The MG Story



By Malcolm Green

ISBN 978-1-906133-97-9

416 pages, Hardback

270mm x 210mm

With 700-plus colour and black-and-white photos


"...sure to become one of the go-to historical books on MG." Enjoying MG 

"...all can be found between the covers of this fascinating publication." Safety Fast!

The first MGs were a small number of cars sold with special bodywork by Morris Garages, but by the 1930s the MG had come to be recognised as the archetypical sporting car. The rapid development of the marque, and the cars’ domination in their class of competition entry lists, is down to the energy, enthusiasm and skills of a small number of key personalities.

Here, as well as in-depth studies of all models produced, there are biographies of those most involved with MG development, record breaking and motor sport.

This book sets out to recount, in the form of a series of articles, the story of the marque from 1923 until the Abingdon factory closed in 1980. At that time this small market town housed what was probably the world’s largest producer of sports cars.

Many of the competition efforts by both factory-supported entries and private owners are covered in detail and help show why MGs became so well known. To illustrate the text there are both black-and-white archive photographs from the author’s collection and a great many modern colour pictures of restored cars. Period advertising material has also been included.

The wide range of topics covered gives the reader a real insight into the evolution of the company and its cars, and into the unique character of MGs that is the reason why they remain so popular.

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Which was the First MG?    6
William Morris, Lord Nuffield    8
Cecil Kimber    12
Old Number One    16
The MG 14/28 and 14/40    19
Edmund Road – the First Purpose-built MG Factory    26
The 18/80 Mark I    30
The 18/100 Mk III Tigress    35
The 18/80 Mark II    40
The M-type Midget    48
The Move to Abingdon    56
Jarvis of Wimbledon    60
George Eyston OBE, MC, Legion d’Honneur    64
The C-type Midget    68
MG and the Ards Tourist Trophy Races    73
The D-type Midget and F-type Magna     78
Special Bodied F-Magnas    90
The J-type Midgets     95
The K-type Magnettes    103
The MG K3 and the Mille Miglia    109
MGs in the 1933 and 1934 Mannin Beg Races    115
The L-type Magna    120
The L-type in Motor Sport    125
The N-type Magnette    130
The NE Magnette    139
Bellevue Garage and the Evans Family    142
The P-type Midget    147
George Eyston and his Dancing Daughters    154
The Q-type Midget    158
The R-type Midget    160
The TA and TB Midgets    165
Record Breaker EX135    171
The 2-litre SA    179
The Factory Trials Teams    187
The VA One-and-a-Half-litre    194
The Pre-war MG Police Cars    203
The WA 2.6-litre    208
Abingdon at War    216
The TC Midget    221
The Y-type One-and-a-Quarter-Litre    228
Building MGs in the late 1940s    237
John Thornley    243
Special MGs    247
The TD Midget    255
XPAG-powered MG Specials    261
The TF Midget    271
The ZA and ZB Magnettes    277
Gerald Palmer – a forward-thinking designer    286
MG Rallying in the Early 1950s    290
George Phillips    295
EX 175, the MGA Prototype    299
MG and Le Mans 1955    302
The MGA        305
MGAs at Sebring    318
Record Breaker EX181    322
MG Midget – the Revival of a Famous Name    326
The Italian Sprite/Midget    340
The Magnettes Mk III and IV    343
Dick Jacobs        351
The MGB        356
The MG 1100/1300    364
The MGC        369
The MGB Works Competition Cars    376
The MGB GT V8    385
The MGB: Later Years    392
Car Assembly in the 1970s    402
Index        409