|Charente MG Owners|
The MG Car Company was established in 1924 in Abingdon, a relatively small town South of Oxford in the UK. The origin of the marque stems from "Morris Garages," a retail garage in Oxford, who moved from selling Morris cars to producing their own, often based on Morris models and/or using many Morris components. The cars tended to be more "sporty" than the Morris models and more expensive, but not outrageously so.
The oldest car we have in the Club is an MG VA Special. VA's were built between 1937 and 1939, when WW II put a stop to car production at Abingdon. 2,407 VA's were produced.
Production of the "T" series commenced in 1935 with the TA Midget (originally called simply the "T Type Midget") and finished in 1955 with the TF Midget, although in the war years no cars were produced in Abingdon (only tanks).
We have one TA in our Club, a 1938 model. The TA was powered by a 1,292 cc MPJG engine giving 50hp. 3,003 TA's had been produced when production switched to the TB in May 1939.
CMGOC has an interesting example of the TB Midget. The TB is the rarest of all the "T" series, with only 379 completed before the war stopped production. Indeed our particular car (see photo to the right) was first registered on 3rd September 1939, the day war was declared. The TB was the first of the "T" series to be powered by the 1,250 cc XPAG 54hp engine.
Continuing with the "T" series we have a post war TD (photo below) and also a TF in the Club. TD's were produced from 1950 to 1953, with some 30,000 examples constructed. The TF replaced the TD in 1953 and 9,600 were built.
In 1955 the TF was replaced by the MGA, which represented a much more modern design. We have two examples in the Club. Over 100,000 MGA's were produced with a substantial number exported. In fact when production finished only 5869 had been sold in the UK.
The MGB replaced the MGA in 1962. The MGB was surely MG's best selling model with over 520,000 produced. Some cars were assembled in Australia. There were several versions: the initial two seat convertible "roadster" was joined by the "GT" coupe in 1965. Both cars used an 1800cc four cylinder engine.
Between 1967 and 1969 the MGC, with a 3 litre six cylinder engine, was produced (9,000 built). The MGC, which was produced in both convertible and GT coupe format, can be distinguished from the MGB by the bulge in the bonnet, necessary to accommodate the tall six cylinder engine.
1973 saw the MG B GT V8 go on sale. This boasted the 3.5 litre V8 engine, common to many larger Leyland vehicles at the time. This time the engine was accommodated without a bulge in the bonnet; the car was produced in GT coupe format only and all but ten cars were right hand drive.
Production of this variant (2,600 built) ceased in 1976 but the 1800cc B continued until 1980. The Abingdon factory also closed that year.
In the Club we have 13 B roadsters, 4 B GT coupes, 2 MGC's and 1 MGB GT V8.
The two seat, convertible, MG Midget was produced from 1961 in parallel with the B. This was a smaller car than the B, and almost identical to the Austin Healey Sprite, both cars being produced in the same Abingdon factory. Initially the car had a 950cc four cylinder engine. By the end of production, in 1976, the engine had grown to 1500cc. Some 226,000 Midgets were produced. We have 5 in the Club.
With the closure of the Abingdon factory production of MGs moved to other plants belonging to British Leyland. In common with the earlier tradition higher powered, more sporty, versions of BL's production cars were sold as MGs. An example of this is the MG Maestro saloon car, the turbo version of which is capable of over 200 km/h. The Maestro was produced from 1983 to 1991 and we have one in the Club.
The cessation of MGB production in 1980 left MG without any two seat sports car in production. This changed in 1993 with the introduction of the MG RV8 convertible. This powerful car used a number of MGB components and a more modern, 3.9 litre version of the same V8 engine used in the earlier MGB GT V8. Some 2,000 RV8's had been produced when production ceased in 1995, most of which were exported to Japan. We now have three in the Club having recently added two in one evening!
The MG two seat sports car tradition continued in 1995 with the introduction of the rear engine MG F. Powered by a high revving transversely mounted four cylinder "K" series engine the F features fluid "Hydragas" suspension, providing excellent handling. Engine options ranged were 118hp, 143hp (VVC) and 160hp (Trophy).
The year 2002 saw a major revision, there were several bodywork changes and the "Hydragas" suspension was changed to a more traditional coil spring system. The revised car was renamed the MG TF. Over 77,000 Fs and 39,000 TFs had been produced in the UK when production ceased in 2011. Upon the demise of the Rover Group in 2005 production was suspended. The MG marque was subsequently purchased by the Nanjing Automobile Company of China, who restarted MG TF production there in 2007. Some cars were then assembled in the UK from kits produced in China.
We have 16 MGFs/TFs in the Club. At present, good second hand F/TFs can be found, particularly in the UK, at very reasonable prices. They offer an exciting and exhilarating introduction into MG motoring for only a limited outlay. As with other MGs the Club can advise on obtaining French registration for imported cars.
MG has a long history of producing sports saloons, beginning with the 14/28 in 1924.
When production of the Maestro and the Montego stopped in 1991 there was a 10 year wait until the saloon tradition continued with the introduction of the MG ZS.
In the club we now have a single example of a ZS 180 V6. This 175bhp car will whisk the occupants from 0 to 100km/h in 7.2 seconds and then up to an impressive 224km/h, all in complete air conditioned comfort, relaxing whilst listening to Michael Bublé, and without getting their hair blown about!