It seems that the final MG Rover test and development cars have been sent to the crusher by SAIC Motor after being allowed to languish at Longbridge for over five years.
The cars, which signalled the hard work undertaken at the factory on upcoming programmes, were destroyed as they were no longer required by the company – and, as prototypes, they were also considered unfit for public consumption even though a number of earlier prototypes had been sold by MG Rover’s Administrators, PricewaterhouseCoopers.
All the cars were located in a make shift yard between CAB 1 and the Kremlin (International Head Quarters) and, according to one source, the cars were the last of the old MG Rover era vehicles from around the site as NAC, SAIC Motor’s predecessors, had two or three ‘clearouts’ before this one.
The collection was mainly made up of development V8 ZTs, late EU4 emissions cars and G-Series/Fiat-powered diesel cars. However, there were also some of NAC’s own TFs and other MG Rover vehicles in there. According to our photographer, these cars featured some interesting developments not fitted to standard factory cars.
‘I noticed some of the ZTs with Front Parking Sensors, DVD players / TV Screens in the back on the Front Headrests and a new style of gear gaiter, possibly due to a new gearbox,’ he said. ‘There was also an MGR-built TF with a leather covered dashboard.’
All of the cars shown in the images below have now been destroyed – can we, then, truly say this is the end of an era?