News : Delivery mileage MG ZT up for auction


A 2004 MG ZT 1.8 Turbo, with three miles on the clock, will go under the hammer at Classic Car Auctions’ (CCA) September Sale on 24 September in the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre. A remarkable find, the current and only owner purchased the car in 2005 from a Derby-based dealer, who was selling off the cars at half price following the collapse of MG Rover.

The car was then delivered to his farm just outside Silverstone race circuit with only one mile on the clock. The owner wanted to have the ‘best in the world’ and so the car was immediately placed into storage, initially in a heated garage, subsequently in a Carcoon and latterly in a Car Bag, which has beautifully preserved the car. Amazingly, the owner has driven the car just two miles along the driveway.


Now for sale again 11 years later, estimated at between £8500 and £10,500, the owner believes this is the best condition and lowest mileage MG ZT in the world. Presented in British Racing Green, it is in immaculate condition and exactly as it left the Longbridge factory. It still has the original ContiSport tyres and even the same fuel that was put in the tank all those years ago. The 1.8 litre turbocharged iconic Rover K-Series engine is gleaming.

Commenting on the sale of the car, CCA General Manager, Guy Lees-Milne, said, ‘It’s amazing that our vendor has never used this car on the road and has cared for the car so much that it has been tucked away and only covered three miles. The time is now right to part with it and Classic Car Auctions are very proud to have been asked to help find it a new home.’

The high spec interior, so well preserved there’s still a new car smell, features half-leather seats, green alcantara door lining, air conditioning and CD player. Guy added, ‘This really is a special collector’s piece and certainly an amazing example of history from the last domestically owned mass-production car manufacturer.’


Keith Adams


  1. A real dilemma car… If you use it as your every day drive it will be just another low mileage, low value (at the moment) ZT.

    I expect it will fetch above the guide price making it an even worse depreciation disaster, if driven. If you keep it in its present state it will take time, effort, money and space to maintain it. Making it a bit of a burden?

    Much better I think, to buy a low mileage, cosseted ZT for what is likely to be peanuts at the moment.

    • Flipping your argument on its head, this is an opportunity to buy a “new” MG ZT for the price of a mid-spec Fiesta, allowing for say £1000 of recommissioning costs.

      Just buy it, recommission it, and drive it as if you had just bought a new car. Not everyone cares about resale value or investment potential.

      Which would you rather have? A new MG6 or a “new” MG ZT?

      It’s not for me, I can see this appealing to an older buyer, maybe someone who has always had medium/large saloon cars and prefers to “buy British”, but doesn’t fancy the new Mondeo or Insignia and can’t stretch financially to a Jag.

      • A fair point, perhaps it will sell to just the sort of person you describe. The perfect buyer on this forum would be MGJohn? He has a replacement for his Rover 600Ti and the recommissioning would be within his capabilities.

        • Over to you, MGJohn!

          It would make an interesting story for ARonline if they can make contact with the buyer of this car, find out what plans they have for it, and share their experiences of recommissioning it.

  2. In any event a time warp example (although surely worthless) whatever the asking price?

    Use it: worth nothing.
    Don’t use it: what’s the point (other than put it in a museum).

  3. Let’s not forget no mention of maintenance. No matter how well protected, and cherished. Things age and degrade. Even if you did decide to use it, show car maybe. I wouldn’t till it had had every belt changed. Every fluid changed. And had a complete over haul. But then no mot either. So things would show up then. This Car is only good for a collection or museum. Unless you don’t mind throwing the money away so to speak.

    • I’d go along with that. This ZT’s uniqueness only remains providing it stays unused and how it left Longbridge twelve years ago. Perhaps the curators at the British Motor Museum in Gaydon would like to add it to their collection, if they don’t already have one. Then everybody could enjoy it indefinitely…

  4. Quite amazing!

    As NeilB says, though, a bit of a dilemma.

    Use it and its value will tumble. Keeping it unused and as new will maintain its current high value but cost.

    I’d say use it a relatively small amount, maintain it to a very high standard and ENJOY. You will still have an exceptional car with a market value to match (even if hugely lower than the present figure). Who then knows what value a pristine very low mileage ZT will have in years to come?

  5. Such a nice looking car and a perfect colour too!

    The one thing that would worry me is the “original petrol” comment. Modern unleaded petrol is evil stuff if left and causes so much damage. I hope it’s been run recently or there’ll be a very large repair bill before it runs again!

