Blog: Back to the future

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists


I know it’s probably a little premature to say so, but I must admit that I am beginning to get excited by the possibility of a new generation of MGs. Okay, at the moment, things are looking grim, with the production line halted and MG Rover being dragged through the dirt yet again by the spectre of the imminent government enquiry into its financial affairs. But trust me, it will pass…

One of the tantalising aspects of the bids for MG Rover, which have been made public, is just how each management team is keen as mustard to develop MG into a leading edge British sports car manufacturer by producing radical new models and developing the marque to clearly focus on doing what it does best – producing fun, cheap sports cars that people actually want to buy.

I think it is a well-known fact that I am very much in the camp of those people who don’t quite get the MGB. I find it noisy, slow, arthritic and needlessly ponderous – but that is not to say that I am very wide of the mark. For one, when you ask an MGB owner what it is that draws them to their car, and they will nearly always respond about how much fun it is. And it is this clearly indefinable quality that I absolutely believe the British industry is so damned good at serving up…

I mean – look at the areas of of our industry where we constantly thrive. London Taxis International aside, that would be in the sports car field.

Maybe I’m a romantic, but there is
still the potential to build a small
range of MGs and perhaps Austin-
Healeys, which would mirror what
the company was selling so
successfully during the Sixties…

So, when the likes of Chapman Automotive and Welford-Winton talk about getting the TF back into production, and then developing brand new sports cars, I tend to get excited. Because although Rover was/is a great manufacturer of saloons and hatchbacks, one just knows that it is going to be difficult to convince anyone to buy any more of them in the future, if Longbridge was brought back online. And it is a possibility of course…

I just tend to think that the more realistic plan for Longbridge now would be to consolidate itself and put everything into building a range of sports cars we can truly be proud of.

Maybe I’m a romantic, but there is still the potential to build a small range of MGs and perhaps Austin-Healeys, which would mirror what the company was selling so successfully during the Sixties, and to a lesser extent, the Seventies. Imagine a new modular platform, designed around the flexible Niche Vehicle Architecture and Manufacturing (NVAM) system first spoke of by Terry Playle (see news, April 19), and from that, we get a new Midget, Sprite, GT and V8…

It would almost be like a return to the halcyon days of the Sixties – and just like the B and Midget when they were launched, they would be technically advanced, yet cost effective to build.

All I can say is, let’s hope PwC see sense and give one of these imaginative teams a chance with MG, and not fall into the trap of believing there is a ‘volume’ future for Longbridge.


Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

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