Raphael De Serres tells the story of how he ended up buying an MG ZS 180, and why it now occupies a place close to his heart thanks to being the last one built (that we know of).
Words and photography: Raphael De Serres
I blame my good mate and journalist Antoine Minard for falling in love with MGs here in France. He bought himself a ZS 180 Mk1 about a year ago and, thanks to this, I found myself getting very interested in those very rare cars. Driving it on a race track was a very good experience too!
So, I found myself looking for a late MG and, strangely enough, I quickly found a Le Mans Green ZT-T 190 for sale in the country near Paris. I had to buy it of course! I love that car, and it is very practical too, but I had to have a ZS, which is much lighter and more fun to drive.
So here I was, searching everywhere in Europe on the Internet, when I randomly found this one for sale on FacebookMarketplace! It was listed among kids clothes and toys and dishwashers and, according to the advert, the car had only 30,000km on the clock, which I didn’t believe at the time.
Getting in touch
So, after a few ‘phone calls to find out more, I made an appointment to see it up in the north of France. However, before that, I found out the amazing information about the VIN, and how it had the highest number of this recorded. This car appears to be one of the last ZS 180s built.
- Read more: finding the final MG Rovers chassis numbers
When I viewed the car, I noticed it really had 29,000km on the clock and was in what people would describe as being brand new condition. Seriously, it still smells like a new car inside. I have all the files and books with car. So the story looks simple: when the factory closed down in 2005, this car was left unfinished on the line and, like many others, was hand-built at the end.
From what I understand the car ended up at the RC Harding dealership, but was really hard to sell because it was a left-hand-drive car of course! So, in March 2006, a customer, Mr Bentley bought the car for £9160. He then kept it until 2013 and it was then put on the Internet for sale. This is when a French gentleman found it and brought it to the north of France. After seven years of ownership (and a divorce), he told me the decision was made to sell it. And this is how I have found it!
He had no idea about the history of the ZS and that the car is probably one the last ones ever built!