Car History 4U

History of MG Motor Cars / Automobiles

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8.7.6. MG

    • The MG letters are derived from the initials of Morris Garages Ltd, which was a distributor for Morris Cars Ltd from 1913 until the late 1920s.

    • In 1922 Cecil Kimber became General Manager of Morris Garages and in 1923 he started to produce customised Morris cars.

    • These “specials” became known as “Morris Garage Chummys”. Within a year, possibly initially along with the Morris badge, the distinctive octagon MG badge started to appear.

    • The 1924 14/28 MG Super Sports Morris is considered by many to be the first car fitted with the MG badge (fitted on the car’s running boards). 440 were built between 1924 and 1927

    • This 1,802 cc model, which had a top speed of 65 mph (104 kph), consisted of a new sports body fitted to a Morris Oxford chassis.

    • Just before Cecil Kimber’s death in 1945 he referred to a car called “Old Number One” (FC 7900) as the “first M.G. car I ever built.” The MG badge was fitted on the side of the car.

    • The car had a 1,496 cc Hotchkiss four-cylinder engine and produced about 38 bhp. The car was registered in March 1925, just prior to the competitive event for which it was built.

    • In 1927 Morris Garages introduced the MG 14/40 model.

    • This was followed in 1928 by the MG 18/80, a car considered to be the first purpose built MG. In addition to its specially designed chassis, the Morris type bullnose radiator was replaced on this model with the now traditional MG grille.

      MG 18-80 Mk1 1930

    • In 1929 MG cars produced M-Type Midget, the first in a long line of “Midget” sports cars models.

  • 1930s

    • Company records are said to indicate that the M.G. Car Company Ltd (Reg # 249645) was formed in 1930In what month? In that year MG built about 1,000 cars.

    • The first car produced in 1930 by the newly formed Company was the MG 18/100 “Tigress” racing car. Two further racing cars were produced in the 1930s, the Q-Type in 1934 and the R-Type in 1935.

    • In 1935 the M.G. Car Company was sold to Morris Motors Ltd.

    • Up to the start of World War 2 in 1939 the company produced more than 10 different sports models, a small salon car, the MG KN (1933-34), another medium sized car, the MG VA (1937-39) and the two larger salon cars, the MG SA (1936-39) and the WA (1938-39).

  • 1940s

    • The first car produced after World War 2 was the 1,250 cc MG TC Midget, a sports car that had a top speed of 78 mph (125 kph). Between 1945 and 1949 over 10,000 were built.

      MG TC 1948

    • In 1947 MG introduced the YA Type, a medium sized saloon car that had been developed by late 1939. Nearly 6,200 of these cars were built up to 1951.

  • 1950s 

    • During the 1950s MG also produced 3 models of the TD Midget (1950-53);  a total of 29,566 + 98 in 1949 , the TF Midget (1953-55); a total of 9,600 (including  3,400 1,466 cc models), the 1,488 cc MGA (1955-62); a total of 101,081 and three Magnette models, the ZA, ZB & Mk III(1953-61).

  • 1960s

    • Between 1961 and 1968 the company produced the Mk lV Magnette.

    • The 1,798 cc MGB was produced from 1962 to 1980, a car with a top speed of 105 mph (168 kph). Including a GT version, over 500,000 of these cars were built. In 1975 an MGB became the one millionth MG car. 

    • In 1962 the company also started production of their MG 1100 model, with nearly 117,000 being built by 1967. MG also produced the 1300 model from 1967 to 1973.

  • Other Models

    • Other models produced up to 2007 include the MG Midget, MGC, RV8, MGF & TF, Maestro, Montego, Metro, MG ZR, ZS & ZT, MG 3, MG 7 and the MG XPower SV. 

  • Ownership 

    • Between 1935 and 2007 MG has been owned by Morris Motors & the Nuffield Organisation (1935-52), BMC (1952-68), BLMC (1968-86), Rover Group (1986-88), BAe (1988-94), BMW (1994-2000), the MG Rover Group (2000-05) and the Nanjing Automobile Group of China since 2005

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