  6. If it goes for around the suggested price, it’ll be considerably cheaper than buying an oddball, MG branded, SIAC; it will be the real deal, for which no apology has to be made and (in cash terms) it will depreciate no faster.

    It’s then nice enough to justify spending a few quid to have the interior professionally retrimmed in decent leather (which can be surpringly good value for money to have done), put back some of the bits that Project Drive so cruelly robbed it of and fit a decent head gasket.

    Then get some agreed value classic car insurance and then use it as you would any other “new” car. It’s pointless hanging on to it as an investment, as the first owner has found out.

  7. Very nice, but better to have one that’s done average miles, a full service history, a stronger head gasket fitted and seen some high speed journeys to loosen up the engine. This 3 mile car is interesting, but surely the engine won’t have been run in properly and possibly some parts will have degraded.

    • It doesn’t need to have the head gasket touched if it’s fine.

      Perhaps you should think before you type. Suggesting someone takes the car for some high speed trips and then mentioning the engine may have degraded parts isn’t exactly bright, is it?

  8. The only problem is that an “average mileage” one of this age should have around 140,000 miles on it by now and will have seen a dozen winters.

    With no environmental corrosion, it should be relatively easy to work on, but the corrosion inhibitor in the anti freeze will be at least 7 and probably 10 years past its use by date, the tyres will be shot as will the brake fluid and the brake cylinders will be an unknown. The fuel pipes will need changing and the injection system might be gummed up with varnish. And what is the situation with spares now?

    I’d still like to see it recommissioned and used, but could it make a very nice crowd puller to generate some interest in the showroom of a SIAC dealer? It could be used to suggest some heritage and credibility without ever having to recommission it.

    • Does petrol not degrade too? Stuff that has been sitting for 11 years?

      A nice example for a museum, but a lot of potential preventative and replacement work to use as a daily hack.

      • Which I know to my cost!
        I have a 7,500 Mike old Triumph Daytona 1200 that I’ve owned from new (1998). It has always been stored in near ideal conditions. However, after having stood for 3 years, the otherwise immaculate bank of 4 carbs have been wrecked by the unleaded fuel which has partially turned into varnish. It’s truly evil stuff 🙁

  9. One other thing, I’m not entirely sure how a ’54-reg (Oct. ’04) car is a post-MGR collapse bargain? If it was a ’55-reg, maybe.

    • The truth is the MG Rover price list was work of fiction, I bought a TF160 2002 and ZT260 2003 and in both cases I over offered more than a 25% discount off list price at the opening of the negotiations.

      The reason I understand why the high list prices were maintained was to bolster cash flow, because HBOS who funded the stocking scheme paid MG Rover based on the list price then when they were sold the dealer got a credit note from MG Rover to offset whatever incentive they were offering them to shift the metal.

  10. Superb “mint” car in a lovely colour. Perhaps best to let it have some light use before putting it in a museum, given its rarity value and unique history. It would be a shame if, as a daily driver, it was involved in a scrape. I always loved the MG version and even now it exhibits a pleasing design…

  11. Earlier in the yr I lifted a car cover to find a MG ZT with the V8. I typed the reg plate into the internet to find it was sorn, had a full MOT & just 12ml recorded

    • Poverty spec models are becoming more scarce – people should forget about ‘all options ticked’ cars (many are fakes as a lot have had bits put on after leaving the factory by owners) and hoover up the base models as they will be just as valuable in time.

    • Strong money! Well above the 8.5-10.5k estimate.

      As others have said, if I *really* wanted a mint 75/ZT, I’d probably rather spend £5-6k on a super low mileage car with a higher spec.

      But some folks are willing to pay a premium for a (kind of) brand new car, and have the knowledge the paintwork is perfect and no-one has ever farted in the seats or sneezed on the steering wheel.

      Good luck to the new owner. Hope the car gets used, and not mothballed for another 10 years!

  12. In May 2006 I bought an MG ZT160+ at one of Bank of Scotland’s disposal auctions at BCA. It had been dealer registered in Jan 2005 (to get the incentives that were never paid) and had 1563 miles on it. I paid £8070 including auction fees. The difference between 3 miles and 1563 miles is nothing if you are going to use the car. An excellent car it turned out to be.

    When I saw this car listed for auction I was tempted but guessed it would have a rarity value mine did not have and would be of lower spec. There was a choice at Measham in May 16.

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