News : ‘As new’ MG ZT with six miles on clock goes on sale

MG ZT at CCA, front view

If you’re missing being able to buy a new MG Rover product, Classic Car Auctions has just what you’re looking for. Up for grabs at its December Online Auction is this MG ZT 160 1.8 Turbo, which has a mere six miles on its odometer after it has spent a life tucked up in storage since it was registered in October 2004.

It’s not going to be cheap, with an estimate of £12,000-15,000 but, on the flipside, if you were to compare that with its nearest new equivalent, it’s something of a bargain. To get into the 2021 Jaguar XE, for instance, you’re looking at an entry price of £29,635 – and, if you’re not keen on that budget, the lower estimate of this MG ZT will buy you base-spec MG3. Food for thought… It’s certainly a handsome looking thing and shows just how well the basic shape has aged over the years.

This MG Rover ZT 160 is a five-speed manual saloon and was originally supplied through MG Rover in Derby. It’s finished in British Racing Green Pearlescent and has a charcoal grey interior. The chassis number is SARRJXLTG5D329500, which is a late one, but a few hundred from being the last of the line MG ZT.

MG ZT at CCA, interior view

The history of the car is simple enough. It was delivered and then immediately dry stored in a heated garage and subsequently a Carcoon chamber from new. What is more interesting is what the motive behind this decision was – if it was to secure a piece of MG history, it’s certainly been successful in that, even if it’s probably a few years off maturing into something truly valuable. It was originally offered for sale in 2016, when it made £12,000.

A nice touch is that the manufacturer’s ID-Tag remains on the keys as delivered from the factory while, as one would expect, it comes with its original handbook pack and a complete key set. The seller commissioned its first-ever MoT for the buyer’s assurance in the lead-up to the sale, and has described the car as ‘exactly as it left the Longbridge factory.’

It’s certainly unique in what it represents, and it will be interesting to see what its next owner will do with it. Should it be put into a museum for posterity or used as its maker intended? What do you think? And if you end up buying this car, we’d love to hear from you.

MG ZT at CCA rear view

Keith Adams

21 Comments

  1. Not the only “New” ZT on the market.
    There is still the 260 V8 in Bristol at about £30,000.
    This car will need its cam belt changed after all the time it’s been standing!

  2. I am not sure what I would do if I had the money – it would be a shame for it to taken from its current state of concours, but its a drivers car and so I would love to use it. Whoever gets it has got a bargain – I paid £15k back in March for a 3 series with 4995 miles and thought that was a steal.

  3. Still a great looking car with those forked spoke alloys. Would be tempting to put it back on the road but given the demise of MGRover and its heritage, I would suggest putting it in a museum… still a catch 22 situation?

    By the way, £15k for a 5,000 miles BMW 3 does sound like a keen price too.

    • That’s why I snapped it up – one elderly couple who used it to potter around Bromley and exchanged it for an new one. The young salesman thought they were mad – it even has the plastic protective covers on the BMW sill panels! ULEZ compliant and £25 a year tax.

  4. It’s only of value to those for whom it has value. Stating the obvious perhaps but it’s not an appreciating classic. Not yet anyway. One need to have the cash going spare to buy it in order to salt it away and hope for a return(not guaranteed) who knows when. Only other option is to use it. What else can you do? Anybody see the 2000 mile Toledo on Bangers and Cash the other day? Similar situation I think.

  5. What in interesting prospect.
    I fear the amount of work to recommission it, particularly in terms of what state the fuel system is in and the current and longer term availability of parts, but it’d be so much nicer than anything else that money would buy you now.
    While I’d rather have a wheelbarrow than an MG3, even a basic 1.0 litre Focus is £22,500 now, so this could be a very nice way of driving an interesting car for sensible money. And what a great colour too!

  6. These sorts of low mileage stunners are always a bit of a quandry. Hugely interesting to the casual observer like me but do you use it, thereby ruining its value and uniqueness? Or do you keep it as is, thereby acquiring yourself a huge garage-ornament?

  7. I’d say buy it and use it, but not too much. Ideal situation would be a dry garage and a decent run every week or two to keep everything working. Then a mileage reading of 20k to 30k over the next 10 years or so would probably enhance it’s value as a usable classic rather than a museum piece.

  8. My first thought was how it looks like so many other modern four door saloons. I imagine that is down to wind tunnel testing (or the AI version of a wind tunnel) and compliance with EU regs on pedestrian-friendly front ends. Along with crumple zones to protect those inside in the event of an RTA. Someone above mentioned the TV series Bangers and Cash. I occasionally watch it, also Wheeler Dealers. What strikes me about both is how old cars did look different, one brand from another. But now……

    • Yes I’ve visited Matthewson’s a few times when on hol… fascinating operation and great TV to watch, as is Wheeler Dealers. I’m amazed at how talented Edd is – and Mike Brewer is a real jovial character.

      My brother has a 2016 Jag XF, only done 11K miles in it and it looks mint!

  9. Great looking car isn’t it? The strong colour, big alloys and lack of bright chrome trim really show the class of the 75/ZT design. Its growing old very handsomely indeed unlike the contemporary retro-Jags. But what to do with it – surely needs to be on the road rather than stuffed and mounted. High days and holidays, few thousand miles per year, enough to keep the moving parts moving, and garaged in the meantime.
    In the summer of 2005, just after the collapse, our local car supermarket had several as-new ZTs for sale, couldn’t tell you which engine but £15 or 16k each and all in that bright electric blue metallic. Thought they were good value then!

  10. The electric blue metallic was Trophy blue originally, but when the facelift Z range emerged the colour was changed a bit (cant recall that name)

  11. My ZT 190 facelift model I bought new in 05 was undoubtedly the worse car I have ever owned. Just about everything went wrong with it from the motor to trim and fittings. Strangely, I had it for ten years, and I actually quite liked it, especially the styling. I managed to trade it for a new XF 2.2 diesel which has been completely perfect with not a single fault with 100k covered. That ZT is definitely for a museum only!

    • Not really a museum piece though, is it? It’s a facelift, de-contented car. It’s the lower powered version, and it’s the the slightly naff(in my view) MG rather than the more authentic(in my view) Rover. I wouldn’t what to do with it TBH.

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