Car of the Month : September 2002

Few casual observers realise that the MG 1100 was the next ADO16 variant to be launched after the original Morris version, with just a few weeks separating the two launches in the autumn of 1962.

And this is one of the earliest – and nicest – MG 1100s you’re ever likely to see. Built in June 1963, it has been owned by Robbie Claydon, from West London, for the past nine years. Its condition can only be described as stunning, and what’s more, most of the work required to get it to this standard has been carried out by Robbie himself, although he is keen to point out that he was ably assisted by his good friends Steve Wilson – an expert welder – and Carl Champion, who provided workshop space and mechanical genius.

These efforts paid off when the car won the “Best MkI” trophy at this year’s 1100 National Rally in August, but as Robbie says himself, the real pleasure lies simply in owning the car.

As anyone who has owned a black car will know, keeping it looking good is a constant struggle against the elements. Well, Robbie seems to be winning this particular battle, as can be seen in this shot of his car looking resplendent in the glorious sunshine of a late summer’s day.

Another view of Robbie’s immaculate car, showing the MkI 1100’s archetypal rear fins. And the last time I saw an exhaust pipe that clean it was sitting on a shelf in Kwik-Fit…

Getting the engine compartment to look like this has been a real labour of love. Robbie is a stickler for accuracy, and much scouring of autojumbles has resulted some rare finds to ensure that everything is correct for the car’s build date, right down to the master cylinder caps. In fact, some items, such as the green washer pipes, are so rarely seen these days that Robbie finds himself having to put concours judges right when they try to mark the car down for them.

This page was compiled by Declan Berridge

Keith Adams

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