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MG is a British automobile manufacturer that specializes in both passenger and sports cars production. It’s headquartered in Longbridge, Birmingham, England. This company made the first two-seat sports car with a sliding head. Since 2005, the company has been acquired by Nanjing Automobile Group.
Before William Morris, the founder of MG, constructed his first auto in 1913, he sold bicycles and passenger cars in Oxford. The model, which parts were from different manufacturers (wheels by Sankey, chassis by Raworth), was called the Morris Oxford. In 1915, Morris launched another car, the Morris Cowley. The Oxford and the Cowley were among the most popular English autos in the 20s.
However, to manufacture own vehicles wasn’t enough – they should have been repaired somewhere. An idea to set up a few workshops (Morris Garages) belonged to Cecil Kimber. In one of them, the legendary MG brand was created. Kimber persuaded Morris not only to repair own-produced cars but also to produce their sports versions.
MG Cars Launch
The first MG car was the 14/28 on the Oxford’s chassis. It was followed by the 18/80 model, equipped with a 2.5-litre 6-cylinder engine with overhead camshaft. But these cars weren’t as remarkable as the MG M-Type Midget of 1928. It maintained the company till 1932, when the K-Type Magnette with a 6-cylinder engine and positive displacement supercharger was unveiled. The most successful racing car of that era was the Midget R-Type, launched in 1935.
The fact that the Magnette performed very well at the Mille Miglia and ADAC Eifelrennen inspired Morris to start to produce sports cars for everyday use. Thus, the TA Midget, the SA, the VA, and the WA rolled out of the MG plant in the 30s.
At the same time, the company’s sales fell if it weren’t for the Morris Eight launch in 1935. Although its shape was a copy of the Ford Model-Y, the car’s technical specifications were different: it had longitudinal half-elliptic springs and a hydraulic brake system. This model together with the Morris Ten pulled the company out of the crisis and let it come through the WWII.
In 1947, the small-displacement MG Y-type started to be delivered. This car was basic for the new MG T series. The TD model won the 12 Hours of Sebring that made it extremely popular.
Restructuring of the Company
MG tended to buy, sell, and amalgamate with other companies during the 40s-early 50s. In such a way, it could withstand economic recessions as well as develop and manage competitors. In 1952, when MG was included to the Nuffield Organisation, the latter consolidated with Austin Motor Company. Together they organized British Motor Corporation (BMC), which became known as British Leyland Ltd. in 1975.
The last attempts to produce truly unique autos under the MG marque were the MG A and the MG B models and their versions. However, they appeared fruitless, and the MG plant was closed in 1980.
In the early 90s, Rover Group, which owned MG at that time, tried to revive the marque by the new MG RV8 and MG F cars, but its expectations weren’t satisfied.
MG belonged to BMW until the Bavarians sold it to the Chinese company Nanjing Automobile in 2005. But it’s not the end. In England, the MG research centre, where engineers work on versions of previously produced models as well as new ones, still operates. Also, a part of production capacities is there.
The MG cars set about 40 world speed records. Here are some of them:
- The fastest sports prototype at the 24 Hours of Le Mans;
- The winner of three British Touring Car Championships;
- The F1 speed record holder in the Caterham R400 Challenge Championship;
- The Euro STC record holder.