A look back at MG

MG Motors have been around as a car manufacturer for 90 years, having been founded in 1924 by Cecil Kimber. Cecil first started working fitting coach built tourer bodies on the Morris Cowley Chassis known as Morris George Chummey’s. Cecil chose the initials MG for his venture into car manufacturing. He chose those initials as a homage to his employer William Morris and owner of Morris Garage.

By 1924 the MG logo was registered as a trademark and the first MG was designed and built in the same year. The 14/28 Super Sports was the first car design to bear the famous MG logo.  In the 1930’s MG started to build and sell 1931 C-Type and 1934 Q-Type, both of which were sold to racing enthusiasts, who also in turn received a lot of support from the MG competition department. The first major success came in 1933 with a class win in the Mille Migla road race, and was the first non Italian team to win the race. This stopped in 1935 when MG was formally merged with Morris Motors and the Competition Department closed down. A series of experimental cars had also been made allowing Captain George Eyston to take several world speed records. In spite of the formal racing ban, speed record attempts continued with Goldie Gardner exceeding 200 mph (320 km/h) in the 1100 cc EX135 in 1939.

There have been some famous MG owners down the years, including two royals, in 1947 the Duke of Edinburgh purchased an MG and in 69 HRH Prince Charles bought a GT, which he later gave to Prince William.

As the company entered the 50’s Longbridge designed and built the A &B series engine which became the power behind classics such as the MG Midget, 2 series Magnette, MGA and the MGB. The first MG to be built in Longbridge was the MG1100/1300 in 62. By 75 MG had produced its 1,000,000 car. The car was a unique LHD MGB roadster in Brooklands Green with jubilee GT Livery and wheels to celebrate the Queens Diamond Jubilee, only 750 cars were produced.

In 1994 BMW had become the owner of the marquee, BMW sold the business in 2000 and the MG marque passed to the MG Rover Group based in Longbridge, Birmingham. The practice of selling unique MG sports cars alongside badge-engineered models (by now Rovers) continued. BY 2002 the 1,500,000 MG car produced a TF160. The Group went into receivership in 2005 and car production was suspended on 7 April 2005.

On 22 July 2005, the Nanjing Automobile Group purchased the rights to the MG brand and the assets of the MG Rover Group for £53 million creating a new company NAC MG UK Limited. In 2011 MG launched a new model, the MG6 GT. In 2011 MG launched the first MG car designed and built in the UK for 16 years. In 2012 MG re-entered motorsports with a team in the BTCC, with two well established drivers.  Jason Plato, regarded by many as one of the best touring car drivers in the world and Andy Neate another excellent driver with outstanding credentials.

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