cars Ian Hobday said he plans to take an electric car across the length of the UK to showcase the exciting new technology. ‘I can tell you that there will be a vehicle that will do Land’s End to John O’ Groats on a single charge next year,’ he revealed. The distance of 1,000 miles would be four times that of the new BMW i3, which will be launched later this year. He also predicted the majority of electric cars will be able to travel 400 to 500 miles within three years as electric battery technology improves. Liberty Electric Cars is a UK company that is plotting to create cheaper electric vehicles with longer range by removing the need for rare earth metals from the battery system. Astonishingly, the brand is also looking […]
The Heritage Motor Centre is launching a new show on Sunday 7 July to celebrate a host of British cars including the iconic Mini. ‘The BMC and Leyland Show’ has been launched to incorporate vehicles manufactured by the British Motor Corporation, British Leyland and Rover including commercial and military vehicles. The show is expected to attract up to 80 different marques made over a 100 year period including names such as Daimler, Alvis, Wolsley, Austin, Morris, Riley Standard MG and Land Rover. As well as up to 800 models on show, there will be a large Autojumble and motoring related trade stands. A show highlight will be the opportunity for visitors to see 12 different vehicles from the HMC reserve collection that aren’t normally on display in the Museum. This new show will incorporate the former Gaydon Mini Show and […]
There was something for everyone produced in Britain at Geneva – from the £10,000 Nissan Note to the £265,000 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith. But the most spectacular British debut at the show was the £886,000 McLaren P1, a car being billed as a “hybrid hypercar” — a green supercar. The fearsome and fabulous-looking P1 is the 217mph successor to the legendary F1 that was the world’s fastest car when launched in 1999. The P1 is powered by a combination of a 727bhp, 3.8litre twin turbo V8 engine and a 176bhp electric motor. That’s a total of 903bhp that delivers 0.62mph in 2.8 seconds. McLaren say their aim is not to be the fastest but the easiest to drive the faster you go. The P1 will also do 12 miles on pure electric power making it a supercar with zero emissions in […]
Birmingham car maker MG UK is taking to two wheels – by launching a professional cycling team. The newly-branded MG Maxifuel Pro Cycling Team will compete in nearly 100 of the UK’s top events this year. Its riders will include Hannah Barnes, a 21-time national champion at various events and Sweden’s Magnus Backstedt, a Tour de France stage winner. The team will be officially launched next Tuesday at an event at the MG Sales Centre at the MG Birmingham site at Longbridge. MG spokesman Doug Wallace said: “This is a great opportunity to do some further marketing for MG, to spread the name of the brand. It is initially for a year to see how things go, and then we will see what the future holds.” Backstedt said: “I’m really happy to be racing with MG Maxifuel, it’s a real feel good factor […]
Mini’s Oxford assembly plant is the third-oldest mass-production car facility in the world, and this month it celebrates its 100-year anniversary. As one might expect, the plant has a storied history and a long tally of cars produced. So far, the plant has manufactured more than 2.25 million Minis, including the original Mini that rolled off the line from 1959 to 1969 (another plant in the UK continued production until 2000). In 2001, the Oxford plant began production of the modern Mini Cooper, a project spearheaded by the brand’s new parent company BMW. For centuries, Oxford has enjoyed international appeal as having one of the world’s best known and highly regarded universities, and draws thousands of visitors from around the globe every year. But many people don’t know that Oxford also has a technical and industrial history: 100 years ago – in […]
The Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum collection is being put up for auction by RM Auctions with a sale date of February 15 and 16. The collection, housed in Madison, Georgia, includes many generations and badges of microcars from Authi to BMW and Gogomobile to Messerschmitt. From the auction catalog, “RM Auctions is delighted and privileged to have been chosen to offer such an extraordinary collection at auction, displayed in a cohesive and downright jaw-dropping facility that encapsulates Bruce’s youthful spirit and the fascinating post-war era of the microcar. As such, the rarest microcars are joined by the most sought-after, fully restored, and completely functional kiddie rides, coin-operated vending machines, porcelain signs, neons, and perhaps most uniquely, the rarest microcar toys and models in the world. Every item will be sold, wall to wall, right down to the instantly recognizable international […]
MG is launching a special MG6 BTCC Edition to celebrate its hugely successful return to Britain’s favourite saloon car racing series. The MG6 GT BTCC Edition was previewed at the final round of the 2012 MSA Dunlop British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch where MG’s Jason Plato clinched an amazing third place in the championship after taking the chequered flag six times in the season. The road-going MG6 BTCC Edition is on sale for just £16,995.
A great article in the Southern Daily Echo on a rare 1937 MG SA drophead coupe. It was brought as a “cheap run around” by a Southampton student for just £30 back in 1966. This vintage 1937 MG was snapped up by a young Lob Vinycomb from a Hampshire garage almost half a century ago. Now, 46 years later, the same car has been sold by the same garage – for more than £60,000. But Isle of Wight man Lob was briefly reunited with the prized vehicle, before it is handed over to its new owners. Philip Scott, owner of Beaulieu Garage in the New Forest, was contacted by the car’s latest owner, who lived in Cornwall, asking if he would interested in selling the collectable SA Drophead Coupe. Read the full article on the beautiful MG at the Southern Daily […]