Even in its earliest days, MG was a desirable, affordable and fun car that appealed to the masses. Its affordability was aided by the fact that early MG cars used Morris components. In Britain and the USA, a loyal following of the MG cars grew, as they were nimble, cheap sports cars to own.
In 1922, Cecil Kimber fitted some specially designed four-seat bodies to Morris Cowleys, and he sold them using the name “Chummy”. Living in Oxford, the home of Morris cars, meant that Cecil was able to maintain a close association with Morris cars, so Cecil continued to make some other re-bodied Morris cars, and one of them was advertised as the MG V-Front Saloon. The initials MG stand for Morris Garages, and it was through building these early cars that Cecil created the MG motorcar. A loan from William Morris (the owner of Morris cars) of 10,000 pounds enabled Cecil to move to a new factory in Abingdon, not far from Oxford, and this was the home of MG cars for a further 50 years. Cecil started to obtain other car components from other sources; however the engines were certainly Morris engines. MG became a genuine car maker.
Exports of the MG TC to America in 1947 became hugely popular, and 10,000 cars were built. Again, the MG TD models proved to be a popular model, and production of MG cars continued to climb through the fifties and sixties. Now under the umbrella of the large British Motor Corporation (BMC), the MG cars were able to use many components from Morris, Austin, Wolsley, and Farina designed body shells.
Though MG cars could be standard and simply-made four-door saloons, the MG sports cars were a lot more distinctive and appealing. In 1955, the new MGA used numerous modern BMC developments, and this car was very successful, selling over 100,000 units. The new model, the MGB, offered a step up in comfort and style, and people enjoyed the car’s handling. Almost half a million MGB cars were sold. One of my favourite models of MGs was the MGB GT V8, which had a very attractive Fastback styling and a much larger power output in the form of a Rover-engineered V8. It was fast for its time, though it sold in much less numbers. What better way to get around than in the MG BT V8 soft-top.
In the eighties, a wide variety of modern models became available in the form of the small MG Metro, the medium-sized MG Maestro and the larger MG Montego. These cars were robust, comfortable cars for a reasonable price, and they became very popular throughout Britain. There was even a high performance MG Xpower SV – the fastest MG ever built.
It was in 2003, that MG Sport and Racing announced the arrival of the MG XPower SV, a 235 kW 4.6-litre quad-cam V8 that could send the car to a top speed of 265 km/h. The 0-100 km/h sprint took just 5.3 seconds. This was the standard model, and there were even higher powered SV-R models as well as automatic versions.
As has been the case for nearly all car manufacturers, designing and building of new cars is not always done in the place of the marque’s origin. Currently, China are building the new MG models that we can own and enjoy. At the time of writing, Australia now has the exciting new range of MG cars. The MG3 and MG6 cars blend practicality with performance. Take a look at the reviews of new MG cars, as they arrive.